Whether you’re a music student or already a professional creating awesome tunes, you cannot deny that pursuing a career in the music industry is fun and exciting. But you have to acknowledge that it can take more than dedication and motivation to make it big. You need to have someone who will help you do away with bad habits – someone who can help you improve your technique. You need a music mentor.
Other than the technical skills that you will get from them, a mentor will also help you create connections and build your network, which is helpful for your career. Now, the problem is where and how to find a reliable mentor. Not to worry, though, here are some things you might want to bear in mind:
Consider your teacher
One of the first people you need to look at is your teacher. Whether you are a student at Julliard or someone attending private lessons with your piano teacher, your instructor can serve as your mentor. First, they already know your skills, and they can create a program that can work for you. Second, they might have connections with other music teachers and even producers in the industry. All these are what you can harness if you decide to make your teacher a mentor.
Find training and conferences
Conferences, training, and seminars are not only great places to meet musical collaborators or producers who take a liking in your craft. You can also find people here who can help you advance in your field. This is why you need to attend masterclasses and similar events spearheaded by a renowned person in music.
However, you need to keep in mind that competition can be tough, so you need to stand out. Prepare your best material and hand it over when you have the chance. Some of them might be willing to take it, knowing that musical personalities are also on the lookout for great talents.
Be mindful of the traits
Granted that you have secured meetings with your mentors, you need to check first if your values align with them. Yes, you seek mentorship from them, but you are not supposed to lose yourself in the process. If your mentor is domineering to the point that they are out to strip you of your musical identity, you can reconsider things. A mentor should be understanding and appreciative of a person’s craft. His criticism should be respectful, not judgmental.
Learn to walk away
Mentorship is supposed to be a collaboration. It should be about encouragement and constructive criticisms. It’s a two-way relationship. If you’ve been an apprentice for some months, yet you gain nothing, or your style does not improve, don’t waste any more time. Find another mentor that respects you, your craft, and your time.
Having a mentor is like having a guide in the music industry. So you need to take the time and exert effort to find the one that suits you and your philosophy. It can take longer, but it’s much better than finding the wrong one at the soonest time possible.