Wonderful, Wacky, Wild Jobs

W is for… Wedding Singer!

If you’ve ever seen The Wedding Singer, you’ve probably wondered “Do people really do that for a living?”

The answer is yes!

Wedding singers are musicians. Sometimes they work solo, but more frequently they work with bands, and may also play an instrument of their own.

My mother used to be an organist and wedding singer for people who were married in a traditional Catholic church ceremony. She played the organ and sang songs chosen by the couple, at various points in the church service, to help them make their special day unique.

Granted, this was back in the 1980s and 1990s, so these songs may seem dated, but I remember her practicing these wedding standards in our living room with happy couples:

Along with, of course, Mendelssohn’s Wedding March, “Here Comes the Bride,” and Pachelbel’s Canon.

Normally wedding singers entertain a post-church crowd at wedding receptions (which are like after-parties). As Rachel Anne Warren says in her piece for The Billfold:

“If you request a list of all sad, sappy songs that pull on your heartstrings like lepers, we’ll probably encourage you to let us steer the ship straight into the party zone. The party zone is, of course, that other-worldly place where you forget you own a cellular phone because faces are melting, booties are shaking, and souls are burning with the flames of life.”

Being a wedding singer these days is all about keeping the party rolling, encouraging audience participation, and singing crowd favorites. Depending on the style of music that the married couple prefers, wedding singers will belt out popular tunes of today (or yesteryear), and do their best to keep everybody dancing, clapping, and singing along.

If leading a perpetual party sounds like your kind of job, then maybe becoming a wedding singer is the job for you!

Further Reading

Related Films

More Wonderful Jobs That Start With W

  • Watch Repair(wo)man
  • Water Quality Tester
  • Weather(wo)man – aka Meteorologist
  • Weaver
  • Wedding Consultant
  • Wedding Singer
  • Welder
  • Wildlife Agent
  • Woodworker
  • Wrecking Supervisor
  • Writer

Want to learn about even more cool jobs?

Pre-order the book, World’s Coolest Jobs, a collection of all the coolest jobs you never knew existed. On sale September 1, 2017.

Melodic, Multitalented and Magnificent Jobs

M is for… Musician!

Musicians are the people that entertain you in song. But how exactly does one become a musician?

Špilliga (photo credit: Tom Mrazek)

There are many different ways to become a successful musician these days. While most people envision the rock stars that travel the world, there are also many other kinds of musicians that aren’t necessarily touring musicians. Indeed, even the musicians that tour aren’t necessarily rock stars. They may be local performers, backup musicians, or indie performers going on self-scheduled tours.

In addition to traveling musicians, there are also studio musicians who only perform on recordings, as well as symphony musicians who perform with symphonic bands or orchestras.

Musicians may perform as buskers in parks or subways, in festivals (local or national), or in bars, nightclubs or cafés.

Violin in the park (photo credit: Tom Driggers)

Musicians are everywhere!

Musicians may also be music teachers. You might find them in schools, or teaching private lessons in their homes.

Musicians may also be composers, who create their own music to perform. Some may perform other people’s music, as in cover bands.

There are many ways that musicians can make a living these days. Indie artists may become successful simply by selling CDs straight to their fans.

An Interview with a Musician

Here’s an interview with musician and music teacher Amanda Fillio, to give you some idea about the day-to-day life of the non-rock star musician.

Why did you become a musician?

Playing is fun and challenging. I like that whenever I’m working, I’m bettering myself and meeting new people or creating cool things with my students or friends.

How long have you been a professional musician, and how did you get started?

I’ve been a professional for about 16 years. My teachers in high school began recommending me for various gigs or events, and that’s how I became a professional.

Could you describe a typical work day?

Monday through Friday I teach in a public school. I teach small group lessons for flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone and percussion. I also do concert band rehearsals for various grades. After school I have a weekly rehearsal that lasts about two hours once a week, and we perform all over western Massachusetts throughout the year. This time of year is particularly busy, as I also play for several musical productions. That means rehearsing about four hours a night, and then anywhere from two to five performances over a weekend.

In the summer I play at various churches and in musical productions, which means my days don’t have to start until noon (if there’s a matinee) or 5 PM for evening performances. I love teaching, but could definitely get by on just that type of performing if I had to.

What do you like most about your job?

Every day is a little different. I’m never bored!

What do you like least about your job?

Sometimes I miss out on things with my family or friends because I have a performance. They understand, but I wish I had time for everything without conflicts.

What personal qualities are most valuable for this kind of work?

Time management. You have to break up your day for practice and motivate yourself.

Any advice for students looking to become musicians?

There are so many options! Try to learn all aspects of it so you can be versatile. Know how the sound equipment works, figure out how to put together simple recordings, speak up if it doesn’t feel right. Above all, manners matter. Nobody wants to work with a jerk.

Further Reading

Related Films

Other Mellifluous Jobs That Start With M

  • Magician
  • Magistrate
  • Mail Carrier
  • Make-Up Artist
  • Manicurist
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Media Specialist
  • Merchandiser
  • Microbiologist
  • Mime
  • Model
  • Motorcycle Racer
  • Museum Attendant
  • Mycologist

Want to learn about even more cool jobs?

Pre-order the book, World’s Coolest Jobs, a collection of all the coolest jobs you never knew existed. On sale September 1, 2017.