How to pursue a career in music
The music industry is highly competitive and can be one of the most difficult to break into. Many artists believe they do not have what it takes and quickly give up. And the last two years have been especially difficult for musicians, with live events and auditions cancelled, venues closed and income from tuition and weddings drying up. Figures from the Musicians’ Union, which represents over 30,000 working artists, suggests that 47% were forced to look for work outside of music during the pandemic.
But with life slowly returning to normal, staying focused, consistent, and creative can lead towards the success point for many.
Artists do what they do out of love for their craft, whether they are sculptors, writers or musicians, but they also work for money: after all, bills must be paid. How can a musician make a reasonable living out of their craft?
Leading musical instrument insurer musicGuard has been protecting amateur and professional musicians across the UK for more than 20 years. To help encourage artists to pursue a career in music, musicGuard has pulled together some ideas on how to start earning money in the music industry while waiting for that big break.
According to Head of Marketing for musicGuard, Alex Bennett, “there are many great ways young musicians can build their passion into a career, but it is important first to identify sources of income that can help pay the bills while they are developing. By doing this it could give them the time they need to help build their confidence as they pursue their dream.”
There is a growing trend for live music at weddings. These range from solo players to bands with the full range of equipment. If a band is versatile enough to adapt to the various styles of music that people enjoy at weddings and celebrations, they could turn this into a useful level of income to support other creative ventures while honing their performing skills.
Writing songs – alone or in collaboration with fellow band members or other musicians – can make royalties for many years if the track becomes popular. It does not have to be a hit song either, to earn a bit of money. Jaunty tunes, memorable snatches of instrumental music and even advertising jingles can keep making an income for as long as they are used.
Many musicians teach others to play their instrument, either through a partnership with a school or private tuition at theirs or their student’s home. According to a survey from musician booking platform Encore, the most common instruments taught in the UK are piano, voice, guitar and violin, with the average price charged per 60-minute lesson is around £32.
“Most musicians will adopt more than one of these methods to bring in a balanced income from several different sources, while they wait for career opportunities or a big break”, adds Bennett. “We’ll support them throughout their career, and protect their instrument, and their livelihood, at home, out gigging in the UK and overseas.”
musicGuard supports artists who want to start making money in the industry.
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