Music arrangers do not work in standard 9 to 5 jobs with a steady salary and benefits, and often must work more than one job to earn a decent income. Music arrangers can create more demand for their skills as freelancers by learning how to secure clients. Professionals that enter this field must be ready to constantly search out new job leads and clients.
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Music arrangers have to be able to notate their ideas in a professional and industry-accepted manner. Because of this skill, music arrangers are well-suited to provide music notation services. Composers are often in need of arrangers that are skilled in music notation. Arrangers can also apply for music notation jobs with publishing companies. Finally, arrangers can start their own music notation services business and provide their services to colleges, universities and local music businesses.
Arrangers are adept at transcribing music from audio files. Transcription involves taking a sound recording and creating a version of it written out in music notation. Approach local high schools, middle schools and even colleges to see if they are in need of sheet music. Oftentimes, bands will want to perform the latest pop songs, but are unable to obtain the sheet music. Before accepting any project, you must get permission from the copyright holder to transcribe and perform the music.
Music arrangers may want to look for arranging jobs in television, film, music, radio and community ensembles. This job involves taking a piece of music that already exists and writing it for the instrumentation of a specific ensemble. There is a need for arrangers in school bands, universities, rock bands that want cover songs and show bands. Approach bands in local bars or pubs and ask them if they are in need of any services. It is also possible to advertise your services online with A&R websites.
A good way for a music arranger to supplement income is to teach students privately. Music arrangers should know how to play an instrument and teach theory and arranging courses. Sometimes it is also possible to secure a faculty job with a college or university. Most colleges offer courses in jazz arranging and music theory. Music arrangers should contact local universities and inquire if they are hiring arrangers to teach theory and arranging courses.
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