Meri’s Musical Musings

Multiple streams of income in music

Posted on: September 25, 2012

Many musicians and music teachers I know have only one, or at most, two streams of income from music. Many earn most of their income from teaching private lessons, and the rest earn most of their musical income from performing. However, I would like to show some other ways to have extra streams of musical income.

  • Teaching small group lessons, especially if you are mainly teaching lower income students or to give potential private students a taste of what they would learn before dishing out the full lesson fee.
  • Earning income from developing products you’ve created for your own use or may have given to students. I have about 1/2 a dozen products that will soon be going into full market development.
  • Earning income from composing music, such as through commissions from chamber ensembles, bands, and orchestras; film and TV commissions may work too, especially for independent productions.
  • Earning income from publishing arrangements and compositions, especially if you have arrangements that no-one else in the world has created or published; for me, this is my almost 2 dozen mixed woodwind ensemble arrangements I’ve created the past few years mainly for a small music camp that I am a camp leader at. There is also a growing market for cool or beautiful pieces for elementary level students of piano and orchestral instruments, especially wind instruments.
  • Employee or volunteer at a music camp. Even in volunteering for a music camp, you may get at least 2 or 3 students from it, especially if you are a major part of the camp and everyone seems to know who you are.
  • Writing articles for professional music journals
  • Adjudicator for music festivals
  • Examiner for the various boards around the world.
  • Running an ensemble with a modest or moderate membership fee

This article may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, in any way, shape, or form without permission from the author and agreed-upon amount of payment for its use.


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  • V V: Wish I had read this before I fell for their scheme ! Oh well - have posted my experience on Yelp and N49 and hoping others can avoid the pain of fal
  • clariniano: Thanks for the additional information. It was actually Yelp that deleted my reviews, because of so-called bias. I too have seen the horrible technique
  • No Thanks: Former Teacher at the Ontario Conservatory of Music I took lessons at the Ontario Conservatory and when I left for private lessons from another tea
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