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Music internships in the UK are a great way of kickstarting your career in the music industry. You’ll be able to try different areas and roles, whether that’s production, songwriting or PR, for example. You’ll also be able to build great networks in an industry that can be a little tough to break into. The UK is also pretty exciting when it comes to music, so who wouldn’t want to work in an industry that produced icons like The Beatles, Adele, Elton John, and more.

But what’s the real scoop on these music internships? Are they just about fetching fancy lattes for studio bigwigs, or is there more to the story? Let’s dive into the heart of the British music scene and find out why grabbing one of these internships might just be the best decision you’ll ever make – second only to your choice of favourite Beatles song, of course. Whether it’s contributing to the production of new music, assisting in the organisation of live events, or learning the intricacies of music promotion, a music internship in the UK is a chance to develop skills, build connections, and gain invaluable insights into one of the world’s most dynamic and exciting industries.

What are music internships?

What are music internships?

Imagine you’re a DJ, and you’ve just been handed the controls to the biggest sound system you’ve ever seen. That’s what stepping into a music internship feels like. It’s your chance to mix and mingle with the tracks of the industry, adding your unique beat to the rhythm of the music world.

Music internships are your behind-the-scenes pass to the industry. They’re where theory meets practice, where you’ll learn to harmonise your academic knowledge with the pulsating reality of the music business. It’s not just about sitting in a studio, nodding along to tracks (though there’s plenty of that too). It’s about getting your hands dirty in the world of music production, event management, marketing, and more. You’ll be doing everything from stringing guitar cables to brainstorming marketing campaigns for the next big hit. Think of it as your own personal music festival, where every task is a different stage, and you’re the headlining act.

Why do a music internship in the UK?

What are music internships?

Now, why choose the UK, you ask? Well, it’s like asking why choose fish and chips – some things are just meant to be. The UK’s music scene is as legendary as a double-decker bus, as iconic as the Queen’s Guard. This is the land where music history has been written and rewritten, where every street corner has a story, and every pub has seen the beginnings of a band.

Pursuing a music internship in the UK is like getting a front-row seat at the greatest show on earth. You’ll be walking the same streets as the greats, breathing in the same creative air that fuelled generations of musicians. From the historic recording studios of London to the vibrant live music scene in Manchester, from the grassroots clubs in Bristol to the legendary festivals scattered across the countryside – the UK is a mosaic of musical opportunities.

But it’s not just about basking in the glory of the past. The UK music industry is a dynamic beast, constantly evolving and embracing new trends. It’s a place where tradition meets innovation, where you can learn the time-honoured principles of music production one day and the latest digital marketing strategies the next. In the UK, music isn’t just a cultural artefact; it’s a living, breathing, ever-changing phenomenon. And you could be right in the middle of it all, soaking it up, learning, growing, and perhaps even contributing to the next big wave in the world of music.

Types of music internships

types of music internships

The world of music internships is as varied as a Spotify playlist. Let’s hit shuffle and see what plays.

Studio internships

Ever fantasised about where the musical magic is conjured up? Studio internships are your Hogwarts. In these internships, you’re in the heart of music production, surrounded by the latest technology and some of the most talented people in the industry. You might be setting up equipment, sitting in on recording sessions, or even assisting with mixing and mastering tracks. It’s a hands-on experience where you learn the nuts and bolts of what goes into making a song. And who knows? You might just rub shoulders with some of the music industry’s wizards – the producers and artists who create chart-topping hits.

Live event management internships

If orchestrating a festival sounds more appealing than playing in one, these internships are your backstage pass. Here, you dive into the exhilarating world of live music. These internships can involve everything from planning and logistics to artist liaison and stage management. You’ll learn how to turn a creative vision into a live show, dealing with everything from venue selection to sound engineering. It’s a fast-paced, dynamic environment where you’ll see first-hand how concerts and festivals are brought to life.

Music marketing and PR internships

In a world where a tweet can make or break a career, these internships teach you the wizardry of making a band famous – and keeping them that way. In music marketing and PR internships, you’re at the forefront of promoting artists and music releases. This could involve crafting press releases, developing social media strategies, or even organising promotional events. You’ll learn how to catch the public’s eye and ear, building buzz around new music and maintaining an artist’s public image. It’s a blend of creativity and strategy, perfect for those who love both music and the art of communication.

Finding the right internship

Finding the right music internship

Finding the right internship is like finding the perfect rhythm – it might take some time, but when you get it, it’s pure harmony. It’s important to consider what aspect of the music industry excites you the most and what skills you want to develop. Research different companies and studios to understand their work culture and the type of projects they handle. Remember, the right internship should align with your career goals and provide you with the opportunities to grow both professionally and personally.

Where to look for music internships

Where to look for music internships how to find them, which websites and music companies

Navigating the jungle of opportunities requires a keen eye and a bit of strategy. Start by checking out the websites of music companies, studios, and festivals for internship listings. Networking is also key – attend music events, workshops, and seminars to meet industry professionals. Don’t overlook social media and online job platforms, as many opportunities are advertised there. University career services can also be a valuable resource, offering guidance and potentially exclusive internship opportunities. Remember, persistence and enthusiasm are your best allies in finding an internship that strikes the right chord with your aspirations.

Websites to find music internships

Here’s a list of websites where people in the UK can find music internships:

  • Indeedindeed.co.uk – A comprehensive job search engine that frequently lists music internship opportunities across the UK.
  • Glassdoorglassdoor.co.uk – Offers insights into company cultures and employee reviews, along with listings for internships in the music industry.
  • The Guardian Jobsjobs.theguardian.com – Known for a wide range of quality job listings, including internships in arts, music, and entertainment sectors.
  • Music Jobs UKuk.music-jobs.com – A niche site dedicated to jobs and internships in the UK music industry.
  • Arts Jobsartsjobs.org.uk – Lists opportunities in the arts sector, including music-related internships, particularly in arts administration and management.
  • Creative Accesscreativeaccess.org.uk – Provides opportunities for under-represented communities in the creative industries, including music.
  • Enternshipsenternships.com – A platform for internships and entry-level positions in creative and entrepreneurial sectors, including music.
  • RateMyPlacementratemyplacement.co.uk – Offers reviews of internships and placements, including those in the music industry.
  • LinkedInlinkedin.com – A professional networking site that lists various internship opportunities, including in the music sector.
  • WorkInStartupsworkinstartups.com – Features job listings in startup companies, which can include innovative and emerging music businesses.
  • Mandy Musicmandy.com – Specialises in music jobs and internships, particularly in film, TV, and stage productions.

 

Remember, while these websites are great starting points, networking and making direct contact with music companies, studios, and professionals in the industry can also lead to valuable internship opportunities.

Companies that offer music internships in the UK

Here’s a list of music companies in the UK known to offer internships in various aspects of the music industry:

  • BBC Musicbbc.co.uk/music – Offers internships in music production, broadcasting, and journalism.
  • Universal Music Groupuniversalmusic.com – Provides opportunities in music production, marketing, and artist management.
  • Sony Music UKsonymusic.co.uk – Offers a range of internships in areas like A&R, marketing, and digital.
  • Warner Music Groupwarnermusic.co.uk – Provides internships in record label operations, marketing, and artist services.
  • Abbey Road Studiosabbeyroad.com – Famous for its recording studios, offering internships in studio operations and sound engineering.
  • PRS for Musicprsformusic.com – Offers internships in music rights, licensing, and royalties.
  • Spotify UKspotifyjobs.com – Provides opportunities in various roles, including music curation, marketing, and tech.
  • Live Nationlivenationentertainment.com – Offers internships in live event management, promotions, and venue operations.
  • Beggars Groupbeggars.com – An independent group of labels offering internships in indie music label operations.
  • Island Recordsislandrecords.co.uk – Offers internships in A&R, marketing, and artist promotion.
  • Rough Traderoughtrade.com – Known for its record shops and label, offering internships in retail and label operations.
  • Ministry of Soundministryofsound.com – Offers opportunities in club operations, events, and music production.

 

These companies represent a broad spectrum of the music industry, from major record labels to iconic recording studios and live event companies. Internship availability can vary, so it’s advisable to check their websites regularly for updates and application details. Additionally, networking and direct inquiries can sometimes uncover unadvertised internship opportunities.

What do music interns do?

What do music interns do?

This will obviously depend on the type of music internship you opt for. But imagine a day filled with tunes, tasks, and the occasional tea run. Welcome to the life of a music intern. Each day is a new verse in your internship song, with a rhythm that’s as varied as a multi-genre playlist. You might start your morning setting up equipment in a studio, ensuring everything is pitch-perfect for the day’s sessions. Midday could see you sitting in on a meeting, absorbing the strategies behind the next big music release.

Your afternoons might be spent on research, diving into the latest music trends or scouting potential talent. And yes, there will be tea runs – but even these are opportunities to learn the fine art of studio etiquette and the importance of team dynamics. You could be ending your day at a live event, assisting with setup, or observing the intricacies of sound checks and artist management. Every task, no matter how small, is a note in your educational symphony, teaching you about the industry’s tempo and timbre.

How to network and build connections

How to network and build connections

In the music biz, it’s often about who you know. Networking is not just a buzzword; it’s an essential skill. As a music intern, you’re in a unique position to meet a variety of industry professionals – from artists and producers to managers and promoters. Attend industry events, workshops, and gigs – these are your networking stages.

Engage genuinely with people, showing interest in their work and sharing your aspirations. Carry business cards or have a digital portfolio ready to share. Remember, networking is a two-way street; think about how you can add value to your new connections, not just what they can do for you. Building a robust network can open doors to opportunities beyond your internship, setting the stage for future collaborations and career advancements.

How to turn a music internship into a job or career

How to turn a music internship into a job or career

Transforming your internship from a fleeting melody into a lifelong symphony is about making the most of every opportunity. Show initiative, be proactive, and always be eager to learn. Treat each task, no matter how small, as a learning opportunity. Build a reputation for reliability and creativity. If you’re looking for advice on getting a job after uni, then check out our ultimate guide to finding a graduate job.

Document your experiences and achievements; this will be invaluable when updating your CV or portfolio. Seek feedback regularly and use it to improve. Towards the end of your internship, have a conversation with your supervisor about your career aspirations. Ask for advice, and if appropriate, express your interest in any upcoming roles. Remember, many industry professionals started as interns. With hard work, persistence, and a bit of luck, your internship can be the opening chord of your career in the music industry.

Qualifications for a music internship can vary depending on the specific role and company. Generally, a background in music, whether through education or personal experience, is beneficial. Some internships may require or prefer candidates pursuing or holding a degree in music, music technology, business, or related fields. However, equally important are a strong passion for music, a willingness to learn, and a proactive attitude. Demonstrable skills such as proficiency in an instrument, experience with music software, or knowledge of the music industry can also be advantageous.

Yes, it is possible to turn an internship into a full-time job. Many companies view internships as a way to train and evaluate potential future employees. To increase your chances, demonstrate a strong work ethic, eagerness to learn, and the ability to take on responsibilities. Building good relationships with your colleagues and networking within the company can also be crucial. Towards the end of your internship, express your interest in continuing your journey with the company and inquire about any upcoming job opportunities.

The payment for music internships varies. Some internships are paid, offering either a salary or a stipend, while others are unpaid. The nature of the internship, the company, and the industry standards in your location will influence this. Even if an internship is unpaid, it can still offer valuable experience, networking opportunities, and a chance to build your resume. Always ensure you understand the terms of the internship, including any compensation or benefits, before accepting.

The best part of a music internship is the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the music industry. Interns get a unique insight into the inner workings of the industry, from production to marketing. It's a chance to apply academic knowledge in a practical setting, learn new skills, and understand the day-to-day operations of the music business. Additionally, internships provide networking opportunities that can be invaluable for future career prospects.

Music internships can be highly competitive, especially those offered by well-known companies and studios. The number of aspiring music professionals often exceeds the available positions, making the application process quite challenging. To stand out, it's important to have a strong application, showcasing your skills, experiences, and passion for music. Networking and building connections in the industry can also give you an edge in securing an internship. Despite the competition, persistence and dedication can significantly improve your chances of landing an internship.