Are you ready for the spotlight? If your goal is to become a recording artist, a stage performer, or any sort of professional musician, you have your work cut out for you. After all, the music industry is saturated and full of hopeful dreamers. Passion, determination, and talent go a long way in helping you to achieve your aspirations, but sometimes even those ingredients just aren’t enough. A music mentor can be that extra boost you need to break through and turn your hobby into a career.
The Benefits of a Music Mentor
The main reason why a mentor/mentee relationship is so helpful is because you get to learn from another person’s real-life experiences. An ideal mentor has spent years in the music industry and has probably made plenty of mistakes along the way, as well as a few good decisions too. Your mentor can use those experiences to guide you on your musical journey.
A music mentor also helps you become a better musician by identifying skills and weaknesses that may not be noticeable to you or those with untrained ears. Whether it’s how you write songs, your technical abilities, your equipment, or your performance style, an experienced musician can really hone in on those little details that can make or break you as a musician.
Music mentors often have experience promoting and marketing music, and they can also guide you in developing your image. After all, as a musician, you want to develop your own unique aesthetic, from your album artwork to your stage clothing. It’s also common for music mentors to have connections in the industry, which can be helpful when it comes to booking gigs and studio time or connecting with record labels.
Finally, a music mentor motivates you to keep going. The music industry and rejections go hand-in-hand, and sometimes you may feel like giving up. That’s completely normal, but it’s still a difficult feeling to overcome on your own. Your mentor pushes you to continue moving forward, even when things are tough.
How to Find a Music Mentor
The best way to find a musician to mentor you is to connect with your local music scene. Learn about local musicians and bands, and go see local and national music artists live whenever possible. Follow your favorites on social media platforms, and interact with other fans on those pages. Go to music conferences, workshops, and other events and talk to people — let them know you’re on the hunt for a mentor. Spend time learning about the music industry so you can make an informed decision — online music blogs are a great place to start.
If you find someone who you think is an ideal fit, reach out to them. Try to talk to them at a concert, or send an email or social media private message. Show them your music, and explain exactly what you’re hoping to achieve and how you think they can help. Be polite, respectful, and friendly. Don’t feel bad if the musician isn’t responsive or rejects you, as not everyone is ready or has the time for a mentor/mentee relationship.
Your Role as Mentee
Once you find someone willing to mentor you, it’s important that you do your part to keep the relationship working. If the mentor isn’t paid for their time, you’re relying on their kindness. Be aware of the value of their time, and do your best to accommodate them whenever possible. Always be respectful, and keep an open mind. If you’re not willing to be taught, your mentor isn’t going to be willing to teach. If the mentor tells you to rehearse something and have it ready for the next meeting, do it. Work hard, be pleasant, and remain teachable, and you may find that your mentor can help you achieve new heights in your music career.