If you love music and you love writing, this career would be a logical path to follow.
What does it take to become music journalist or critic? You love music and writing. Are these enough for you to hack it in the competitive world of music journalism?
Most music journalists or critics originally planned to be professional musicians. Some start out as instrument majors in the music college while some hold a graduate degree in musicology. It is good not to be careful not to let your musical skills aside. If you love music and you love writing, this career would bea logical path to follow, but it is of great importance that you have a practical and theoretical background in music. The knowledge one must have to enter this field is incredibly vast. There is no clear-cut path to wealth and success in this field yet. As a start, get a musical education first, then journalistic experience second.
Keep abreast of the current music scene, regularly patronizing a library of CD or audio collection (acquired either from stores or online), reading constantly, branching out beyond classical music, and being prepared for what may be a long journey with primarily abstract rewards.
Listen to everything you can in as many versions as you can and get as many scores as you can. Pick apart the details and pay close attention. With that, you have more to say.
Exploring Music Criticism Career
It is a very broad job that could range from high-intensity, full time writing of features, reviews and previews for one or a large number of different publishers (newspapers, magazines, websites) to low-intensity part time work, perhaps as a supplement to another job.
Autonomy, particularly in staff positions; freedom to follow your own schedule; conversationswith great musicians; attending concerts; feedback from readers; writing about what you love; community respect.
Meager pay; lack of job security; no steady paycheck or medical benefits for freelancers
Pay varies hugely. Before accepting a job, try to find out how much the money will buy in the locality. Being paid in US dollars is often a better deal than receiving local currency.
There is no formal career path but it helps to play an instrument well, have a degree in music performance, musicology, composition, or music history and to obtain some formal training as a writer (like a degree in English, communication, or journalism). Beyond that, experience is what counts.
Where to Find Work
Anywhere. Get your name on every arts and music mailing list, and try to make contacts at newspapers, magazines, and websites that publish music reviews or music feature articles. Get to know the critics and arts editors in your local community in person and meet other professionals in the national field.
Vivian Schweitzer, a New York-based freelance writer said, “If being a music critic is your dream then hold out for it, by all means. But you have to be realistic. If you want to write about classical music full-time, it’s going to be very hard.”
Everyone has a chance, but you may have to wait a little before money comes in.