Home Musician


by Staff Reporter
If you have musical talent, passion and a drive to persevere as well as believe in yourself then a career as a Musician could be for you.

Career Overview

The life of a professional or aspiring Musician can be a lot of fun, rewarding and it also can come with its due competition. If you’re looking to become a full time Musician, you’ll be creating or writing your own music, or music for other artists, performing in various different spaces and networking. You’ll also be specifically interested in really refining your particular set of skills.

Required School Subjects

You will need to have adequate achievement in the following subjects:

  • English Language (any other languages will be helpful too)
  • Pure Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy
  • Music

Recommended subjects:

  • Art
  • History

Institution and APS

The following institutions are highly recommended for studies in Music:

  • University of Witwatersrand (Wits) – APS of 34 +
  • Rhodes University – APS of 40
  • University of Cape Town (UCT) – Faculty Point Score (FPS) of 380+
  • University of Pretoria (UP) – APS of 30
  • Nelson Mandela University (NMU) – APS of 30

Required Qualification/s

Getting your degree in Music is not a formal requirement for becoming a Musician in South Africa, however, it definitely will set you apart to have one, or an intensive history in music.  The above institutions offer a formal qualification in Music.

Required Skills

You will need to have the following skills to succeed as a Musician:

  • good interpersonal skills and an ability to connect and network with others
  • confidence in your skills, talent and ability
  • motivation, perseverance when the going gets tough
  • punctuality and reliability are necessities
  • good communication skills
  • self-discipline
  • creativity and flexibility

Where you can work

  • Orchestras
  • In a band
  • Universities and music colleges
  • Theatres and music shows – usually based on auditions

As a Musician, you may decide to work with a band of other Musicians and earn money and network through doing gigs at various coffee shops, restaurants or other unique places that allow for live Music.

Working Hours

Your working hours will very much depend on where you choose to work. Musicians spend about 70% of their time practicing and rehearsing and then the other 30% in shows, on stages or in the limelight.  Rehearsals depend on how big the shows are.  Professional Musicians can land up rehearsing, practicing or creating music for about 8 hours per day!

Expected Salary

The average pay for a Musician in South Africa is R182 763 per year, with an average hourly rate of R375 per hour.  Depending on how in demand your music is, if you are writing and creating your own, you can earn a lot more!

What to expect

Here are a few things you can expect from a career as a Musician:

  • Whether you want to perform in an orchestra, in the theatre, in a band or in a choir, you will need dedicated time for rehearsals, practice and honing in on your skill
  • Competition
  • Criticism
  • Working well with other creatives and aspiring musicians and artists
  • Taking a lot of time to rehearse, practice and refine your musical skills
  • Performing, practicing and rehearsing according to a conductor or music director’s schedule
  • Auditions are totally necessary and can be daunting, as a musician, you need to get yourself out there and connect with the right people
  • Travelling may be on the cards for you, as a Musician, you may well go on tours with groups or even on your own.

Related Articles

Recommended Courses

Similar Careers