Why Musicians Need Mentor Support (and Why You Need to Update Your Resume First)

Breaking into the music industry can be a challenge, but the right support system makes all the difference. Finding a mentor could be the next big step in building your career as a musician. If you need some tips to get going, let this article by be your guide.

Why Do Musicians Need Mentors?

Connecting with a mentor in your industry has countless benefits. Though mentorship is beneficial for mentors, mentees stand to gain the most out of the experience. Even if they offer to guide you informally, your mentor is a great source of knowledge, an accountability partner, and a sounding board for your ideas.

Learning from a mentor teaches you the nuances of the industry more than any other source. Plus, building a relationship with a mentor means you have a trustworthy “insider” in the field. 

Especially if you feel a bit lost without a roadmap to meeting your goals (or even how to set powerful goals), strategizing with someone experienced is invaluable. Anyone can give an opinion, but a mentor who’s been there can offer insight that saves you time, effort, and frustration.

Whether you’re a classical musician or want to grow a following for your rock band, aligning with someone in the industry is invaluable for furthering your career.

Tips for Finding a Mentor

Finding a mentorship opportunity can be tricky if you’re just starting out in music. Getting comfortable with meeting and reaching out to new people is par for the course, though. Finding a mentor is good practice for later in your career.

Casual networking is a low-pressure way to connect with like-minded artists and potential mentors. Focus on joining groups where you can cultivate friendships, whether online or in person. Being authentic and helpful goes a lot farther than spamming or always expecting something from others.

Attending events is one way of getting noticed in the creative field because you never know who you might meet at a concert or performance. Consider ordering business cards and having a brief introduction in mind in case you meet someone you’d like to connect with. 

Pursuing a degree in a relevant field is another way to not only build your skills but also seek connections. For example, if teaching music is your long-term goal, you may want to earn your bachelor of education online.

Your professor, teaching assistant, or even an experienced peer could become a mentor. College alumni and other organizations and clubs also offer connection opportunities if you take networking seriously.

Update Your Resume Beforehand

Having an updated resume is crucial before meeting with a mentor. A mentor will be looking to see what experiences you have and how you can provide value. To create an effective resume that shows all of your relevant experiences, try using customizable templates or tools specifically made for creating a solid resume. You can do that here, and make sure to add any experiences or skills that would make you stand out from other candidates for the mentorship.

How to Maximize Mentorship Benefits

Though mentorship is a valuable undertaking for both the mentor and protégé, in any case, it may not be as simple as meeting an established musician and asking for advice. Getting the most out of the experience requires effort and investment.

One study on the role of mentorship in training professional musicians noted, “For the experience to be mutually beneficial and fulfilling, there needs to be a genuine interest, trust, care and commitment by both parties.” Therefore, your first task is to build an authentic relationship with a mentor whose personality complements yours.

An authentic relationship shouldn’t mean your mentor will go easy on you, though. A mentor who is invested in your success should provide constructive criticism; prepare to receive it thoughtfully. The right mindset can help you and your mentor make progress through challenges.

Understand that your mentor means well, and their feedback can help you avoid painful mistakes and become your best professional self.

You might not think that earning an online degree or networking in online groups could help your music career. Yet opportunities to connect with experienced industry professionals are everywhere. Building a relationship with a trusted mentor may turn out to be the best thing you do for your professional path in music.

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