Music Resume—Examples and 25+ Writing Tips

Okay maestro, so you know a half-step from a harmony and you’d give Jennifer Higdon a run for her treble staff. Now make it sharp with this professional music resume sample.

Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Music Resume—Examples and 25+ Writing Tips

The music resume sample below is Alice Farnham-level.

 

But consider this—

 

A musician resume doesn’t have to be a magnum opus.

 

It just needs the right notes from your past repertoire.

 

Set a rhythm between accomplishments and skills, and you’ll come off sounding like a young Bob Dylan or Lera Auerbach.

 

We’ll show you what that looks like. Then we’ll show you how.

 

In this guide:

  • A music resume template better than most.
  • How to write a music resume that fanfares your career.
  • How to list performances and work history in a resume for music jobs..
  • Why you can’t just list music skills (and what to do instead).

 

What does a perfect resume for a music look like? See below—

 

Save hours of work and get a resume like this. Pick a template, fill it in. Quick and easy.

Choose from 18 resume templates and download your resume in minutes.

 

music resume templates

 

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Music Resume Template You Can Copy and Use

 

Lexi Montes

Viola Player

 

Personal Info

 

Phone: 407-546-7973

Email: leximontes@gmail.com

leximontes.bandcamp.com

LinkedIn.com/in/leximontes

 

Summary

 

Talented violist seeking a position with the The Florida Orchestra. Studied under Daniel Sweaney and Victoria Chiang at the University of Florida. Recipient of the John Canarina Music Fellowship and received the Frances Millikan Reitz Music Award. Versed in orchestra and chamber music.

 

Experience

 

Orchestra Experience

University of Florida

2015–2019

  • Orchestra, Viola
  • Concert Band, Viola
  • Chosen by conductor to mentor 2 violists

 

Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras

2011–2015

  • Orchestra, Viola
  • String Ensemble, Viola

 

Musical Theater and Opera

University of Florida

2015–2019

  • Les Pêcheurs de Perles—Pit Orchestra, Viola
  • Don Giovanni—Pit Orchestra, Viola

 

Chamber Experience

Florida Chamber Music Project

2015–2019

  • String Quartet, Viola
  • String Ensemble, Viola

 

Summary of Works

 

2018–2019 

  • Karelia Overture—J. Sibelius
  • Symphony No. 5—D. Shostakovich
  • Concerto for Orchestra—B. Bartok

 

2017–2018 

  • Julius Caesar, Overture, Op. 128—R. Schumann
  • "Amitié Sainte"—G. Bizet
  • "Arrêtez! Arrêtez!"—G. Bizet

 

2016–2017 

  • Symphony No. 8—J. Bruckner
  • Overture to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg—R. Wagner
  • Concierto de Aranjuez—J. Rodrigo

 

Awards

 

  • Irwin Hoffman Music Scholarship
  • John Canarina Music Fellowship

 

Education

 

Bachelor of Music, University of Florida

2015–2019 

  • Viola concentration
  • Excelled in performance
  • President, Frances Millikan Reitz Student Group

 

Teachers 

 

  • Daniel Sweaney
  • Victoria Chiang

 

Music Skills: orchestra, chamber, pit orchestra, opera, musical theater

 

Soft Skills: interpersonal skills, communication, collaboration, strong work ethic

 

Are you trying to write a music resume for college applications, or for after college? See these guides:

 

If you’re a music teacher, these guides can help:

 

Here’s how to write a music resume that works like Ariane Matiakh:

 

1. Pick the Best Music Resume Format

 

Lucky you:

 

The wrong resume formatting seems discordant.

 

But get it right, and your resume for music jobs will play like Du bist die Ruh.

 

Use these tips:

 

Music Resume Format

 

  • Set one-inch margins and use copious white space.
  • Choose a resume font like 11–14pt Didot or Garamond.
  • Write resume sections for Heading, Summary, Education, and Skills.
  • Depending on your career, add Experience, Performances, or Works.
  • Your resume length can be 1–4 pages, depending on accomplishments.
  • Send a PDF resume file so it won’t turn to cacophony in transit.

Expert Hint: There are only 42,000 full-time musicians in the United States. You’ve chosen a career as hard to get into as the NBA. Don’t play the wrong notes by skimping on your music resume formatting.

2. Write a Music Resume Objective or Summary

 

The fear is real.

 

In the music world, attention spans are short. Catch them fast or they’ll change the station.

 

So—

 

Write a career objective or career summary that rocks like John Coltrane.

 

Include:

 

  1. An adjective (accomplished, passionate)
  2. The same music job title the position advertises
  3. Years of experience (1+, 7+)
  4. Your goal (seeking a position with the The Florida Orchestra)
  5. Best musical resume achievements(received the Frances Millikan Music Award...)

 

Want to write yours fast? Then write it at the end.

 

See these music resume examples:

 

Music Resume Summary—Example

Good Example
Talented violist seeking a position with the The Florida Orchestra. Studied under Daniel Sweaney and Victoria Chiang at the University of Florida. Recipient of the John Canarina Music Fellowship and received the Frances Millikan Reitz Music Award. Versed in orchestra and chamber music.
Bad Example
Enthusiastic violist, skilled in giving performances in orchestra music, chamber music, pit orchestra music, and musical theater productions. A highly talented player and versatile orchestra member with a wide repertoire of works. Hard worker and team player.

Careful:

 

The second of those music industry resume samples isn’t exactly Achy Breaky Heart. But the details in the first are Charles-Mingus-level.

 

Now—what if your music experience is still in the Chopsticks phase?

 

See this entry-level music resume for college example:

 

Entry-Level Music Resume Objective

Good Example
Passionate viola player with strong work ethic. Seeking to grow into a working professional at the University of Florida. Played orchestra and string ensemble positions for four years in the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra. Excels in musical theater.
Bad Example
Hard-working student and viola player, skilled in string ensemble and orchestra performances, as well as musical theater. A good collaborator and leader who is self-motivated and talented. Has perfect pitch.

Hmm...

 

The second of those entry-level music resume for college examples doesn’t have perfect pitch. It makes lots of noise, but lacks detail.

Expert Hint: A study in The journal of Neuroscience found that professional musicians who practice more show actual changes in their brain-structures. You can’t submit a brain scan with your resume for music jobs. But you can disclose the number of hours you’ve practiced in a year or lifetime.

3. What Comes Next in a Music Resume?

 

What do music job hiring managers care most about?

 

Should your resume for music focus on your works? Performances?

 

What about your compositions? Work experience?

 

Don’t break your fretboard.

 

Here’s the answer:

 

Each job is different. A music education resume needs work experience, while a performance resume must show performances.

 

See these music resume examples:

 

Music Performance Resume Examples

Good Example

Experience

 

Orchestra Experience

University of Florida

2015–2019

  • Orchestra, Viola
  • Concert Band, Viola
  • Chosen by conductor to mentor 2 violists

 

Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras

2011–2015

  • Orchestra, Viola
  • String Ensemble, Viola

 

Musical Theater and Opera

University of Florida

2015–2019

  • Les Pêcheurs de Perles—Pit Orchestra, Viola
  • Don Giovanni—Pit Orchestra, Viola

Should you show all your performances on a music performance resume?

 

Nope. Like the music resume example above, choose the few this job cares about.

 

Now—

 

What about works?

 

See these resume for music jobs samples:

 

Listing Works on a Music Performance Resume

 

Summary of Works

 

2018–2019 

  • Karelia Overture—J. Sibelius
  • Symphony No. 5—D. Shostakovich
  • Concerto for Orchestra—B. Bartok

 

2017–2018 

  • Julius Caesar, Overture, Op. 128—R. Schumann
  • "Amitié Sainte"—G. Bizet
  • "Arrêtez! Arrêtez!"—G. Bizet

 

2016–2017 

  • Symphony No. 8—J. Bruckner
  • Overture to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg—R. Wagner
  • Concierto de Aranjuez—J. Rodrigo

 

Got it?

 

List the year, the name of the piece, and the composer’s first initial and last name.

 

But don’t stop there.

 

If you studied under an impressive teacher, show that like this music resume example does:

 

Show Your Teachers in a Music Resume

 

Teachers 

 

  • Daniel Sweaney
  • Victoria Chiang

 

Are you a composer? This musical resume example is your Stradivarius:

 

Music Composer Resume Example

 

Original Compositions

 

  • Deep Within a Hound’s-Tooth Mood, Large Head Records, 2018
  • Gliding and Complaining, Big Desert Funk Productions, 2017
  • Whither Squirrels, Ortega Sound, 2015

 

What about resume work experience in music-related jobs like audio engineer or music teacher? How do you show that on a music resume?

 

That’s next.

 

4. Show Experience & Skills in a Music Resume

 

What music skills go best on resumes?

 

See this list:

 

Music Skills for Resumes

 

Performance Skills

Soft Skills

Symphony

Interpersonal Skills

Pit Orchestra

Collaboration

Chamber Music

Leadership

Concertos

Communication

Opera

Creativity

Quartets

Physical Stamina

Ensembles

Work Ethic

Instrument-Specifc Skills

Active Learning

Band

Adaptability

Orchestra

Positive Attitude

 

Technical Skills

Music Teaching Skills

Audio Recording Software

Classroom Management

Acoustics

Instruction

Track Mixing

Technique

Electronics

Assessment

Pro Tools

Music Theory

Digital Audio

Training

Acid Pro 7

Music History

Pitch, Timing, Rhythm

Testing

Live Audio

Grading

Recording Studio Equipment

Career Guidance

 

But wait a beat.

 

Music jobs are like compositions. Each has its own needs.

 

Ignore that, and you might as well play Mendelssohn on the kazoo.

 

Custom-fit your resume for music positions. Do it by finding the right resume skills and resume keywords in the job ad.

 

Do it like these music resume examples:

 

Let’s say you’re applying for a teaching job that needs skills in classroom management, live performance, fundraising, and cost-cutting.

 

This musician resume sample has symphonic form:

 

Teaching Experience Music Resume Example

 

Albert N. Frappier High School

Music Teacher

2016–2019

  • Managed classrooms of 25+ music students.
  • Selected, researched, taught, and performed 5 live orchestra performances.
  • Managed fundraising for over $20,000 per year for the music program.
  • Three of my students were accepted to the Juilliard School in New York.
  • Cut costs 12% by reusing books and materials.

 

Are you a sound engineer or other professional? See the next of our music industry resume samples. The job it’s targeting wants sills in mixing live audio and packing.

 

Work Experience Musical Resume Example

 

Crunchy Soundz Productions

Audio Engineer

2016–2019

  • Head audio engineer for in-demand roadhouse band.
  • Mix live audio with 10+ instruments and mics for crowds of 150+ every Friday and Saturday night.
  • In charge of all packing, unpacking, and setup. Cut transportation costs 10% through better planning and use of space relations.
  • Sound mixing skills written up positively in PlayOut blog.

 

But—

 

Is your music career just in its opening bars?

 

Don’t worry. An entry-level resume can have get a standing O. Just add your best achievements.

 

See these entry-level music resume for college examples:

 

They’re for a job that wants classroom management, grading, and live performance.

 

Entry-Level Music Resume Job Description [Sample]

Good Example

Teacher’s Assistant

Quirion Davis High School

2016–2019

  • Assisted with classroom management in classes of 30+ students, where 5% were at-risk teens with behavioral issues.
  • Performed all grading for 3 teachers and 60+ students, including tests, quizzes, papers, and homework assignments.
  • Facilitated management of live performance of The Music Man, including organization and training of 20-member pit orchestra.
Bad Example

Teacher’s Assistant

Quirion Davis High School

2016–2019

  • Assisted with lesson plan creation and teaching in large high school.
  • Researched and sourced classroom materials and equipment.
  • Tasked with handling teacher-parent meetings.
  • Responsible for creating and managing homework assignments.

The second of those music resume samples sounds boxy. It lacks shimmer. The first has the music skills they’re looking for!

Expert Hint: A study in the journal Music Perception shows jazz musicians improvise through a system of generating possibilities within the genre and arbitrary choice. The deeper your education and experience accomplishments, the more hiring managers will trust you’ll keep working through the changes.

5. Create the Perfect Music Resume Education Section

 

Showtime.

 

Your resume for music jobs needs a resume education section.

 

But don’t settle for listing your music degree and school.

 

To get up to Leonard Cohen level, add a few skills.

 

Let’s say you’re applying to a music job that wants a performance violist with leadership skills.

 

This music industry resume sample stands out:

 

Music Resume Example—Education

Good Example

Education

Bachelor of Music, University of Florida

2015–2019 

  • Viola concentration
  • Excelled in performance
  • President, Frances Millikan Reitz Student Group

5. Harmonize Your Music Resume with Added Sections

 

You’re almost to the coda.

 

But let’s make your music resume as memorable as Für Elise.

 

How?

 

By adding a few talent clues that don’t fit in your education section.

 

Try adding one of these:

  • Certifications
  • Awards
  • Scholarships
  • Fellowships
  • Classes
  • Volunteer work
  • Freelancing
  • Publications
  • Classes
  • Foreign languages
  • Media mentions
  • Additional activities
  • Hobbies
  • Fitness

 

See these music resume examples:

 

Music Resume—Other Sections

Good Example

Awards

 

  • Irwin Hoffman Music Scholarship
  • John Canarina Music Fellowship

 

Additional Activities

 

  • Article on fingering published in Home Studio Corner.
  • Volunteer viola player, Fayetteville Presbytarian Church.
Bad Example

Additional Activities

 

  • Swimming
  • Fly fishing

That first music industry resume sample has the right tonality. The details give it scale.

Expert Hint: Write a cover letter for your resume for music jobs. To make it perform like Sally Beamish, put your soul into why the job matters to you.

Key Points

 

Here’s how to write a music resume:

  • Begin with our music resume template. Add musical accomplishments from your school and work experience.
  • List music skills like orchestra experience or track mixing. But show Unsuk Chin moments in your bullet points.
  • Write a music resume objective with a medley of your best attributes.
  • Add resume sections like certifications or additional activities to show you’re molto vivace.

 

Got questions on how to write good resumes for music jobs? Not sure how to put musician on a resume? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply!

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Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Career Writer at ResumeLab
Tom Gerencer (CPRW) is a Certified Professional Resume Writer, career advice writer and a resume expert at ResumeLab. Tom has been featured on BBC News, NBC, The Economist, Business Insider, Fast Company, and dozens of other outlets. His insights, commentary, and articles reach over a million readers every month. With inside knowledge of key industry players and in-depth research, Tom helps job seekers with advice across all professions and career stages. Tom holds a degree in English from Colby College.

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