RESEARCH

Music Career Mapping

Mapping music careers on and off stage


CMU Pathways is currently mapping music career routes, defining key steps in the careers of frontline artists, portfolio career musicians and music industry professionals, as well as identifying the people who provide support at each stage of the process.

Our career mapping work beings with the ten step pathway for frontline artists, which breaks down the average artist career into ten steps, from the classroom to Wembley.

We are looking at the metrics that define each step, the work the artist and their team must do to progress at each stage, and the systems, people and companies that exist to support artists as they move forward.

Our particular focus is on getting to step four, which is when the music industry fully gets involved. What knowledge do artists need to progress through steps one, two and three, and what is the respective role of educators, DIY platforms, mentors and peers at each stage?



CAREER PROGRESSION FACTORS
CMU Pathways has also teamed up with Urban Development to identify what specific factors help people progress in their music careers, whether they are frontline artists, portfolio-career musicians, music industry executives or music entrepreneurs.

We will begin by undertaking indepth interviews with a number of alumni from Urban Development’s various programmes, talking a diverse mix of music professionals through their careers to date, with a focus on what enabled career progression.

This pilot project with Urban Development will provide some initial insights and also inform our wider music career mapping work.



WHY MAP MUSIC CAREERS?
There is no single pathway for a career in music. However, there are commonalities in the careers pursued for many frontline artists, portfolio-career musicians, music industry executives or music entrepreneurs.

We want to better understand those commonalities, to illustrate the key career pathways available and to identify the knowledge, experience, information and support music people need to progress.

By mapping music careers in this way we will be able to inform the curriculum; career programmes; performance, production and music business courses; music employers; and music-makers directly, helping ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to try to pursue a career in music.



OUTCOMES

1. We will publish a series of Pathways guides outlining the different pathways into a music career and what knowledge, experience, information and support music people need to progress at each stage.

2. We will explore the role music educators have in this process, and how those working in music education can access the resources, insights and connections they need to support their students.

3. We will ultimately produce a series of resources for educators, educational organisations and music companies to help them better support the professional development of their students, participants and employees.



We are currently looking for companies and organisations interested in supporting this research work by providing insights, data, audience or funding. To discuss supporting this work call 020 7099 9050 or email learning@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.