Whether you plan to major in music or simply play music at the college level, every serious teen musician needs a music resume.
But, what is it?
A music resume is a formal account of your experience on your instrument. Through it, professors, admission directors, scholarship committees, conductors, and other professionals learn about your training and playing level. It is also a useful document for opening a conversation about what activities to pursue for your musical advancement.
The information on your music resume is unique to your own experience, but typically includes auditions you have won, scholarships you have been awarded, private instructors you have studied with, conductors you have worked under, solo performances you have done, ensembles you have played in, masterclasses and camps you have attended, and any other musical projects. Many of my clients also include playing in church services, paid gigs, and tutoring they have done.
The point of your music resume is to make it obvious to the reader that you have reached a strong level of musicianship and have the experience needed to be successful in the next phase of your training.
I suggest getting started by making a list of every musical activity you have done over the past few years. Nothing is too small to include when doing this brainstorming project. It can be helpful to have a parent’s help, too, because they often remember things that you may have forgotten. (Especially if they drove you there!)
Once you have this list, it is time to turn it into a document.
Music resumes typically have a different layout than more general ones. My clients use a template I give them as a starting point, but you can ask your private instructor for guidance as well. If you would like to get going without assistance, start by creating categories for each of your activities. Most students include categories such as Large Ensembles, Chamber Ensembles, Solo Performances, and so on. You might also find it helpful to create some of your own based on what you have done, such as Church Gigs or Paid Performances.
If you have experience on a secondary instrument that you would like to illustrate, create a special category of Other Musical Experience to include some of the highlights on that instrument.
At the top of your resume, create a letterhead which includes your preferred name, contact info, and your primary instrument. This way, who you are and what you play is clear right off the bat. Choose a font that is easy to read, but is also a bit creative, to show off your personality.
The goal is to make it easy for a professional to glance at your music resume and understand the level you have attained.
Give it a try!
If you get stuck, shoot me an email at Trisha@MusicBuildsLives.com. I will be happy to give you a few tips.