Turn Up The Volume: Shattering The Silence On Music Careers In India

Manavi Agarwal

Last Updated: February 20, 2024
no preview

In a country as diverse as India, where every note sings a different tune, why does the idea of choosing music as a career often encounter disapproving looks and cautious nods? Embark on this journey with us as we peel back the layers and unveil the reasons behind the scepticism and hesitance that tag along with the statement, “I want to make music for a living!” In this blog, we’re diving headfirst into the world of melodies waiting to be heard, shedding light on the obstacles that have kept them in the background. It’s time for an encore, a revival that encourages and uplifts the pursuit of music careers in India. Prepare to flip the switch on a topic that has lingered in the shadows for far too long!

Breaking The Barriers On Music Careers 

Society’s Perception Of Music Careers

Society's Perception Of Music Careers

In a country that vibrates with diverse sounds and musical traditions, it’s puzzling why music careers often get side-eye. The core issue lies in the societal mindset that reveres conventional professions like engineering or medicine as the holy grail of success. The deeply ingrained belief that a steady career path equals triumph has inadvertently led to the sidelining of the potential and significance of pursuing music professionally.

Think of a family dinner conversation where a teenager nervously expresses their dream of becoming a full-time musician. The room falls silent, and eyebrows raise. “But what about job security?” comes the inevitable question. It’s this very scepticism that forms the crux of the stigma against music careers. The prevalent narrative suggests that a “real job” should involve a cubicle and a stable monthly paycheck.

This societal conditioning stems from a historical perspective where traditional professions were deemed secure and respectable. Sadly, this outlook has hindered the growth and acceptance of alternative careers, particularly in the realm of music. The result? Talented individuals hesitate to embrace their musical passions, and society remains largely oblivious to the richness a music career can offer.

Financial Insecurity In Music Careers

Let’s face it; the financial aspect is a major player in the lukewarm reception of music careers. Parents and individuals often worry about the unpredictable income streams, envisioning a life of perpetual struggle. The inherent fear of financial instability has become a roadblock for countless aspiring musicians, deterring them from taking the plunge into a profession they love.

Consider the scenario: a talented young artist, armed with a guitar and a notebook full of soulful lyrics, hesitates. The fear of not being able to meet the basic financial needs looms large. This isn’t just a personal struggle; it’s a narrative that echoes in many households across India. The stereotype that the arts can’t pay the bills continues to loom, pushing talented individuals towards more ‘secure’ paths.

While it’s true that the financial journey in music can be unpredictable, it’s equally true that success stories exist. The narrative needs a reboot – one that acknowledges the financial challenges while celebrating the potential for a sustainable and fulfilling music career. The world has witnessed musicians who turned their passion into lucrative businesses; it’s time we start recognising these narratives as the rule, not the exception.

Harmonising Education And Music

Harmonising Education And Music

In the numerous societal expectations, one of the loudest notes is the emphasis on academics over artistic pursuits. The prevalent mindset insists that a successful individual must excel in traditional education, often sidelining creative and artistic endeavours. Striking a balance between formal education and a musical journey remains a significant challenge for many aspiring musicians.

Think of a young student torn between acing exams and spending hours honing their musical craft. The relentless pressure to conform to the traditional education mould often forces talented individuals to stifle their artistic aspirations. It’s not uncommon for parents to worry about their child’s academic future when they express a desire to pursue a music career.

This perception creates a false division – one where success in academics and success in the arts are deemed mutually exclusive. However, the reality is far from it. A holistic approach that recognises and values both academic and artistic achievements is vital. It’s time we dismantle the notion that a degree defines success and embrace the diverse paths individuals can take to build a fulfilling and prosperous future.

Lack Of Platforms For Emerging Musicians

In a world where reality shows have become the gateway to fame for many, the absence of accessible platforms for emerging musicians is striking. While these televised spectacles have opened doors for some, the vast majority of talented individuals find it challenging to break into the industry and make their voices heard.

Think of a gifted singer-songwriter, armed with nothing but a guitar and a pocketful of dreams, who faces the dilemma of getting noticed. Without the glitz and glamour of reality show stages, their journey becomes an uphill battle. The lack of platforms and opportunities for emerging musicians is a stark reality, contributing to the misconception that success in the music industry is an elusive dream.

The music industry‘s gatekeepers often focus on marketable trends rather than diverse talents. This leaves many incredible musicians hidden in the shadows, their potential unrealised. To truly encourage music as a career, we need a more inclusive and accessible system. Platforms that appreciate and celebrate a spectrum of musical genres and styles, providing opportunities for emerging talents to showcase their skills, can be a game-changer.

Encouraging Music As A Career

Encouraging Music As A Career

A paradigm shift is long overdue. To foster a culture that genuinely appreciates and encourages music careers, we need to redefine success beyond the traditional metrics. Schools and colleges can play a pivotal role by integrating music education into the curriculum, nurturing a generation that sees the value in pursuing their passion.

Think about a high school where students not only excel in traditional subjects but also have the opportunity to explore their musical talents. This isn’t a utopian vision; it’s a practical step towards breaking the cycle of stigma around music careers. Workshops, music festivals, and mentorship programmes can further bridge the gap, creating an environment where aspiring musicians feel supported and valued.

The change doesn’t stop there; it extends to the conversations we have at our dinner tables, where we shift from questioning the viability of music careers to celebrating the diverse paths individuals can take. By changing the narrative around success and embracing the arts as legitimate career choices, we pave the way for a more inclusive and encouraging society.

A Note On Cultural Evolution

As India continues to evolve culturally, it’s high time we celebrate the diversity of careers, including those in music. Prominent figures in the music industry should actively share their journeys, showcasing the viability of a successful music career. These narratives serve as beacons of inspiration, breaking down stereotypes and encouraging the younger generation to view music as a legitimate and fulfilling profession.

Consider a cultural landscape where success stories of musicians from diverse backgrounds take centre stage. It’s not about dismissing conventional paths but rather acknowledging and celebrating the multitude of avenues that can lead to a prosperous and satisfying career. As a society, we need to recognise that embracing diversity in careers is not just a choice; it’s a step towards a richer and more culturally vibrant future.

Nurturing Artistic Passion

Encouraging music as a career isn’t a one-person job; it requires a collective effort. Parents, educators, and society at large can actively participate in creating an environment that nurtures artistic passion. Recognising and celebrating diverse career choices, including music, contributes to a vibrant and culturally rich society.

Consider a world where parents proudly attend their child’s music recital, not with scepticism but with genuine enthusiasm. Educators seamlessly integrate music appreciation into classrooms, fostering an environment where artistic expression is valued. Society at large recognises that a harmonious coexistence of diverse careers leads to a more dynamic and enriched community.

Encouragement isn’t just about saying, “Follow your dreams.” It’s about creating tangible avenues for aspiring musicians to thrive. Whether it’s through community initiatives, mentorship programmes, or simply acknowledging and appreciating the artistic endeavours of those around us, every small effort contributes to the rhapsody of encouragement that can redefine the narrative around music careers in India.

Pursue A Career In Music

In a nation where every note carries the weight of history and tradition, it’s time to reevaluate the stance on music as a career. Breaking free from the chains of societal stigma, embracing financial possibilities, and creating platforms for emerging talent can transform the narrative. Let every aspiring musician feel the resonance of encouragement, as we collectively elevate the status of music as a legitimate and celebrated profession.

Navigating a career in music can be a rewarding yet challenging journey. At Mentoria, we understand the unique struggles and aspirations of those pursuing music professionally. Mentoria’s personalised career guidance can be your compass. Mentoria’s career guidance programme enables you to choose your perfect fit from 3 streams, 850+ courses, and 12,000+ careers, and discover what will bring out the best in you.