Being passionate about music is common; making it a career is not. This is because it’s hard to be noticed in the music industry, and becoming professionally skilled is difficult.

There are already online guides to breaking into the industry, so instead, this post will focus on the first step to take if you want to become professionally skilled.

There’s one thing you need to realize before you begin your journey—you will likely need formal training.

While it’s nice to think that anyone can be like rock-legends Neil Young or Bob Dylan, both self-taught and wildly successful, the truth is formal music training goes a long way to developing your talents.

What you can expect

You can either begin your lessons with a private instructor, or at a music academy.

Some will argue that having a personal instructor is better for learning music than an academy. The truth is that if the music academy is a good one, it will have several instructors teaching you different areas of music at once, all with the same attention and care.

Regardless of what you choose, any form of formal music instruction has the following benefits:

  • You get structured guidance.
  • Proven training programs that will sharpen your skills.
  • You can begin at any level. Beginner, intermediate or expert, there are instructors and music academies to cater to all skill-levels.
  • There’s a person to point out your weak areas, and helps you overcome them.
  • You’ll be able to track your progress over time.

Even if you’re already a gifted musician, formal instruction can help you in other areas you’re weak in. For example, violinist Catherine Manoukian used to suffer from stage fright when she first started. After some formal training, she made her orchestral debut and now enjoys a successful music career.

Selecting the right academy or instructor

There are several factors to consider when choosing which music academy to enrol, or which instructor to hire.

What matters most is that your selection can act as a bridge to get where you want to be. Look online and see what awards and industry recognition it has, see reviews about the instructors, ask questions about the course work and what you’ll learn, etc.

There are many music institutions that will offer to teach you. What you need is the one that will give you the skills to succeed, and a platform to highlight your talent.