Music is a universal form of self-expression. Musicians and Singers convey a culture’s musical traditions and create new forms as well. An ear, or talent, for music often shows up early in life. While vocal training for singers usually begins in later teen years when the voice matures, musicians can start learning an instrument even sooner. For those who specialize in classical or jazz music, it’s typical to take formal instruction, such as studying with a "master" or earning a bachelors or master’s degree in music. Many musicians working in popular music genres, like hip hop, rock, and folk, are self-taught. Musicians and singers need a great deal of skill, tenacity and sometimes luck -- to earn a living from music. While they may find work through competitive auditions, most need to promote themselves to find consistent work. Gigs, or performances, are often scheduled in the evenings, weekends or holidays and can require travel away from home. Musicians and singers often teach, or hold another “day job” to support a performing career. Offering lessons and performing for different venues is a form of self-employment. Financial and business experience or classes can be helpful for managing the business side of a self-employed music career. While a music career isn’t an easy one, for many, the joy of performing more than makes up for the sacrifices the art demands.
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