Career Choice

Who is a music producer?

Angela deFreitas CONTRIBUTOR

Music is nothing new. For eons, human beings have created and enjoyed melodies and rhythms of one sort or another, played on a myriad of instruments from different cultures and countries, creating blends of sounds, speaking directly to people’s souls as the ‘international language’. Great orchestral pieces created by great composers have spanned the centuries and live on today.

What have changed are the technologies now involved in the production of popular music and the relatively new careers evolving in this area. Music is so very much a part of the broad field of movies, entertainment and gaming that a whole new world has opened up for persons who are musically inclined and who have skills, talents and interests in this area. The earning potential from careers in music has also improved.

Much like a director in a film, selecting, composing and gathering musical ideas for a project, selecting songs or session musicians, it is the music producer’s job to make sure that in the end, the finished product is as good as it can be and suits the project.


A typical day for a music producer involves:
• Overseeing all aspects of a recording session, from planning the session to the finished product.
• Developing an overall vision for a project and how various songs may interrelate.
• Providing instruments.
• Working with and coaching musicians and artistes.
• Scheduling studio time.
• Co-writing and writing lyrics to songs.
• Listening in on recordings.
• Liaising with an artiste and what is it that he or she is looking for and being able to manifest that in a finished product to something that no one has ever heard before.
• Creating beats.
• Liaising with the recording engineer regarding the technical aspects of the recording.
• Handling/funding costs, contracts and negotiations. This job is exciting and creative and it usually involves late hours and long days. Be prepared to attend rehearsals, meeting and shows.


The two things that are most essential to becoming a great music producer are passion and a diverse skill set. Having great interpersonal skills, budgeting, time management skills, using technology, being organised and having a good listening ear will serve you well. Keyboard knowledge, songwriting, arranging and vocal coaching are also a must.


Earning potential varies based on your negotiating skills and the size of the project.


There is no standard level of education that is needed to become a music producer. Many colleges offer music production programmes, but having a natural talent, passion and a good ear for music is a bonus.


The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.

• Information provided by CHOICES Career & Education Advice. For more information, advice or guidance, email Angela deFreitas, general manager of CHOICES Career & Education Advice at You can also send us your comments and suggestions on what you want to know more about.

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