Are you a musician looking for a friendly group of music lovers? Are you a budding artist manager who wants to network and advance early on? How about a writer looking for places to post your masterpieces? No matter who you are or what you do, Madison has a community to meet your music needs.
In a culturally rich area like Madison, the opportunities to discover music are endless. These are 10 tips to help you find success as a musician in Madison.
1) Join WUD Music
This university organization hosts events designed to teach artists skills that are essential in the entertainment industry. In WUD Music, you work with music lovers and musicians to book shows, discover talent, and promote and host concerts on campus.
Bonus – WUD Music hangs up free concerts around the campus and you don’t have to be a member to participate!
Noname speaks about race, social justice and music at the UW Lit FestThe University of Wisconsin welcomed the Chicago rapper and as part of Lit Fest, a weeklong celebration of the literary arts Read…
2) Experience music matters
This organization combines social activism and music to create a community of future music industry leaders. Here you can attend guest speaker events, concerts and networking events with like-minded people on campus.
Bonus – Music Matters works with other groups on campus to put on concerts, such as WUD Music & Music Matters WUDstock Event in spring!)
3) Take part in the WSUM radio crew
Would you like your voice to be heard by 40,000+ people? Well, you can do just that on the 91.7 FM ethers by a Talk show or Radio broadcast. Not so comfortable in the spotlight? Write for the WSUM student radio Blog, help with Social media and promotions or create your own Podcast Series!
Bonus – visit its convenient location on the East Campus Mall to meet the station’s mascot, Syd the Snake!
WUD Music launches series of online concertsWUD Music Director Jack Snedegar has been informed that he will be the new Head of the Music Committee of the Wisconsin Union Directorate Read…
4) PYOP (Draw your own permits)
Whether you are a member of an up-and-coming band or a solo artist with a big stage presence, the city of Madison makes it easy for you to show what you’ve got! To perform in public spaces in Madison, you’ll need to get a permit and reserve a spot downtown within a specified time window. Some popular places are Library Mall, Rotary Plaza, and Concrete Park (Frances Plaza). Check out theirs website for a list of prices, locations and times.
Bonus – the locations have sockets for amplifiers, loudspeakers and lights during your show!
5) Attend a variety of concerts
Mad-Town is known for its vibrant social scene, and music is the underlying melody that holds it all together. There are always concerts on the isthmus – you just have to know where to look. For large concerts with a ticket, visit the Sylvee, the Majestic, Orpheum, the overture, High Noon Saloon and the Cabbage center. For more intimate shows, check it out Mickey’s tavern, Bar in the north and the Wisconsin Brewing Company.
Bonus – there are FREE student concerts in the The Rathskeller, the terrace, The sett or the Play circle!
6) Join the LÜM platform
Follow local musicians or post your own material on this Madison-based online streaming and social media platform. LÜM stands for Live Undiscovered Music and focuses on building an online community of aspiring artists. According to the platform’s website, users interact with the content by sending virtual “gifts” to their favorite artists and joining creator clubs to interact with local venues and similar artists.
Bonus – to get access to exclusive behind-the-scenes content from other users, join their Creator Club!
Trumpet Shorty, Orleans Avenue brings a touch of Louisiana to MadisonTroy Andrews – better known as Trombone Shorty – and Read…
7) Get publishing, design, and marketing experience
Interested in promotion, design, marketing or journalistic writing in the entertainment industry? Participate in one of the University of Wisconsin’s many student publications! Some of these include the EMMIE magazine, Fashion magazine, the Art etc. Column in The Badger Herald, the Performing arts in the Daily Cardinal or in one of the blogs of the music clubs on campus.
bonus – You do not need any previous knowledge to join these organizations!
8) Get involved a capella group on campus
UW has many accommodating vocal groups on campus. Bad puns aside, there is a wide variety of groups, each with something different to highlight. Whether you want a competitive group, sing for fun, or learn to play a variety of musical genres, YOUR a capella has a place for you.
Bonus – You can join a variety of gender-sensitive groups!
9) Join the Music Therapy Association
At first glance it seems unlikely that music, psychology or biology have anything in common, but the Association for Music Therapy opens the door to many opportunities to combine multiple disciplines with music. Learn how music applies to other fields of study and help organize and attend music performances.
Bonus – MTA has played in hospitals, nursing homes and clinics!
10) Hit the books!
Taking a music-focused course at UW is a great way to meet other musicians and gain hands-on experience. There is a plethora of different course options tailored to different interests and performance styles. Do you want to learn music theory? Music 151 could come in handy. Interested in the big bands of the 1920-50s? Music 205 calls your name. Browse a full list of music courses here and music performance courses here.
Bonus – many music courses include a performance section if you want to continue your musical education through to college!