Music as a career choice

You may be wondering what career options exist in the wide world of music and are these careers stable? Is it possible to earn a living from music and have a steady income? The answer is yes. It is possible to earn a sustainable living from your passion of music.

One of the biggest things to remember is that there is no guarantee. You always have to stay a step ahead of the curve and remember that holding on to a job in the music business can be just as difficult as obtaining one in the first place.

The two main areas of work that most musicians will move into in this industry are educational roles or performing roles.

An educational role might entail starting your own teaching business or joining forces with another business offering tuition in your chosen field. There are many benefits to running your own teaching business such as flexible hours, working from home (if you’re able to set up your own home teaching studio) and the joy of sharing your passion with students every single day.

If you see yourself in a more performance-based role, the most common income streams are working as a session musician or getting involved with a corporate/function band. We’d all love to step on stage and make our living with the music we write ourselves, but as we all know, the industry is a busy and tough place and not everyone’s voice gets heard. While we chase that dream, we can still play and earn our living.

A function band can be a fantastic way to earn money playing. You would be playing with some top musicians catering to mostly private hire gigs and weddings. While the pay can be excellent, this often requires some travel and a very high standard of musicianship. If someone is paying a lot of money for a performance, they expect the best.

Session work can be equally as rewarding but the session work is also a tough cookie to crack. It is often a case of who you know rather than what you know so this is where you need to test your networking skills. Get out there and meet musicians, make your name known and eventually you will get the gig.

Is a career in music a good move? Of course, it is if you want a highly rewarding career where you get to perform music every day and do what you love. It is worth it, but you better be prepared to put the work in. It is not an easy ride, but once you get the taste for it, you won’t look back.

Leigh Fuge, MGR Music