Jobs in the music business can be exciting, fun, and rewarding, but they’re also tough to get. When your soul cries out for song, though, a music gig might be just the thing you need to create a satisfying career or side moneymaking business. Here are 10 of the best jobs for musicians and those who love music.
1- Teach an instrument. Teaching is a common career path for music majors, and you can opt to teach formally in a classroom setting or offer private music classes or tutoring on your instrument of choice.
2- Start a wedding band. Wedding bands are always in demand, and if you can master the songs people really want to hear, then you’ll have a steady stream of wedding music gigs lined up to help pay the bills and garner you extra spending cash.
3- Composing music scores and writing lyrics. If you have a good ear and musical notation training, you can compose your own tunes and create sheet music to sell for musicians to use.
4-Creating lyrics. Many professional singers don’t write their own lyrics, and providing emotionally compelling words for their songs can be a lucrative side gig. If you can produce both the instrumental score and matching lyrics, you’ll find an even wider market.
5- Write about music. If you’re more into listening than producing music, working as a music writer or journalist can be a way to turn your hobby into a lucrative gig. There are plenty of publications out there catering to fans of all different types of music, from classic rock to chamber music, or you can start your own blog about your favorite musical genre or band.
6- Get stand-in gigs. If you don’t have the time or energy to start your own band, rent yourself out as a stand-in. Stand-ins go to work when a regular band needs an extra player for a specific gig or when a regular band member gets sick and the group needs someone to fill in for the night.
7- Transcribe music. Some musicians create music but don’t know how to transcribe it into sheet music. If you can provide this skill, you can team up with those musicians and make extra cash. You might also find gigs transcribing music from one key into another or transcribing written music for one instrument into music for another instrument. You might also try transcribing existing music into music for a less-common instrument and selling it- people who play instruments such as oboes and dulcimers are often desperate for sheet music they can play.
8- Work as a DJ. There are DJ gigs available everywhere, and you can be part of the fun. You’ll do best if you market yourself to a particular niche and make yourself the go-to DJ for that kind of music, but you can also be a generalist DJ as long as you’ve got the skills and the music collection.
9- Make music for games and movies. Local filmmakers and game designers might be willing to pay you to make music for their products- or you can strike up a deal to get a portion of the royalties once the film or game hits the market.
10- Busking. Playing on street corners is a time-honored way to earn some extra cash and garner attention that could get you a long-term gig in a bar, club or coffeehouse. Make sure you’re following local regulations- such as permitting- and put on a good show to earn those tips.