11 Best Music Internships for High School Students

Category: Education

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7 min read

For musically gifted high school students, finding career options in the thriving music industry early on provides invaluable real world exposure. Music spans a various range of fields from being a performing artist, producer or journalist to working in recording labels, licensing firms and instrument manufacturing.

Targeted music internships allow teens to experience niche focus areas first hand while still in school. They help inform higher education choices, build professional networks and accelerate career trajectories in chosen music domains.

In this article I have listed 11 great music internship options for high school students to kickstart their music career journey.

1. Local Radio Station Internships

Radio station internships offer well-rounded exposure into broadcasting by including students in activities like…

  • Assisting on-air radio hosts with segment production and live broadcasts
  • Cataloging and archiving station’s music libraries
  • Researching and compiling daily music top charts
  • Coordinating music giveaways and contests
  • Managing station social media properties and activity
  • Supporting sales team efforts on client pitches and ad campaigns

Such experiential learning builds valuable skills in content production, social media marketing, and station operations while letting teens experience daily inner workings of a radio station.

2. Music Publishing Company Internships

Music publishing firms handle licensing compositions, registering copyrights, promoting songs through placements and managing royalties. Interns get to support various functions:

  • Analysing and pitching new artists, lyricists and composers
  • Performing market research on music consumption trends
  • Assisting legal teams in reviewing licensing contracts
  • Coordinating royalty distribution processes and reporting
  • Planning industry events, award functions and networking programming
  • Managing music catalogs and song databases

These activities impart key industry knowledge around music publishing, licensing and copyrights – integral areas for commercially successful songwriters and composers.

3. Recording Studio Internships

Recording studio internships provide hands on learning into:

  • Studio equipment operation – audio consoles, microphones, Digital Audio Workstations
  • Attending and assisting during recording sessions
  • Setting up instruments, equipment and engineer sessions
  • Acquiring knowledge of recording techniques from professional producers
  • Participating in mixing tracks and editing sessions
  • Shadowing business/operations aspects like scheduling and budgeting
  • Assisting artists with rehearsals and live performances

The experiences prove invaluable for teens interested in audio engineering, record production and studio management careers.

4. Music Festival and Venue Internships

Interning for live music events like Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits Festival or historic venues like The Grand Ole Opry, Hollywood Bowl let students deep dive into programming, logistics and operations including:

  • Supporting talent booking and scheduling process
  • Coordinating onsite vendors, concessions and sponsorships
  • Managing ticket sales and box office activities
  • Assisting guest services team with visitor inquiries
  • Participating in PR and social media engagement efforts
  • Producing on-site activation areas and experiential exhibits
  • Assisting backstage during shows in green room and production areas

These help gain expertise spanning programming, live productions, PR and artist relations – great experience for students interested in entertainment industry careers.

5. Talent Agency Internships

Top talent agencies like CAA, WME and Paradigm house internship programs focused on artist representation spanning..

  • Conducting research on musicians, bands and performers
  • Managing booking calendars, schedules and routing logistics
  • Coordinating travel, accommodations and guest lists
  • Preparing artist pitch decks and promotion materials
  • Assisting booking agents on campaign outreach and negotiations
  • Coordinating song/music licenses for ads, movies and TV placements
  • Escorting music talent to events and programming

The exposure helps grasp entertainment business nuances, deal-making and logistical competencies critical for agency roles.

6. Music Journalism Internships

Music magazines like Rolling Stone, Alternative Press and influential music blogs like Pitchfork integrate interns into their editorial operations through activities like:

  • Researching and pitching ideas for news stories and reviews
  • Conducting artist/band interviews transcribing for features
  • Attending and covering concerts, festivals for publication
  • Compiling emerging music playlists, charts and recommendations
  • Assisting with fact-checking, source verification and licensing
  • Managing music submissions and press kits
  • Helping editing and production of video documentaries

For students interested in music writing and journalism, these experiences offer training directly from premier industry outlets.

7. Music Retail and Distribution Internships

The business side of music distribution and merchandising can also be learned by interning with companies like:

  • Guitar Center – Managing gear inventory, sales assistance, giving lessons
  • CD Baby – Testing music uploads, metadata verification, royalty processing
  • Bandcamp – Reviewing artist submissions, cataloging releases, social media promotions
  • Merchbar – Tagging merchandise, supporting ecommerce order fulfillment
  • FYE – Store planning, inventory management, merchandising activities

Music retailers and digital distributors provide wide business operations exposure relevant for both creative and business oriented music learners.

8. Music Video Production Internships

Music video production houses like Hype Williams, Pretty Bird and Partizan create iconic visual content for artists. Their internships involve:

  • Brainstorming creative concepts for music videos and documentaries
  • Participating in pre-production planning and storyboarding
  • Being on set for video shoots assisting crews
  • Shadowing post-production video editing sessions
  • Supporting final delivery and media distribution
  • Helping compilation of behind the scenes footage

For visually creative students, music video production internships deliver hands-on training in creative development, videography and editing skills.

9. Music Museum and Non-profit Internships

Organizations like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Grammy Museum, and MusiCares have programs focused on music history archiving, education and philanthropy where interns support:

  • Digital preservation of music artifacts, memorabilia and recordings
  • Researching for exhibit content and music history
  • Event production and education workshops
  • Content development for websites, blogs and newsletters
  • Administrative work like gift processing and donor relations
  • Music industry outreach and awareness campaigns

These provide exposure into museum administration and nonprofit work at esteemed music institutions for community-minded students.

10. Instrument Manufacturer Internships

Prominent instrument makers like Fender, Gibson, Yamaha, Korg and more have internships focused on:

  • Product design – conceptualizing new instruments and gear
  • Production – assembling, testing instruments
  • Quality assurance – product demos, troubleshooting
  • Brand marketing – promotions, artist relations, social media
  • Sales support – product documentation, inventory, customer service

They provide hands-on experience into making world-famous music equipment and merchandising for creative and business-focused teens alike.

11. Local Music Instruction School Internships

Private music instruction schools offer student-focused internships experiences in:

  • Managing day-to-day operations – scheduling, payroll, compliance
  • Organizing music recitals, concerts and events
  • Customer relations and sales
  • Music teacher shadowing and assistance
  • Community music education outreach
  • Managing studios, inventory and equipment

These build versatile skills in music school administration, education and customer interactions.

Finding and Preparing for Music Internships

Beyond networking and cold calling, useful internship search tips include:

  • Getting involved with school music programs which often partner with industry players.
  • Attending music conferences which host internship bootcamps and recruitment tables.
  • Checking niche sites like Musicalize focused just on music internships and entry-level jobs.
  • Participating in youth development programs at Grammy Foundation, MusiCares, Musicians Without Borders.

To stand out for competitive music internships, students should highlight relevant talents, experiences and skills through..

  • Listing musical proficiencies across instruments, software and genres.
  • Detailing audio, video and photography skills for production roles.
  • Sharing previous work samples – recordings, compositions, mixes, videos and creative projects.
  • Demonstrating music theory grasp and performance achievements.
  • Showcasing existing social media following and fan engagement metrics.

Converting Internships into Future Opportunities

The music industry thrives on connections. Impressing during internships can pay dividends down the road through:

  • Obtaining strong letters of recommendation for college applications.
  • Expanding professional network and relationships leading to future job leads.
  • Gaining visibility for own talent by exposure via company’s platforms and artists.
  • Getting mentorship from veterans providing long-term career advice and guidance.

Conclusion

Music industry internships enable high school students to transform their creative passions into potential lifelong careers through invaluable real-world learning.

The hands-on experiences build professional skills, provide networking and set students on the road to success in their desired music domains whether performing, engineering, producing or business operations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What basic skills should students have before applying for music industry internships?

A: Strong written and verbal communication abilities, proficiency in creative multimedia software like ProTools, Photoshop and social media platforms along with basic administrative skills in Excel, Word and email etiquette form good foundations.

Q: How can students balance internship workload with academics?

A: Choosing programs under 15 hours weekly and scheduling condensed summer intensive internships minimize conflicts with school. Communicating challenges to internship managers helps receive guidance.

Q: Are remote and virtual music internships effective compared to in-person?

A: If structured appropriately, remote internships can impart similar hands-on training through collaborative software, video conferencing and remote access to tools.

Q: What safety practices should aspiring teen interns follow?

A: Parents should thoroughly vet organizations and accompany students if needed. Public spaces for meetings, maintaining contact information and asking mentors to copy parents on emails ensures safety.

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