Music internship experiences are the best way to break into the music business during college. Having an internship allows students to prepare for entry-level full-time roles in the music industry after graduation.
About Music Internships
Music interns work in a variety of areas in the industry. This is beneficial because most college students can be involved in the industry regardless of their major.
An intern will typically be assigned an area to focus on. Some areas of focus are:
- Artists & repertoire (A&R)
- Graphic design
- Artist development
- Brand partnership
- Campaign Strategy
- Digital Marketing
- Music production
- Social media
- Product Management
- New music promotion
- Public relations
- Video promotion, video productions, and video creation.
Unfortunately, music internship opportunities are typically unpaid internships, but most of them offer college credit instead. Because music internships are commonly unpaid, make sure that the internship is truly what you want to be doing.
Application Advice for Music Internships
How to Find a Music Internship Job
Full Circle Music, a recording studio in Nashville, gives advice for aspiring music interns. They share their steps for finding music internships. Those steps are: do your research, apply, show up, and good luck.
Music labels search for specific qualities in interns.
Most interns will be pursuing a music-related degree or a degree that is related to the specific role applying for. For example, music labels need marketing interns and they will desire students studying marketing.
Each internship will have specific basics, such as minimum GPAs and year in school.
General qualities they look for are innovation, a passion for the music industry, a full understanding of the industry and respective departments, leadership, and exceptional communication skills.
Overall, the music business overall is more informal. Therefore, a resume can have more informal elements but still are ATS friendly.
For most music industry positions, include a cover letter, even when optional. Cover letters are where you can share in-depth about your personality and passion.
In that cover letter, be specific. Everyone has “good communications skills” and “loves listening to music.” Get specific and share stories that are applicable to only you.
Then, ask the interviewer questions. If the internship is unpaid, do not inquire about turning it into a paid position. The music industry expects interns to prove themselves in order to work their way into paid positions.
Lastly, as always, follow up!
Notable Music Internship Programs
The music industry hot spots are Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Nashville, Philadelphia, Boston, and New York City. These are cities where many recording studios are located. Music internships are more competitive in those areas but can be more common. Music internships are not limited to those locations.
Sony Music Entertainment
Sony Music Entertainment is a well-known entertainment organization that offers a popular music internship program. They offer many internships through their divisions of Sony. Some of those divisions with internships are Monument Records, Sony Music Nashville, and Provident Entertainment.
Internship opportunities at Sony include positions like radio promotion, creative services, publishing administration, media, PR, and marketing.
To be eligible for Sony Music internships, interns must be 18 years old or older, sophomore standing enrolled in accredited institutions pursuing a degree with a 2.5 GPA, and a US citizen or with a CPT visa.
A huge perk of working for Sony Music Entertainment and their divisions is that most of their internships are paid positions.
Atlantic Records has been the recording home for many legendary artists such as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, The Rolling Stones, Cher but also more recent popular artists such as Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, and Bruno Mars.
Their internship programs are located in Burbank, CA, and New York, NY. Those who apply must work for academic credit as sophomores or juniors, have one prior internship or campus working experience, enrolled in a four-year university, and are overall passionate and knowledgeable about the music industry.
They have departments in A&R, artist development & touring, licensing, marketing, publicity, sales, studio services, promotion, video, and digital media. A perk of interning with Atlantic Records is the year-round internship abilities. They run summer, fall, and spring internship programs.
Warner Music Group
Warner Music Group owns multiple record labels, including Atlantic but also includes Asylum, Big Beat, Canvasback, East West, FFRR, and more.
The Groups’ internship program is for students who have an internship or two under their belt and are looking to go in-depth in an area of the music industry.
Their internships are primarily located in New York City and Los Angeles. But, Warner Music Group has more than the traditional internship roles for college students. They also have Warner Music U Reps at college campuses nationwide. The program focuses on using campus reps to connect with college campuses while allowing students to gain experience in the music industry.