Welcome to the jungle! Indeed, the music business is highly complex and often chaotic; yet it is also experiencing a renaissance as technology continues to dictate some of its most important trends. We’ve compiled not just a list of podcasts for musicians. It’s a treasure trove of tools for you to listen to that are highly educational, accessible, and informative.
We hope you glean great insight – from the music itself, to how to drive its popularity, to where to listen and how to listen, to how the songs got created in the first place – from these podcasts and create your own musical journey that will succeed and help you thrive.
Table of Contents
The Best Podcasts for Musicians
Here they are, all equally important and – we hope – equally beneficial. They’re all great. Have a listen.
Ari Herstand’s award-winning music podcast is a reflection of the sentiments we mentioned above. He recently wrote a best-selling book, How to Make It in the Music Business, which converts those insights into sound bytes and makes them accessible in this spectacular show. Dubbed “The Poster Child of DIY Music” by Forbes, Herstand engages with the most prominent luminary minds in the music industry and pieces together a map with the best tools and tactics for making it in the music industry. Each episode features highly relevant and current content, and his brilliance at creating these maps for listeners is an excellent investment in time for anyone who chooses to listen.
Another spectacular example of a show that illuminates the way to making it in the music business, DIY Musician Podcast is hosted by Kevin Breuner and Chris Robley, two music professionals who work for highly reputable companies in the field. The podcast covers best practices in the music industry and highlights some critical innovations in music marketing, like gamification—a different take from Herstand’s but an equally valuable one.
Song Exploder brings in musicians who deconstruct their music and “tell the story of how they were made.” Host Hrishikesh Hirway encourages great musical artists to describe the impetus for the creation of their music and all the decisions, big and small, along the way, all the way through post-production. Hirway removes his side of the conversation – an egoless move in the spirit of pure musical education – and edits the interviews to be tight and compact, with stellar content.
This music podcast has featured such greats as Yo-Yo Ma, U2, Metallica, Billie Eilish, and many others. It has also been featured at such prominent festivals as SXSW (South by Southwest) and the Sundance International Film Festival and was part of a residency at the Sydney Opera House.
Calling all classical music fans! Lovers of innovation and discoveries, relishers of great performances, and curious minds will all find a rich repository of knowledge about and history of classical music on this podcast. It is hosted by an all-star cast, including:
- Andrew Appel, harpsichordist, fortepianist, chamber musician, writer, and educator
- Victoria Bond, the only female composer/conductor to have received commissions from major orchestras and held music director positions with leading ensembles
- Stephen Brown, with a rich history in theater, opera, and dance – including performances with the famed Bolshoi Ballet
- Sedgwick Clark, a music writer for Gramophone, The New York Times, and others
- Gene Gaudette, music industry producer, journalist, composer, and Renaissance man extraordinaire
- Dennis Rooney, an expert music writer with pieces for BBC under his belt
- Lewis Smoley, the owner of the world’s largest collection of classical music recordings (yes, a Guinness World Record)
They have programs on the show which look at music from all periods and places, panel discussions on classical music interpretation, and more.
A venture into new music, NPR’s All Songs Considered is a great podcast to educate yourself. Hosts and self-proclaimed nerds Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton bring on emerging artists, icons, and more. Their discussions are fruitful, humorous, and heartful, and a sense of order to the chaos of noise – but with noise. Did we get that right? You get the picture.
Music is one of those art forms that really needs to be understood to be appreciated. In this list of podcasts, we covered popular music, classical music, the music industry, and more. Our interests are in engaging listeners whose musicianship needs to be challenged so they can thrive. Whether you’re just starting, emerging, or already thriving, being informed is your most valuable asset as a musician. Our list facilitates just that.
We hope that you enjoy our recommendations for the best music podcast and thoroughly listen to engage in conversations about music and where it might go. Be part of those conversations. Knowledge is power. Stay engaged, and study the maps drawn by some of these keen observers of trends. Enjoy, and happy listening!