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Career as an artist (musician) in Singapore?

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Old 01-03-2019, 04:19 PM
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Default Career as an artist (musician) in Singapore?

Hi all, I have an interest in music writing (composition) and am considering pursuing it professionally as a career, full-time or freelance. I hope to be able to eventually become a film of video game composer sometime.

However, I am not sure about the viability of such a job. I know the arts scene in Singapore is doing quite well, but that individual artists often have a hard-time getting by solely on their art alone and often have to supplement their income with a secondary job. Iím not even sure thereís a niche in the market for such professions (perhaps overseas). Could anyone in the arts/music industry give some advice regarding this?

Because of uncertainties regarding the job, Iím also open to taking Psychology in Uni as Iím also very interested in it, but I donít want to to give up music. Iíve narrowed down my options to a few:
ē Study music professionally in Uni
ē Get a double degree for both Psych and Music
ē Get a Bachelorís for Psych and Music separately (so consecutive degrees)
ē Get a Bachelorís for Psych, and study music OTOT on the side (but Iím not sure if I would be disadvantaged by not taking music professionally as I would have less opportunities to know people in the industry/get professional tutoring)
ē Go to US

Iím leaning highly towards the last option, as many US universities adopt a liberal arts approach to their undergrad education where students study a variety of general knowledge in the first two years before specialising, so I get more time to explore. Also I think US is a better place to study and find jobs in Arts in general. Any feedback from people whoíve decided to major in arts or music subjects would be greatly appreciated.

Some more things about me:
ē I graduated in JC in 2017, currently in NS
ē I really love music, but only started learning it about 3+ years ago, so Iím unsure if I should study composition professionally in Uni
ē My grades are good, extracurriculars are average Iíll say (not enough music activities to put forth a solid application for music yet imo)

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Old 02-03-2019, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Unsurestudent View Post
Hi all, I have an interest in music writing (composition) and am considering pursuing it professionally as a career, full-time or freelance. I hope to be able to eventually become a film of video game composer sometime.

However, I am not sure about the viability of such a job. I know the arts scene in Singapore is doing quite well, but that individual artists often have a hard-time getting by solely on their art alone and often have to supplement their income with a secondary job. Iím not even sure thereís a niche in the market for such professions (perhaps overseas). Could anyone in the arts/music industry give some advice regarding this?

Because of uncertainties regarding the job, Iím also open to taking Psychology in Uni as Iím also very interested in it, but I donít want to to give up music. Iíve narrowed down my options to a few:
ē Study music professionally in Uni
ē Get a double degree for both Psych and Music
ē Get a Bachelorís for Psych and Music separately (so consecutive degrees)
ē Get a Bachelorís for Psych, and study music OTOT on the side (but Iím not sure if I would be disadvantaged by not taking music professionally as I would have less opportunities to know people in the industry/get professional tutoring)
ē Go to US

Iím leaning highly towards the last option, as many US universities adopt a liberal arts approach to their undergrad education where students study a variety of general knowledge in the first two years before specialising, so I get more time to explore. Also I think US is a better place to study and find jobs in Arts in general. Any feedback from people whoíve decided to major in arts or music subjects would be greatly appreciated.

Some more things about me:
ē I graduated in JC in 2017, currently in NS
ē I really love music, but only started learning it about 3+ years ago, so Iím unsure if I should study composition professionally in Uni
ē My grades are good, extracurriculars are average Iíll say (not enough music activities to put forth a solid application for music yet imo)
To do music is hard work not just in Singapore, but in taiwan, Malaysia or the US.

If you really want to do it, go ahead as this is your passion.
Are you able to take hardship? Are you able to accept that you will most probably remain a pauper, but still pursue music for the love.


How much money your parents have? Can they give you some money to tide over? Do they need you to support them?

If you can take hardship and your family doesn't need your help to support them and you love music, yes for it.

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Old 03-03-2019, 11:43 AM
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Thanks for your advice....

The issue is, my parents don't want me studying music because, like what you said, they don't think I can make money from it. They can support me for the time being, but the issue is that I might not be able to support them (and myself) when I grow older.

On the other hand, what's the point in studying an employable subject (like Medicine) if you have absolutely no interest in it either? That won't last. So the issue is managing to reconcile these two things - interest vs salary, which I am having trouble with at the moment.

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Old 03-03-2019, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
To do music is hard work not just in Singapore, but in taiwan, Malaysia or the US.

If you really want to do it, go ahead as this is your passion.
Are you able to take hardship? Are you able to accept that you will most probably remain a pauper, but still pursue music for the love.


How much money your parents have? Can they give you some money to tide over? Do they need you to support them?

If you can take hardship and your family doesn't need your help to support them and you love music, yes for it.

Thanks for your advice....

The issue is, my parents don't want me studying music because, like what you said, they don't think I can make money from it. They can support me for the time being, but the issue is that I might not be able to support them (and myself) when I grow older.

On the other hand, what's the point in studying an employable subject (like Medicine) if you have absolutely no interest in it either? That won't last. So the issue is managing to reconcile these two things - interest vs salary, which I am having trouble with at the moment.


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Old 03-03-2019, 12:25 PM
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Thanks for your advice....

The issue is, my parents don't want me studying music because, like what you said, they don't think I can make money from it. They can support me for the time being, but the issue is that I might not be able to support them (and myself) when I grow older.

On the other hand, what's the point in studying an employable subject (like Medicine) if you have absolutely no interest in it either? That won't last. So the issue is managing to reconcile these two things - interest vs salary, which I am having trouble with at the moment.
Interest vs Salary. Everyone, perhaps only the mortals would encounter this issue.

My advice is get a degree in a field that is remotely related to music and one that makes you employable.

Many aspect of music also comes from things like history, art etc.

You would probably need life experience to be able to come out with the best music composition as well.

Enjoy and experience life, look out of an opportunities to work with musicians. You definitely do not need a degree to be a musician unless you would like to teach.


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