How to pursue Music as a full-time career

How to Pursue Music as a Full-Time Career


Being in a creative field, taking the plunge to be a full-time musician is involved with a lot of risks. It is exciting as well as extremely terrifying to take the job as a full-time musician. Playing gigs in bars at night and on the weekend is well and good, but if you’re really serious about being a musician, you will have to take the plunge sometime. Most likely, your decision to do it full-time is going to be a calculated gamble.

If you’re a student, there are a lot of Universities where you can go to study music as well. Some of the top Universities to study music are the Royal College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of music and many more. Traditional conservatories such as Juilliard still rank high in the overall picture, even in a world in which many big-name composers and musicians make an impact without any formal training at all. However, these schools provide a musical training that may catapult your career to success!

Here is the list of Universities from where you can study music from:

  1. Berklee College of Music
  2. Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre
  3. Robert Schumann Music College
  4. Russian Gnessins Academy of Music
  5. New York University


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There are a lot of factors you need to think about, being pursuing music as a full-time career. Here are some of them:

1) Are you already a moderately successful musician?

Do you know what kind of earning potential you have as a musician? How much are you earning in a month by playing gigs here and there? Calculate if it’s enough to sustain your day-to-day spendings. Don’t make a hasty decision here. Quitting your full-time job may not be the best idea right now and that is fine.

Try doing more paying gigs on the weekends and work harder. This might mean stop going out with friends, spending less time with your family and even sleeping less. All these things are essential to push you out of your comfort zone. You will eventually have to build up a good collection of paying gigs, before being able to quit your full-time job.


2) How bad do you want it and what are you willing to give up for it?

Pursuing a music career might mean socialising less and utilising that time to work on your music. It may also mean going out less and spending more time at home in order to save money. It’s these small steps, that eventually help you in taking the plunge later on.

The music business is tough. If you’re not willing to work really hard and believing in yourself, then this industry may not be for you. Making it here means having discipline, patience and giving it time.


3) Do you have a financial cushion?

Just like any other creative field, there may not be a steady income at first. Especially, if you’re just starting out. If you find a certain earning lag, make sure you have someone to depend on. Or at least have some money saved for that time. If you don’t have a certain cushion, then you will be left with frantically trying to look for a job that can help you with some money. This is not really a healthy way to pursue a career. And it may even leave you with lesser time to pursue your music!



4) Do you have multiple income streams?

In order to sustain yourself, multiple income streams are important. Just playing gigs in one bar isn’t enough. There are many things you can do to create multiple income streams: Play original songs, play cover songs, run a music studio out of the home, volunteer in concerts as a roadie etc. There are many jobs that you can do in the music industry itself. Figure those out and get ready to work hard. Who knows, you may even get some contacts in the industry that may help you as an artist.


5) Does your town support musicians?

Not every town has great opportunities for musicians. The rate of gigs may vary and venue options are important as well. If you keep playing in the same old neighbourhood bar to the same crowd, it will be tough to get noticed! Of course, touring is an option. But that will require money. You need to be at a place where there are music establishments to keep the ball rolling. Or else, think about relocating to a town which offers such opportunities.


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Nikita is one of the main authors at EDUopinions, specialised in Higher Education and focused on business studies analysis. She is a digital nomad who works while travelling.

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