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Arts & Entertainment

Building a Career

Reba McEntire

Lesson time 09:38 min

Reba offers her wisdom on what it takes to create a long-lasting career in the music business. From networking, managing your finances, to work ethic, Reba breaks down skills that have led to her success.

Reba McEntire
Teaches Country Music
Reba teaches her approach to making great country music and navigating the business in 21 video lessons.


Longevity is a very hard thing to keep in the music business, probably in any job. What I think is very important for you to do if you want longevity in the music business, stay current, up to speed with what's going on in technology, social media-- all the things that pertain to the new generation that are listening and buying music, writing music, producing music, the musicians. Stay current. Know what's going on. Who are the other artists you're in competition with? That's very important. Be up to speed with who's on the radio. Who's out there? Who's up for the awards? Who's not up for the awards? Who's really been in the business 10 years and still looking for top five, or looking for a number one? Know who's in there, who's out there. Stay current. I think if you're going to get in any business, the more educated you are about the business, the better off you'll be. Is it absolutely important for you to know, or will you not be successful if you don't know about the business? Nope. If you've got a good manager or business manager, somebody that's looking after you, then you can go do your creative part and be just fine. But if you've got a little business savvy about you and you want to know more about the music business, I think it just, I think it just sweetens the pot just a little bit. Work at a record label. Learn the business side of it. While you're waiting tables and singing at clubs or showcases, whatever you do, just immerse yourself into the business and learn all you can. Networking is important whatever business you're in, but it's really important in the music business because you've got to get out there. You never know where your break's going to be coming from. Whether it's, you know, could be at a restaurant you run into somebody. Or it could be that you're going to watch somebody at a showcase and run into somebody who knows somebody. You're performing at a charity somewhere, singing in church. Now I don't care how long you've been in the business. I still network. You know, you kinda rub elbows with people who have the ways of opening doors for you. And it's just, it's just business. Throw the bait out there, but don't throw too many lines in the water at the same time to be so obvious and be a nuisance. There's a fine line between visiting and becoming a nuisance, and everybody said, golly, I wish that person would go away now. Tired of listening about it. Just kind of bring the subject up and walk away. But you've got to get out there. You can't wait for it to come to you. You got to keep working. Creativity, having fun, making money, that's three great factors in the music business. But it is a business. When you go out on the road, you're making great money. You can either come home and go to your accountant and give him a lot of money, or you can blow it all ou...

About the Instructor

You know her songs. Her Oklahoma charm. Now learn directly from Reba in her first-ever online class. Join her as she records a never-before-heard song, creates a new acoustic version of Fancy, breaks down her hits, and delivers emotional performances on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. This is more than a music class. This is Reba's life, business, and country music MasterClass.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I was impressed that a pro like Reba still finds the emotional content of songs so important... I learned from that... Everybody likes Reba!

I've learned much from Reba. Most of all to remain humble no matter what success you achieve. Life is hard enough, be true to yourself. Be true to God, let him guide you. Nothing is impossible with him.

Fabulous! Very insightful & full of great advice! Thank you Reba :)

This was the first Masterclass I attended. Reba did a great job and chose great people to be on with her also. Super good class.


A fellow student

Great class! I’ll be watching it a few more times! I’ve just stepped out as a country singer/songwriter as Jessie Westwood with my debut single, “I Need A Cowboy Tonight “. Thought I’d try networking with y’all here. I’d love to hear what everyone else here is working on as well💕

Allen K.

I'm going to say some general things.. First of all Reba is authentic and a joy to listen to. It was dramatic how simply getting those young artists to look at the camera Reba enlivened their performance. Now I have to laugh, as a deep eye-socketed bald-headed harmonica player I've got a ton of photo's on my Facebook page with my Harmonica glued to my face... I wonder if me looking at the crowd over my harmonica might be a bit menacing (cause you can't see my expressions anyway) LOL. But none the less I have been reminded that WHEN I DO SING to increase my eye contact with the audience. Many useful things to the aspiring professional and the good-timing part-timer like myself. All I can say is I've been around long enough to know that Reba shares good advice with us and young artists would be wise to listen and take note especially about attitude and responsibility to the audience.

Rosalina L.

Great life advice here. Thick skin is needed for a life in the arts for sure.


Fabulous advice, Reba. What you have said here applies to any business. Especially, the watch your money. I was married to a famous drummer you may know, and unfortunately, his manager stole all his money, the whole band's money. Yes, watch your money.


Hopefully I'll be able to critique the critics and not take it personally. After all good and bad reviews go with the business. Like Reba says all ways give your best, that way you can move on. Also good financial advice.

A fellow student

Gary Thomas Washougal, WA You';ve go to work the music b usiness like any business that makes money. Talk to your friends ub Tz

Donna G.

I think there is a lot of good advice in this class for a career in country music and in life.


I had to bring show my daughter Reba talking about her days being shouted at, while ranching cattle on a Saturday afternoon and how it prepared her for the business. We had cattle and we both laughed... too true! Great lesson.

A fellow student

Gary Thomas Washougal WA Reba talks about the music business: one should stay current; know what's going on in the music business: like who's selling the music? What are the trends in music? My wife and I were talking about Karen Carpenter. I think she was singing a Christmas favorite on the radio. My wife said Miss Carpenter played the drums. I didn't know that. It made me love her the more. I liked that story about the director to the Reba t.v. show who said that Reba responds extremely well to direction. Reba reminded us that she worked on an 8,000 acre ranch. She learned to listen and respond well to her daddy. I liked her direction and advice about watching carefully the money earned. Reba mentioned the business manager who might invest some of the money earned. It is good to keep apprised of the investments if any.

Angela D.

Know the business... don't just react to input, consider it. Pray and ask the Lord to prepare your heart for the unknown. (Gold!)