Music Industry Mistreatment Of Interns Is Closely Related To Exploitation Of Musicians

By Lueda Alia The issue of internships has become a hot topic in the music industry lately, and I, for one, welcome the debate. Normally, I try to not take any “political” stance when it comes to issues in the industry, as there are often pros and cons to everything; furthermore, I try to not alienate people with whom I have a professional relationship, since we are all entitled to our own opinions… which can often differ tremendously. With that being said, I do not want to shy away from the issue of internships, as my extensive experience as an intern in the music industry has made it an issue extremely close to my heart. It is my belief that interns, along with musicians, are seriously undervalued and exploited by the overly aggressive and competitive mindset that has come to dominate certain pockets of the industry. For me to say internships are all “good” or all “bad” would be an overly simplistic and grossly inaccurate statement — for they are neither. The internship experience depends heavily on its execution, and if the internships come with something other than just the promise of “invaluable experience” and “perks that come with the job” that companies so masterfully use to their advantage, then I strongly believe they are the best way for anyone to get started in an industry. But that’s a “Duh! Obviously!” statement and common sense, right? Unfortunately, this is not always how internships work, despite the fact that their contributions often play a large role in the day to day operations of the company that they are a part of. Many intern positions, especially in the music industry, have no “trial period” or an “end date,” and they exploit vulnerable young interns whose passion and innocence drive them to volunteer vast amounts of their time and talent indefinitely. While it is ultimately up to the intern to decide when to call it “quits,” many are instilled with the false belief that if they just keep working hard, they will eventually be rewarded. “So you’re saying many in the music industry are self-serving assholes? Not really earth-shattering news, but students should understand they can create their own opportunities to learn the industry. Today, internships are more about the networking opportunities, and even those opportunities hardly justify the time, energy and money expended by most students.” Read the full article here:

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