From Student to Performer: How to Make Money from Music


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Whether you love belting your favorite song from the top of your lungs or you prefer to stand in the back and shred on your guitar, the idea of turning a passion of music into a career is the dream of many people. And while we are all familiar with plenty of bands, whether they are one-hit wonders or lasting musical icons, making it big isn’t the only way to make money off your musical talents. Instead, with enough work and effort, you can turn your passion for music into something that also pays the bills. If you are currently a student who loves music and wondering how you can make a living off of it, here are some options you can consider.

Start A Band

The dream of most musicians is either start a solo career or a band and become popular enough to sell out stadiums across the world. And while the possibility of this happening is quite small, that shouldn’t be enough to deter you from your dreams. Instead, if you want to make money from your music, starting a band could be a great way to do it. Even if you never play in front of hundreds-of-thousands of fans, you could make some great friendships and play smaller gigs that still pay money. Playing in the band is something you love to do, it’s a great way to spend your life.

Join An Orchestra

Another option to consider for making money from music is to join an orchestra. Granted, this type of music is going to be much more different than what you might expect with a pop or rock band. However, joining an orchestra is still a great way to start your career while playing music. In some cases, the orchestra may travel, which means that you’ll go places around the world. Starting with an orchestra is also a great way to make connections in the music world, which could take you other places.

Develop An Online Following

The internet is continually changing many things about the world. For musician’s, it’s never been easier to be found and discovered, that is as long as you have an online following. Whether you have a MySpace or Facebook page, a Twitter or Instagram account, or just a YouTube channel, these are all great ways to reach out to millions of prospective people around the world. In the event that you get enough views to your pages, you’ll find that you are making money off the traffic for your site. Furthermore, getting a following online may lead you to realize that your music is incredibly popular somewhere in the world, which might mean that you have to pack your bags and go on tour!

Offer Instructions

Some musicians love what they do, but they don’t aim to play in front of large crowds. If this is the case, there is also the option to get paid to be an instructor. If you are someone who enjoys working in person with people, you can offer one-on-one tutoring or even become a teacher. If you go this route, you may find that teaching others the skills that you know is just as rewarding as playing in front of a sold out crowd at a huge stadium.

If you don’t want to tutor just a small group of people, another option is for you to head online to offer instructions. As mentioned earlier, YouTube is a great way to get traffic and exposure about your musical talents. If you are good enough, people may ask that you teach them. And if you have too many people to teach with one-on-one instruction, you could start a YouTube channel that helps them learn. The internet has made it easy for musical artists to get recognized online, as long as they are willing to put in the effort to get noticed.

Play At Weddings

Starting a wedding band is another great option for musicians. Weddings are full of great times, which you can make even better with your selection of wedding music. Whether you are a cover band, a rock and roll specialist, or even a harmonic player, there are plenty of options for wedding festivities. If you get a good reputation following your wedding band, you will then notice that you are getting more requests to play. That means you’ll have to expand your knowledge of wedding music, because you’ll likely be making more money with the events you are playing at.

Write Music

Even if you cannot sing or play an instrument, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get involved in the music industry. Instead, there are plenty of options for those who can write music well. In some cases, these people may find a job working for a large company that wants to create catchy jingles for their business. Another option is to pick up freelance work, which will allow you to work for whoever, and whenever, you want.

Life in the music industry can be incredibly entertaining if it’s what you love. Even if your dreams of being a pop superstar don’t come into fruition, don’t give up. Instead, consider these options for making money with music.

This post comes from Sarah, who is a big fan of Melbourne wedding band, Penny Lane, who themselves are a bunch of musicians who decided to play for fun and profit on the weekends. For those of you budding bass players and drummers looking to supplement your income, a weekend gig playing with a wedding band sure beats stacking shelves at the local supermarket.

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