On Being a Music Print Editor

March 25, 2008  |   Uncategorized   |     |   Comments Off on On Being a Music Print Editor

Today is the 42nd anniversary of my first date with Carole—to the Junior Prom. We remember how I ate the shrimp tails at dinner after the dance. Often we relive the experience on the 25th of March. I still like to eat the shrimp tails…gives the dish texture, I think. We are celebrating by going to the movies tonight. We will see “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day”.

I received a letter from a music student this past week who wished to learn about becoming a music publisher. He asked several questions about my career at Jackman Music Corporation. Here were my answers:

What is your job title?
I am Senior Editor
What are your job roles?
I am also President of Jackman Music, so I take responsibility for everything that happens here, but my love is production. I think constantly about acquiring and producing the new music which appears in the Jackman catalog. I love engraving, layout, and marketing.
What skills and education are needed for your occupation?
I have a Bachelor of Music degree from Brigham Young University with emphasis in Music Theory and Composition. I took a detailed interests exam while I was at BYU. The result directed me to Library Science not Music—but I can see the parallels now. A print music editor is perhaps more librarian than musician.
What schools or programs train for your position?
There are many colleges which offer work in music theory and composition, but editing for print is learned on the job, from other editors. I started my career as a music engraver at Sonos® Music Resources, Incorp., and studied with the editors James A. Mason, Robert Manookin, K. Newell Dayley, and Merrill Bradshaw. Later, I learned much from Steve Kupferschmidt at Shawnee Press, Inc., Lorin F. Wheelwright at Pioneer Music Press, Inc., Thomas Winkel at Thomas House, and Darwin Wolford at Ricks College and from Publisher Larry Bastian. These are all men with much experience. It’s been an exciting life of discovery for me.
What are the avenues of employment for your job?
I would think learning all you can about print publishing, offering service to others, being willing to work in a warehouse, and a lot of prayer would help.
What organizations recruit for persons in your career?
I remember dreaming about being the editor with projects of my own when I was engraving in the early ’70s. I have since learned that editors are developed from within the company, not recruited.
How many new jobs are offered each year in your career?
I figure there are only about two dozen music print editors active in the United States (figuring Hal Leonard, Alfred, Carl Fischer, and Theodore Presser’s editorial staffs as single editors). Getting a job requires that one of these editors gives up theirs.
What do you like most about your job?
Most days I can hardly wait to get to work. I like the people I work with. I get a little creative expression…just enough. I am very satisfied with processing work. I love seeing my projects develop.
What are the challenges and frustrations in your chosen career path?
My biggest challenge is having more work than I can possibly do.
As a music lover, why should this career interest me?
Oh, you are a music lover? Do you mean you like listening to music? My job is more warehouse and shipping than music and listening.

What hobbies are useful to you in your job?
I love photography, language, marketing strategy, orchestration, and library science (collecting books, music, and recordings…and sorting and cataloging them.)
Jerry Jackman

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