Of course change being the only constant, the music industry has changed into a new landscape of opportunity for independent music. Independent artists can now use the internet to share and sell their music, making them an enterprise in themselves. And being enterprising, it may be worth considering how your musical skills could generate more income for you. There are many transferable skills you are not even aware you have and you could be paid for.
Make a Living With Your Musical Skills
There are many opportunities working as a creative facilitator working in mainstream primary and secondary schools and in schools with children with special needs. This may entail writing a song or learn to play an instrument and often leads to a performance or recording. This work is really interesting if you enjoy working with kids and young people and find it rewarding to watch them learn, express their voice and be creative. Other creative facilitator or community musician projects can be working in other contexts such as prisons, community centres and in theatres.
Being a musician you may also be able to teach others one to one how to learn and instrument. This can generate considerable income and you can advertise locally in shops and online for free to find new pupils. Again it helps to be patient, remember what is was like to learn your instrument/craft and be able to break down the steps of development into manageable tasks for your students. You may use a computer to make music, and passing on how to use music software can be much in demand.
You could advertise your musical skills as a session musician – playing music for different musicians and producers in recording studios or for live shows. This can also be a lucrative hourly rate. Contact local recording studios and rehearsal rooms and tell them of your enthusiasm and ability. Be sure to be reliable and friendly and you may get called in on a regular basis – I know of studios who always call on the same drummer and string quartet because they like working with them and they get the job done well.
You may have been recording your music for years to an acceptable standard to sell your independent music at gigs or concerts. You could then offer to be a recording engineer for other musicians you know – especially if you have the equipment and a recording space already set up. This could easily become a nice form of income if word of mouth recommendations come your way. You can also do take an intensive audio engineering course to make sure your skills as a recording engineer are up to a professional standard. If you enjoy engineering it opens you up to so many more musical styles and approaches so you can be expanding as a musician too.
Collaborating can also be rewarding and fruitful financially. You can advertise for and find other musicians to collaborate with, and their complementary skills or style may make music that is more likely to sell as independent music or mean that you may get paid for performing live. I know vocalist friends who work in cover bands that do very well on the wedding and functions circuit. Again it is all practice and you may just get to play and/or sing your favourite music. You could also consider building a portfolio of making music for dance, theatre and film.
So if you are a skilled musician or one of the more independent artists making creative music, you could find other avenues of income to allow you to be making music and learning about music part of your career.
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