Monday, June 15, 2009

A Career In The Music Industry

A Career in the Music Industry
Mike Zucek-Regional Sales Manager
Like many of you, I once dreamed of playing my instrument for a living, but reality set-in after I left college and realized the tremendously competitive nature of such a proposition. Fortunately, in addition to my love of music, I also had a keen interest in what we made music with; in other words, the instruments and related equipment of our art.

So one day I walked into a small band instrument repair shop and talked the two proprietors into hiring me as an apprentice repair tech. At that moment, my life’s direction changed, although I hadn’t yet realized it. I abandoned the thought of becoming a professional horn player, as well as a band director (my “backup” career choice) and embarked on a successful life-long career in the music products industry.

The experience I gained learning to repair musical instruments at that little shop led to a position with a larger company. When an opportunity opened up in the sales dept, I took it. When I had an offer from a downstate music store that would double my meager salary, I took that. The experience I gained there led to an offer from a major west coast company, Rico, which just happened to be the world’s largest maker of woodwind reeds, among other things, so I took that. After 21 great years there (and an MBA with Rico’s help) my wife and I moved back home to the Mid-west and I worked as a District Manager for Yamaha for nine years. This, in turn, led to my current position at D’Addario, when they decided to purchase…. Rico!!

So what’s the point of all this? Simply that one can have a great career in Music without playing for a living. Did I play at all? You bet! For most of my career I played in a great variety of local orchestras, opera companies, church groups and bands. Along the way “rubbing shoulders” with some pretty well known artists and continuing to enjoy the thrill of making music. And if I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

1 comment:

  1. Love the post! It's true that many people face the reality that they are not going to get their dream job. If you are passionate enough about music there are so many career paths to take that can be very satisfying.