With a lot of people being unemployed due to a declining job market, it is important to look towards alternative sources of income to keep a roof over your head. Music reviewer jobs are still unexplored and can be the best way for you to get back on your feet. These roles are not just about earning extra money; they’re about connecting with your passion for music and sharing your insights from the comfort of your home.

Black a dark blue test that says how to become a music reviewer from home and a girl with pink headphones on smiling.

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Becoming a music reviewer could be your next move if you love diving into new tunes and have a knack for critique. It’s a flexible, unique opportunity to get back on your feet, providing financial stability and a chance to engage with music on a deeper level. If you’re looking for your next break, here is how to become a music reviewer from home:

What is a Music Reviewer?

A music reviewer is someone who offers their opinion on music. The person’s opinion can be given directly to the music producer or independent music publications. A music reviewer can be asked to provide their opinion on a single track of an album, the entire album, or the artist itself. You must be ready to form biased-free views that resonate with the audience and help the producers.

Job Description of a Music Reviewer

A girl taking notes in a journal.

If you’re looking to become a music reviewer, an ideal candidate must have a job description that fits this role. If you don’t, you could always improve your skills to fit the job description of a music reviewer better. Here are some points you must mention in your CV or resume to be a successful candidate so you can attract attention from independent publishers and music producers globally:

Writing Skills

What is the use of having a good opinion if you don’t know how to form it into words? A music reviewer must have good writing skills to explain better what they’re trying to say in their review. They must know how to captivate the audience into reading the entire review and forming their own opinions based on the points you’ve stated in your review, whether good or bad.

Musical Knowledge

Similarly, what is the use of good writing skills if you need a good musical knowledge? You may be able to write fluff or stories in your review, but your audience will not believe a word you’re saying. They will quickly learn that you need to become more knowledgeable in this field and will not become a credible music reviewer. This is why you must do your research on the music earlier.

Listening Skills

One thing most people overlook immediately when writing a music review is whether they have the listening skills to do so. The last thing you would want is to misinterpret the song’s lyrics in your review. Not getting the lyrics right immediately gives the audience the impression that you could not understand the song. They will no longer trust your reviews, and you will fail in your career before it even starts.

Salary Expectations

Although most people avoid mentioning salary expectations in their job description, it must be mentioned to save yourself from a low-paying job. By mentioning your salary expectations, the producer or publisher will know whether they can meet your demands or whether you would have to look for a music reviewer job elsewhere. 

Salary of a Music Reviewer

While on the topic of salaries, we must have an entire section dedicated to just this issue. You see, music reviewing can be both a full-time job and something you do part-time. As a result, your salaries may vary depending on the hours you put in. On average, a music reviewer can make about $52,600 per year. However, the range can be between $10,000 to $221,000.

How to Be a Music Reviewer

A grey laptop in a music studio to become a music reviewer.

So now you know the salary expectations of a music reviewer. You also know what needs to be in your job description. If you still think this is the right field for you, here are some steps you need to follow to get the best opportunities that also pay the highest rates:

Develop a Musical Background

Music producers and publishers love hiring a reviewer with a musical background. This can be anything from being born into a musical family to once being auditioned for American’s Got Talent. If you don’t have a musical background, this is the right time to develop one. You can take short courses to learn some instruments or intern for music companies.

Acquire Writing Skills

Only some people who become music reviewers will have great writing skills. But this is something that you can acquire easily through practice. You must write some unpaid music reviews for perhaps your friends or family. By constantly writing reviews over and over again, you will quickly develop your writing skills. This can help you become a great music reviewer over time and possibly write for big music websites.

Formal Musical Education

While this isn’t necessary, having a formal musical education like a bachelor of music degree can be great. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should’ve gone to school for music. You could’ve also attended school to become a journalist or media presenter. Music journalists write about music for the media. The point is that producers and publishers need to know that you studied in a field similar to what you want to do right now or in the long run. 

Attend Musical Events

One of the most fun parts of being a music reviewer is you have an excuse to attend musical events to later review, like concerts and other small-time shows. While most of these attendances will be out of your own pocket at first, you may soon find your tickets paid for by producers or publishers if they truly want your review of a concert or other musical event. 

Built Your Writing Portfolio

If you’re going to apply for the role of a music reviewer, you need to show the hiring team that you know what you’re doing. You can do this by showing them your writing portfolio. Suppose you have yet to write quality reviews in a professional setting like news stories. In that case, you can build your freelance work portfolio by writing music reviews on your own in your free time. This will be unpaid but is helpful in the long run.

Network in the Industry

The music industry is all about who you know, with favoritism playing a big part in getting ahead. But that’s just how it works, and there’s a smart way to navigate it—networking. Getting to know music industry professionals and people working in related fields can open doors for you that might otherwise stay closed.

Whether it’s someone in a publishing house, a seasoned album reviewer, or even marketing teams looking for fresh perspectives on music selection, these connections can be invaluable. They can offer insights and advice and even set you up with an interview as a music reviewer. So, don’t shy away from reaching out and building relationships; it’s a powerful step toward landing that dream job in the music review world.

Pitch to Publications

Once you’ve finally got a publication to take you seriously, the next step is for you to convince them to hire you. You can do this by pitching them your ideas and skills to give them a better idea of your capabilities. You can show them your portfolio and what benefits they may have by hiring you. You will build a firm name in the industry by feeding them promises you can keep.

Seek Feedback from Peers

There is no better way to become a great music reviewer than by seeking feedback from your peers. After writing a couple of reviews, you can forward these reviews to your peers who are also music reviewers. These peers will further review your review and give you feedback about your strong areas and where you can improve to become better at your work. 

Optimizing Your Job Search for Music Reviews 

 Finding the right music review job is all about smart searching. Start by choosing your ‘currently selected search type’ to match what you’re after—be it freelance, part-time, or full-time gigs. Then, dive into the ‘list of search options’ to fine-tune your hunt.

You can sort jobs by location, the type of company, and the specific skills or experience needed. Keep an eye on your ‘current selection’ to focus on options that fit your goals and passions. This approach helps you quickly zero in on jobs right up your alley, increasing your chances of snagging a role that aligns with your career goals. Also, signing up for a job alert is great, as most take you to the job link.

How to Write a Music Review

A guy's hands typing on a laptop for how to write a music review.

Now that you know how to become a music reviewer, let’s dive into how exactly you need to write a music review. This can be helpful when you’re building your portfolio to present to publishers and producers. The first thing to keep in mind is to avoid using a first-person POV. It needs to look like an unbiased third-party opinion. You also need to use colorful adjectives and descriptive terms to make the review sound more appealing and realistic. Here are some examples, “freshness of sound, absence of musical clichés, use of sonorous pedal-points, and splashes of percussive color.”

Audience for a Music Reviewer

When writing a review, you need to know who your audience will be to cater best to their opinions. You must understand that only some will be fans of the music you are reviewing. There may be people who are expecting you to write a bad review. The way to deal with this situation is to form your own opinion regardless of what the public thinks of the music piece. 

Music Reviewer Vs. Music Critic

You may come across some music critics when looking for jobs as a music reviewer. While you may think this is the same, they have differences. While a music reviewer gives their overall opinion on the piece, a critic will go in-depth and analyze every single aspect of it. As a beginner, it is best to start as a reviewer and someday move up to becoming a critic. 

Benefits of Being a Music Reviewer

There are several benefits of being a music reviewer. If your publisher or producer likes your work, they may give you free invites to a live show so you can review them later. You may even build strong connections in the music industry if you want to start your music career later on. Finally, nothing is more satisfying than getting paid to give opinions.

Drawbacks of Being a Music Reviewer

While being a music reviewer can be fulfilling, you must look out for some drawbacks. Firstly, different publishers pay different rates, so you can’t enter this field expecting you’ll make a ton of money. Furthermore, you may face backlash from thousands of fans if you give a negative review of their favorite artist. This may also impact your mental health.

Online Music Reviewer Jobs 

A person in front of their laptop filling out an application for online music reviewer jobs.

We’ve finally made it to the part of the article that you’ve been waiting the most for. Finding music reviewer jobs is a strategic step toward landing your first gig. Websites like Pitchfork and Rolling Stone often have a ‘Careers’ section listing job openings.

To apply, you’ll typically submit your application through an online form or directly via an email address provided for job applications. Make sure your application includes a cover letter, your CV, and links to your music reviews, showcasing your skills and passion for music.

Here are some online sites where you can get music reviewer jobs from the comfort of your own home:

Pitchfork

If you’re applying to music reviewer jobs online, you absolutely can’t miss applying to Pitchfork. This is one of the most popular music review websites worldwide. Pitchfork was launched in 1996 and covers various genres of music. It also hosts several of its own music festivals, including the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago and the Pitchfork Midwinter Festival in Copenhagen. 

Rolling Stone

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there is no way you haven’t heard about Rolling Stone magazine. As one of the most iconic magazines in the world, Rolling Stone became a leading voice in the music industry. They cover all genres of music through their reviews and interviews. They’ve also won several awards, including the Grammy Awards and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Consequence of Sound

Although a relatively new music review site, The Consequence of Sound quickly took the niche by storm after its founding in 2007. This is the place to go if you’re looking for unbiased reviews of any genre. The Consequence of Sound also hosts several music festivals in the United States, including the Lollapalooza Music Festival in Chicago and the Okeechobee Music Festival in Florida.

The Guardian

Most people have read an article or two in The Guardian at least once in their life. They don’t know that this popular newspaper is best known for covering music news and reviews. The Guardian was established in 1821 and hosted many music festivals, including the Latitude Festival and the Reading and Leeds Festivals. They are the go-to site for all things media and pop culture. 

All Music

If you’re a fan of reviewing classical music, All Music is the place to go. All music was founded in 1991, and while it covers a wide range of genres, it mainly focuses on classic albums. AllMusic also features several artist biographies and discographies. As one of the largest music review sites in the world, a review published in All Music will significantly help boost your music career. 

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Final Verdict

There is no doubt that becoming a music reviewer can be a great job for music enthusiasts and a great source of income for anyone with a musical background and great writing skills. This is a field where you literally get paid for voicing your opinions. As long as you follow the tips we’ve provided in this article, we have no doubt that you’ll become an established and successful music reviewer from home. 

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