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How Can I Earn Money as a Musician?

How Can I Earn Money as a Musician?

When music is your passion, you might also want to turn that into a career. However, it can be difficult for you to earn money from your music if you do not plan accordingly. You may want to consider what your current strengths are, as well as how you can improve. This can relate to the music itself, as well as any business plans and promotions you wish to put into place. In doing so, you might be able to start profiting from your instrument or vocals and get paid for doing something you love.

For many bands and solo artists, taking part in gigs within their local community can be a great way of getting your name out there. While you may not necessarily get paid for the gig itself, instead you’ll be benefitting from exposure. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t capitalize on the situation.

Many artists use these events as an opportunity to sell merchandise, such as t-shirts or CDs. To be able to do this, you may also need the means to accept payment. If you get a smart terminal here, this can allow you to take card payments from customers who wish to buy your merch. Not only can this help to cover the cost of those items in the first place, especially if you have had them printed with logos or other designs, but it may also help you turn a profit.

It isn’t just gigs that can give you exposure and an income. You might also want to think about the way your skills could make people’s personal events that much more memorable. As an example, you could consider creating a website, and social media pages, to offer your services for weddings or other celebrations. Some people like the idea of having live music at their party, rather than using the services of a DJ.

When doing this, you may need to be prepared for long days with minimal breaks. Food may also not be included, as that is down to the discretion of the hosts, so taking your own water and snacks may be useful.

Another thing you may want to consider could be imparting your knowledge to others. While you may require specific qualifications to teach in schools, this may not be the case when taking on private students. However, you may need to adjust your prices to reflect that lack of a degree. Alternatively, you might be able to use any music exam grades to showcase your ability and experience. You may also be able to gain those qualifications at a later date to further your career.

Gaining revenue as a musician may not always be easy. Rather than having fame and fortune as your goal, you may instead want to think about more manageable short-term goals that can start your journey. Increasing awareness about your talents, as well as the style of music you perform, could help to make students or clients seek out your services.


Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

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