A career in music

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What do you mean by a portfolio career?

A portfolio career is one that is made up of different jobs pursued either successively or simultaneously. The nature of the music industry means that musicians can find themselves employed on projects for a finite amount of time, with regular work outside of usual working hours and working from numerous and varied locations.
Therefore musicians need to be adaptable and develop skills to sustain their portfolio careers beyond those associated with being a musician, such as business, marketing, teaching and community engagement skills. The professional studies modules taught at Leeds College of Music are an essential grounding in this area.

What type of work could my son/daughter end up doing?

With a degree in Music, the opportunities are extensive! As well as high profile performing musicians (John Newman, John Waugh, Chantel McGregor, Cynikal, Michael Spearman, Roller Trio), Leeds College of Music alumni are:

  • Composing for film with Hans Zimmer

  • Producing for artists such as Rihanna and Adele

  • Songwriting for Clean Bandit and Lily Allen

  • Drumming for Ellie Goulding and Tom O’Dell

  • Touring with Kylie Minogue

  • Performing at Bestival

  • Composing for TV, games and advertising

  • Teaching music to the next generation of musicians

  • Using their skills to help vulnerable adults and children

How do you help your students with their employability?

As well as providing students with essential business skills, we work with industry partners and practitioners to ensure our students are able to access as many opportunities as possible to network, perform and compose.

We also ensure our students’ safety and welfare in any interaction. For example, we are regularly contacted by major record labels who are interested in signing up new talent. We ensure that any auditions or interviews are done in a safe, supportive environment, and provide specialist advice to our students regarding intellectual property and copyright, as well as branding, stagecraft, styling and deportment.
With our own 350-seat concert hall (The Venue) and 120-seat Recital Room, numerous ensembles for students to join and a busy concert season, we offer an exceptional platform to build up an impressive portfolio of performing experience. Our musicians are regulars at Leeds venues such as the Hi-Fi Club, Sela Bar, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds Cathedral and the Wardrobe, and at regional venues including Lotherton Hall and Wakefield Cathedral.
Our partnerships with Apple, Steinway & Sons, Roland, BASCA and ISM, amongst others, are all in place to enable our students to prepare for their career in music. Using top of the range facilities and gaining professional qualifications ensures our students are one step ahead when it comes to the world of work.

Do you help students after they've graduated?

All graduates of the conservatoire can join our Alumni Association free of charge. Through their membership they can access a number of benefits including our Musician's Booking Agency, access to the library and discounts on short courses and events. Additionally we're regularly contacted by employers, whose job vacancies we post on our alumni twitter feed and in our monthly alumni newsletter.

Alumni can also attend our Enterprise Events free of charge, giving them access to expert advice in the areas of finance, law, copyright and intellectual property in the music industry.

Your conservatoire

Undergraduate study

We have a number of music degrees at undergraduate level – find out about our Foundation, BA, combined and top-up degrees

What's On

Our packed concert season welcomes everyone from global superstars to up-and-coming talents – and Leeds College of Music students are always at the heart of the programme

Short Courses

Keen on developing your skills on an instrument – or your voice? Check out our short courses on offer