"If you want to pursue a career in music, you need to floor the gas (full-send!). It might be scary to enter an industry that is so competitive, but if you put your mind to it and work hard, nothing can stop you. This is one of the most rewarding career paths to pursue. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there."
Hear Ivan talk about his pursuit for Music Technology at NYU, and how he pursued music at AOC!
My career roadmap has been all over the place.
I started piano lessons when I was six years old. A few years later I started learning the guitar. I played in bands with my friends for fun, and wrote music once in a while.
I started playing the trumpet in my Junior High band, playing in both the concert band and Jazz Band. I was first chair in both sections. My music teacher there inspired within me an intense love for music.
Going into high school, I wanted to be a programmer and develop various programs and games. I didn’t know much about it, but it sounded really cool. I started off on that track.
In my sophomore year, I found out about music production and started making songs for fun. Initially starting out as a hobby, it quickly turned into something more. People would start listening to my music, and I fell in love with the process of making a song.
I decided I wanted to pursue a career in music and abandoned my career path. I switched my academic plan at COC from a Computer Science AA to a Sound Arts AA. I graduated from AOC/COC in Spring of 2019.
I now go to New York University, where I am studying Music Technology in the home and birthplace of countless music genres. I am learning more about the music industry by studying the processes behind producing and engineering songs, along with the business aspect of marketing and networking.
Here are my extracurriculars relevant to this pathway
DURING MY HIGH SCHOOL CAREER
Learned music production/engineering, both self-taught and COC. Produced in FL Studio, Pro-Tools, and Logic Pro X.
Collaborations with artists allowed me to bounce off ideas with other people with similar interests.
Producing, writing, and engineering my own songs.
Working part-time at McDonald’s helped my people-skills!
DURING MY COLLEGE CAREER
Running the NYU Music Technology social media pages.
Continuing to produce, write, and engineer my own songs.
Collaborating with artists at New York University.
Sitting-in on various studio sessions.
What I'm currently doing/hope to do
I am currently pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Music Technology. I am really excited to continue learning more in the years to come. I’m planning on taking classes on production, mixing, mastering, and recording, on top of music business classes. I intend on studying abroad in Prague, where many classical recordings are made. I’ll learn sound design and recording. As I continue forward, I hope to continue making music, both solo and in collaboration with others. Through the internship program at NYU, I hope to learn directly from the industry. I plan on graduating in 2022, where I hope to open up my own studio, either in New York or in Los Angeles.
How to maximize my time in high school?
Advice #1: If you want to pursue a career in music, you need to floor the gas (full-send!). It might be scary to enter an industry that is so competitive, but if you put your mind to it and work hard, nothing can stop you. This is one of the most rewarding career paths to pursue. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
Advice #2: Always continue to pursue musical knowledge. Listen to as much music as possible, become familiar with every genre, and learn to listen critically. Engage in musical conversation and research musical concepts. Watch YouTube videos on music production and music theory. Start investing in your music knowledge and skills and you will be formidable in the industry.
Advice #3: Keep your portfolio fresh. Make sure you try your best and work to improve yourself. You’ll be able to produce your best work that way and eventually build a very impressive portfolio. Your work is a reflection of you, and as long as you put your mind to it, your work will be top-notch. Continue building on yourself and your portfolio, and eventually you can let your work speak for you.
Advice #4: In such a competitive industry, it’s very easy to lose self-confidence and stop trying. It’s important to make sure you’re not so hard on yourself if people don’t enjoy your work. Take constructive criticism, learn from it and move forward. Take a breather. Your work can only improve.
Advice #5: Take care of your ears! If you love going to concerts like me, you can easily be exposed to very loud noise. Over 100 decibels! On average, the human ear can only listen to 100 decibels of noise for about 15 minutes before you suffer permanent and irreversible hearing loss. Invest in high-fidelity earplugs that lower volume without ruining the sound, especially if you want to make this a life-long career.