Career Ideas for Young Musicians

Article by: Carley Varley & Philip Garcia
VQS Advice Blog | Cover Image by Sai De Silva

Learn how to keep the dream alive and embrace your journey.

It took me a long time to gain confidence in myself, not only to sing in front of people but also to have confidence in my abilities as a musician. I remember when I was in my early teens, I sang along to CD’s and I never thought I’d be able to learn an instrument.

When I was at school I began learning guitar and sure enough, after time I could do it. Having experience is a valuable place to learn from and today I’m going to share this experience with you all. Here are the top 5 things I wish I knew when I was starting out in music.

1. Transforming Comparison to Confidence!

You have your own voice, your own sound, and you will discover it.

Why do we constantly compare ourselves to others? I used to get so envious of people who were doing well in their careers and it made me want to give up! It’s easy to “want the world” in our fingertips.

We can win by shifting our focus back to our journey and doing the work we were called to do!

I’ve been told I have an amazing singing voice, but if I compare myself to someone like Ariana Grande, I would maybe feel as though my own voice wouldn’t make the cut. I may not be able to hit high notes like her, but does that matter?

Remember, our journey is a precious gift, there are beautiful roads ahead.

129: Mental Health for Creative People VQS Studio Podcast

2. How Can You Keep the Fire Alive?

Appreciate your natural gifts.

Appreciate your life, express your art to the world, and have fun!

Don’t sweat the small stuff. When I was younger, I was incredibly hard on myself. If I couldn’t learn something instantly, I would get frustrated with myself. The crazy thing was I was still so young and still learning.

Take time to appreciate your natural gifts and live in the moment. Spend time with your family and people who support and believe in you. Sometimes, time is the only answer and you just can’t force it on yourself.

Life as an artist can be truly rewarding when we are patient. Some times the motivation and creative ideas will come when you are away from your art.

3. How Long is the Journey?

Expressing yourself fully, is one of the most powerful ways to experience your journey, no matter how long it takes you.

When we understand and believe that we can achieve anything, we can remove the roadblock in our path and dream big again. When I was fourteen, I remember thinking that eighteen was so old! Now I’m twenty-five and I think eighteen is so young!!! Age is just a number. Now I’m a full time musician with my own business gigging across England!

4. Creating with Real Purpose

I often get asked, ‘why do you do music?’ I think most people expect me to answer, ‘for the money!’ But of course, that isn’t why.

I have always chased music because I loved it. Ever since the days of listening to CDs in my room, I have always loved music. Although when I first began gigging, I lost this passion a little bit. I was getting caught up in what other people thought of me and if I was doing well. I was so focused on the number of likes on posts, music streams and views that I forgot why I was releasing music.

You are only a starving artist if you are hungering for materialistic things. If you are always hungry to share your passion and make a difference, you will be a thriving artist.

By spreading your positive messages to others, you will be the most successful artist you can be.

If I could tell my younger self to focus on my love for art and music then I would! People always say that to be an artist will be a difficult and challenging life, but hunger for passion and love is more important than a hunger for power and success.

5. Goals are Awesome, BUT there’s more..

I still have to tell myself this tip now to be honest! When I was younger, I always set goals for myself in the form of:

  • Checklists
  • To-do lists
  • Even bullet-pointed five-year plans

Some would say this is great and very organized (and it is) but there’s more to it. If life takes you on a different path, embrace the change with open arms and adapt. The ultimate goal should be to remain positive, be there for others, and use your talents for the greater good. Enjoy every moment of your life for the gift that it really is.


I hope these tips helped you today and made you reflect. Music can at times be a stressful industry to be in, but more importantly, it is also creative and fun. It can be easy to get wrapped up in the releases, new music, and social media, but your passion is what matters and your enjoyment of music is your greatest achievement.

How will you use these tools to reinvent yourself and move forward? We’d love to hear from you.

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