Music graduates bring creativity, discipline, technical skills and passion to a diverse range of careers.
Music students study practical, theoretical, or historical approaches to music. Depending on their major subject, they are able to create, perform, produce or critically interpret and analyse music composition and performance. These skills in oral presentation, project management, creative interpretation and communication with audiences are valuable in a range of roles and industries.
Roles and career pathways
Music graduates move into diverse roles, applying their skills beyond the creative sector. This may include an events manager, marketing adviser, programme coordinator, project adviser or policy adviser. Graduates may work in media and communications in roles such as content developer, where their skills in video and editing are utilised. and in roles as social media advisers, communications advisers or sales and advertising coordinators. Others may go into library, archives or information management positions, normally after completing a relevant postgraduate information studies qualification.
Often work in the music field is part of a portfolio of paid and voluntary roles. This may include a combination of performance work, music tutoring (privately or at schools), event support or involvement in short creative projects. Experience can lead to more senior roles such as production coordinator, festival coordinator, music writer or critic.
Completing a postgraduate qualification in secondary teaching (limited entry) and at least one other subject at Bachelor’s level may lead to roles as a secondary school Music teacher. Some Music graduates also complete additional qualifications to become Primary School or Early Childhood Teachers. See Teaching and talk to the Wellington Faculty of Education before you commence your undergraduate degree to check entry requirements.
Where Music graduates work
Music graduates have worked in the creative sector and in many other fields that use their unique mix of analytical and practical skills including self-employment, secondary and primary teaching. Recent graduates have worked for organisations such as:
- Victoria University of Wellington
- RNZ National
- Department of Internal Affairs
- Toi Māori Aotearoa
- JET Programme – Embassy of Japan in New Zealand
Build relevant skills and experience
Part-time work and volunteering during study all help to increase your job prospects when you graduate. Most music students have considerable performance experience, and hold leadership roles in choirs, orchestras, bands and many have experience of marketing themselves and holding events to showcase their talent. For developing commercial awareness, NZ Music Commission provides artist resources and events, including an industry internship programme. The NZ Music Producer Series offers opportunities to join limited entry workshops and learn from globally recognised music producers in a Roundhead Studios in Auckland. The WFHSS Internship course run by the Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences helps develop leadership skills and provides practical workplace experience. Programmes such as Wellington Plus and Wellington International Leadership Programme (WILP) offer opportunities to gain diverse volunteer and leadership experience.
As part of the Master of Fine Arts (Creative Practice) programme students do an internship with an organisation which provides valuable work experience and connections in the music industry.
Make career connections
Alongside volunteering and the many connections music students make from their coursework, making connections with individuals and groups during your degree can help you learn more about career and networking opportunities. APRA/AMCOS provide an opportunity for music creators to be paid for their work and to be part of a music community. Music students can also make business connections with other creatives and entrepreneurs, through Creative HQ and via a wide range of professional interest groups on Meetup. Another useful resource for networking and finding out about roles in creative industries is The Big Idea. For music teachers, the Institute of Music Teachers of NZ offers training and ongoing professional development, plus the opportunity to network and receive mentoring. The Alumni as Mentors programme for final-year students also helps enhance your connections and employability in a range of fields while studying.