Musicians' Handbook – Rhinegold Publishing

Musicians' Handbook


The essential guide for professional and aspiring musicians


The Musicians' Handbook is the essential guide for all musicians considering, or just embarking upon, a career in music performance. The book is packed full of advice from those already working in the industry, and offers tips for singers, instrumentalists, composers and conductors. 

In a time when being a musician means doing much more than just performing, this book will help you prepare for a portfolio career. Articles include advice on marketing yourself, managing your finances, ensuring you are following copyright laws, running your ensemble like a business, succeeding in auditions, finding the right teacher, and even taking up teaching yourself, plus a wealth of other tips and advice.  

Most subject areas are also followed by invaluable and up-to-date contact details for companies or events that you will need in your daily work, including music publishers, short courses, instrument retailers, music answering services, specialist accountants, music associations, and much more.

ISBN: 978-1-907447-53-2




Foreword by Sir Nicholas Kenyon


"This excellent handbook will guide you around the training you need, the options you have and the choices you have to make, in an increasingly complex world, to succeed in the profession. It may not give you talent! But it will help you use the talent you have as productively and imaginatively as possible. It will leave you prepared to tackle a challenging and rewarding career, which is of ultimate value to us all."  


Advice for all

Getting started

    • Organisations and societies – which you should join and why 
    • Finding work 
    • Tips for having lessons later on in your career 

Finance and logistics

    • Managing your accounts – getting paid on time, negotiating fees/contracts, VAT 
    • Guide to music copyright 
    • Insuring your instruments 


    • Rehearsal studios – finding suitable venues 
    • Tips on getting a record deal 
    • Creating your own label – why and how 
    • Running your career as a business

Promoting yourself – the basics 

    • Making your own website for the beginner 
    • Forming and running your own ensemble as a successful business 
    • Competitions – the benefits of entering

Tips for singers

  • Finding an agent 
  • Getting choral work/depping work 
  • Preparing for auditions (vocal) 
  • The challenges of becoming an opera singer and how to get started

Tips for instrumentalists

  • How to succeed at an orchestral audition 
  • Negotiating an orchestral trial 
  • How to survive an orchestral tour/touring abroad 

Conductors and composers

  • Making it as a composer – how to promote yourself and your work 
  • Starting out as a conductor – how to promote yourself and your work 

Diversification: the new means of survival

  • Other jobs for musicians 
  • The trials and benefits of teaching private students 
  • Working in the West End – how to get the work and what it's like