Written as an assignment from my work (link to be provided once it is published), the following blog post is meant to serve as some guiding advice for aspiring musicians looking to get started in the music business. The words below reflect the principles I've learned from my experiences in music so far.
"Takin' Care of Business"
The following lyrics are an excerpt from “Takin' Care of Business” by Bachman–Turner Overdrive:
Every single person can be a musician! To be an amateur at an instrument, all you need to get started is an instrument to practice on and some lessons. Once you get the mechanics down, plus a music-learning method of choice (by ear or by reading), it is your freedom to play anything you like!
Making music is extremely fun and rewarding each mentally, emotionally, and physically!
However, if you want to take it the next step, making money through your music skills is a little harder. Not only you would prefer a music career; in fact, mostly everybody else would as well.
The problem is that there isn't enough money to go around if every person is an entertainer. Orchestras, bands, and every performance group maintains a limited capacity, making it incredibly competitive to earn a spot in one. It’s especially hard to make a living wage doing it because salaried music jobs are rare and other options require a great amount of critical thinking and professional skills.
Don't give up! If you're willing to break out of your comfort zone and put in countless, unpaid hours of work, the following options may be helpful starting points!
Making money through art requires being exceptionally skilled at a craft,
maintaining a positive and professional outlook, and thinking outside the box.
Education: Gain the Skills You Need
Imagine what your dream job looks like and work backwards to construct a plan.
Learn how to master your craft and gain the skills needed to be a pro at what you love doing.
Gigs and Making Connections
If you are known and well-liked by your community, and if you are highly skilled at your instrument, you are more likely to be recommended by others and requested for gigs. Being a good person is always important in life, and especially for a field in which we are often preceded by our reputation!
Maintain a positive reputation as both a skilled player and as a genuinely good person.
Remember that you should seek to emulate through your own teaching
whatever qualities you would look for in your own teacher!
Whatever You Do!
Once you are confident in who you are and what you have to offer, make yourself known! A positive reputation will spread further as you meet new people, advertise, take on more work, and become a recognized professional in your area. The longer you pursue your career, the more knowledge, skills, and experience you will gain to keep going!
Whatever you do, do it with love, passion, dedication, and kindness.
Never give up!