5 Entrepreneurial Professions for Musicians

Being a musician can be a rewarding experience: playing live shows, being creative and writing music, and doing what you love to do.

However, these rewards, at least at first, come with one major drawback: you won’t be paid much at all when you’re just starting out.

Many musicians find that a day job can help enormously with paying the bills, buying extra gear, and otherwise supplementing their lifestyle.

But, what if you don’t want just any job?

Keep reading to discover five professions that will coincide with your passion.

Become a Writer

You’re the creative type, right?

Well, you can turn you songwriting skills into a job. Since you’re already interested in music, becoming a freelance writer on the music scene could be an excellent opportunity for you to thrive.

You could write for a music magazine, newspaper, or blog (and even start your own blog).

This transition will be smooth for you because you can easily write about instruments, gear, live gigs, and album reviews (all things you already know a ton about!).

Freelancing also will allow you the freedom to set your own schedule, which gives you the time to make music and perform.

Teach Music

Since you already have extensive knowledge of music, why not teach others to do what you love to do?

Many musicians compliment their music careers by teaching music lessons to people who also want to learn the craft. (Click here to read how Nathan Cole, First Associate Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, does it.)

Music lessons can be an excellent source of income for a musician—but only if you go about it correctly.

Great music lessons require strong instructional and organizational skills. I also suggest you make a lesson plan for your students so they understand the curriculum, know what’s expected of them, and can see what they’re going to learn when they are finished with the course.

If you find yourself growing fond of showing others the love of music and you want to take it farther, you could eventually consider becoming a music professor at a university.

Try Your Hand in Sales

Your love of music could be an everyday affair at a music store. New albums, musicians, and even making recommendations for novices are all part of the job.

If you choose to work at a store that sells and fixes instruments, you’ll get to talk about these things as well as the latest gear and instruments. Additionally, immersing yourself in these musical realms will help you out in your own music as well.

If you’ve got the drive, you could even start your own small business buying and selling instruments.

Fair warning:

Starting a business involves a considerable amount of risk—and red tape. Be ready to clarify your business structure, choose a name, navigate licenses and permits (for brick-and-mortar businesses), and understand state and local taxes.

Although starting a business is tough work, you might find that it’s worth it to be able to make money doing what you love.

Become a Sound Technician

Whether you’ve played gigs or just enjoy going to a live show, you know how important it is to have a good sound technician.

A great sound tech can elevate your music on stage, but it’s hard work. You’ll need sound engineer skills to break into this profession, and you’re not likely to be hired just because you have a good ear.

That’s because a sound technician doesn’t just regulate the volume of your music in a venue. They have to take into account how the whole ensemble (if you’re part of an ensemble) sounds together, handle feedback issues, know the ins and outs of all the equipment, and much more.

Depending on your schedule, a job as a sound tech might allow you to write music during the day.

Promote Shows & Events

As a musician, chances are you know other musicians, both locally and around the globe.

Your knowledge in this department could be valuable as a promoter.

This is a good choice for you if you have a keen sense for knowing which performers or brands would make for a must-see event and if you’re a strong networker.

To get people to come to the show, you must know how to reach a wide audience and inspire them to show up to the event.

If you continuously get large audiences to attend your events, you can earn a significant stream of revenue.

Promoters don’t typically work regular hours, so this profession could accommodate your musical lifestyle—and it allows you to tap into your natural entrepreneurial spirit. Win-win!

What do you think?

What type of music-related day jobs would you like to try?

No matter what you choose, seeking entrepreneurial job opportunities is a perfect way to have your cake and eat it too.

You’ll be able to continue making music, while also making your own hours and maintaining a sustainable source of income.

Brooke Faulkner is a writer and mom in the Pacific Northwest. Her passion for music is only matched by her love for the outdoors, and she loves when she can combine the two. You can find more of her articles on Twitter, @faulknercreek

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