A guide to "Creating a Successful Career in Music"

In music and in the movies, we’re often more aware of the glamorous lives of the biggest stars than of the hard work it took them to get there. And we may know next to nothing about the career of the musician who plays in a small town symphony or the actor who performs at a local dinner theater.

For anyone who wants to know more about the many variations of musical careers, I highly recommend Angela Myles Beeching’s book Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music.

I have never encountered a more thorough or realistic book on creating a musical career.  Ms. Beeching covers everything, from how to get an agent to how to create your own performing opportunities to what to wear for an audition.  Her advice includes tips on marketing, finances, fundraising, and time management.

My favorite aspect of the book, however, is its emphasis on a varied, even shifting, idea of success.  Many of us establish career dreams early on, like playing in a major orchestra, singing at the Met, or making a professional recording; but everyone encounters rejection at some point. 

Ms. Beeching cautions wisely that each musician must define - and constantly refine - his or her own vision of success.