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Getting Started in Music

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Start your new career in the Oklahoma music industry!

Welcome to Oklahoma’s music community, where there is a place for you! Home to some of the most renowned musical acts and venues in the world, there are more exciting opportunities in Oklahoma’s music industry than ever before. As the entertainment industry continues to flourish both globally and here in Oklahoma, the need for the continued development and expansion of our local music industry workforce and companies is critical. We invite you to explore our website’s resources to learn more about ways you can plug in to the industry and start your careers now!

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For Beginners

Below you’ll find some beginning tips to consider for those who have never worked in the music industry, but are looking to move forward. The great thing about the music industry is there are positions for nearly every skill set, either on stage, on the road, or in an office.

Opportunity Abounds for Every Occupation: It’s very common to associate music industry jobs with what is seen most on-stage: performers, musicians, celebrities, etc. However, so much of what goes into bringing music to the stage happens behind the scenes. Nearly every trade imaginable has a role that easily translates to a position that is part of the music industry. Such occupations and departments include music publisher, concert promoter, music supervisor, audio video engineer, music teacher, dj, production crew, musical therapist, film & video game composer, instrument repair & restoration specialist, and so much more. There’s a place for you in the music industry if you’re ready to jump into the action.

Don’t Forget About PromotionYes, there is the actual writing and recording of the music, but what happens after the project is wrapped? The album enters a completely different, but critical, phase of the creative process. If you’re a software or technical expert, this may be a place for you as there are so many skills needed in this realm to complete, distribute and promote an album. Mastering, editing, registering works, promoting and securing placements, are just a few other essential areas.

Learn Your Trade: If you know which area of the music industry interests you most, learn more about it. There are a number of organizations around the state that offer annual educational panels and workshops, some for free, and even more learning opportunities exist in the virtual realm from specialty music blogs, online tutorials, master class videos and more. Endless books abound on music education as well, which may be purchased in your physical or online retailer or procured from your local library systems.

Meet Other Music Professionals / Network: Across the country in all markets, the music industry remains a business where professionals working in the field are closely connected with one another. With this in mind, try to attend as many music events as you can in an effort to meet people, some of whom are those who will be hiring for the next shows and productions in your area. So many jobs are hired based on industry word of mouth and/or proven experience, so whether you’re just starting to meet people or you’re working in a music industry environment, build a good reputation.

Make Stuff: The easiest way to learn is by doing, and in some cases, create your own opportunities. If you want to record that EP or manage that artist, get out there and do it! No matter the scale or size of your project, a simple step forward is gained knowledge and experience.

Work on Other People’s Projects: Apply to participate as a studio intern for a local recording studio, promoter, venue, etc. Volunteer at local festivals. The more you can observe or participate in music projects (creation, promotion, collaboration, distribution), the more you build up your contacts/relationships and learn about the music industry.

Building Your Team: The more you connect with people and make or participate in projects, the more likely you are to start building your team. Collaborating with like-minded people will only help you as you move forward in your career working on your own projects or others.

Pivotal Work

Early Access Free Video Series

The Oklahoma Film + Music Office invites audiences to virtually preview our 2021 Oklahoma Film and Music Conference with the release of the “Pivotal Work: Early Access Series”. Join some of the state’s leading industry professionals for this free video series, which features workshops and discussions designed to educate and inspire audiences seeking to learn more about career opportunities within Oklahoma’s film and music industries. The “Pivotal Work: Early Access Series” launched in December with subsequent monthly video releases through March 2021.


Business Side of Music
The Business Side of Music is a weekly podcast focusing on all aspects of the music industry, including recording, copyrights, songwriting, cataloging, and so much more.

DIY Musician
The DIY Musician Podcast features interviews with artists of all styles and backgrounds who’ve found a unique but authentic pathway to success, as well as in-depth discussions with music publicists, promoters, lawyers, publishers, talent buyers, and more.

Indie Connect’s “Top Ten Music Business Podcasts
Top music industry podcasts for anyone who wants to get educated about various aspects of the music business. These podcasts were picked out of hundreds that exist on iTunes. Their official descriptions are given along with their websites. Whether you’re a professional musician or just getting started, these podcasts are a quick and easy way to immerse yourself in the business side of music.

Music Industry Blueprint
Hosted by Taylor Swift’s Former Manager Rick Barker, known for his straightforward and honest approach when it comes to the Music Business. This weekly podcast is designed to help keep you up to date with what is happening in the world of music and the latest trends when it comes to digital marketing.

Music Marketing Manifesto
Music Marketing Manifesto is a leading resource for today’s DIY musicians, hosted by John Oszajca, a Music Marketing Expert, a Former Major Label Recording Artist, and one of the pioneers of Direct To Fan Marketing in the Music Industry.

Okie Show Show
Hosts talk to other film and music industry pros ranging from gaffers to comedians to the next breakout indie rock band.

Songwriters & Tour Riders
Songwriters & Tour Riders is a music podcast from KOSU, focusing on musicians coming from Oklahoma and those just passing through. Join host Matthew Viriyapah as musicians tell stories of recording, touring and living as artists


Folk Alliance International
Folk Alliance International (FAI) was founded in 1989 to connect folk music leaders aiming to sustain the community and genre. The leading international voice for folk music, FAI is an arts nonprofit and NEA designated National Arts Service Organization based in Kansas City, Missouri. FAI is the leading international voice for folk music with a network of more than 3,000 members: a worldwide community of artists, agents, managers, labels, publicists, arts administrators, venues, festivals, and concert series presenters.

Scene Skeleton
Scene Skeleton is a free weekly video series featuring conversations with experienced panelists from across the nation discussing strategies, best practices and other music industry topics. Created by Chad Whitehead, talent buyer for Tower Theatre, Ponyboy and Patchwork Presents, this series is designed to support local musicians as they navigate the music industry by giving them access to people with decades of experience. Each episode will begin with a conversation before moving into an artist-submitted Q&A session. Topics include how to release an album, promoting a concert, managers/agents, branding and more. All of Season 1 is now available for streaming.

Sound Development by Sound Diplomacy
The first event of its kind to bring the world’s property developers and music industry together, Sound Development explores the issues and opportunities between music and real estate in the United Kingdom and around the world. There have been nine editions so far, welcoming 1000+ delegates from planners and architects, to artists and music industry professionals.

The Searchlight Sessions
The Searchlight Sessions are interviews with experienced entertainment professionals sharing important information about the music and media industry. These videos are designed to help entertainment professionals, especially those that are up-and-coming, to expand their knowledge and skills in multiple areas and hopefully be able to leverage this new information to increase their income and build their reputation. With COVID-19 impacting so many in the entertainment industry, the goal is to help musicians and filmmakers to see other ways to make money and think outside the box.

Thriving Roots
Presented by the Americana Music Association Foundation, Thriving Roots is a brand new event with almost 100 online sessions that go beyond today’s webinar-style virtual conferences. The webinar took place in 2020 with tickets still available for purchase through the fall of 2021.

Music Directory

Oklahoma has long been known nationally and internationally for its legendary musical talent and our historic venues, vetted recording studios and talented music business professionals in all corners of the state make Oklahoma the perfect place to create your next music project. Whether you’re a musician looking for new opportunities, a venue looking for quality Oklahoma talent, need a music teacher or looking for a place to record your next album, you can search or join Oklahoma’s official roster of talented musicians and music businesses in the Oklahoma Music Directory.