Life as a musician is not easy by any means. Achieving some sort of stability when it comes to income is a bit of a challenge.
Music is seasonal. Gigs aren’t regular. The demand for musicians isn’t the same as, say, an accountant or an executive. A full-time musician has to take on other side hustles to compensate for months of low cash flow.
Things only got worse with the pandemic as events and public performances have been canceled or indefinitely postponed.
As a full-time musician left with no avenues to earn through music in conventional ways, you need to tap all the more into your creativity so you can get something going for you.
We have listed a few things that full-time musicians can do to make money in the midst of a pandemic.
12 Jobs for Musicians during the Pandemic
Teach music lessons online
One of the best ways musicians and artists can still do what they love to do and earn is to teach lessons online. You can teach piano, drums, guitar, violin, or voice lessons on different online platforms to those who want to learn a new talent or improve the ones they already have.
License your music
Music licensing is mostly about growing a portfolio of songs that can earn musicians some passive income with every use of their material. If you want to earn more through licensing, you need to up your production output and write great songs that will captivate people to use your tracks for whatever they intend.
Stream live performances on Twitch
Just because events and shows have been canceled doesn’t mean you should stop performing. You can take your performances on a virtual platform and stream it via Twitch.
Offer your services as a virtual studio musician
If you’ve ever wanted to record professionally, now’s your chance. Because of recording democratization, anyone can be a studio musician in the comfort of their own home. Of course, you will still have to have exceptional skills to land recording gigs. That’s a non-negotiable.
Be a musician on Patreon
Patreon is another avenue where musicians can earn. It is a platform where creators who regularly publish content can receive funding from their fans and followers either regularly or per project.
Creating and selling online courses
This is different from teaching online because with this one, you are the one who’s developing the teaching material. To do this, you must have extensive knowledge and background with the topic and must have a mastery of the subject. On the flip side, if you’re really good at breaking down complex concepts and making it easily digestible for beginners and kids, you’ve also got a future here.
Sell hip hop beats online
If you’re more into hip hop, rap, R&B, and urban music, then this is right up your alley. You can produce loops and tracks that hip hop artists can rap and sing to.
Create sample packs, patches, and midis and sell them online
Similarly, if you want to widen your reach, you can sell patches and midis. There is a lot of free software and apps that allow you to create your own tracks. Just make sure you come up with your own original stuff and not use copyrighted material.
Other Ways Musicians can Earn at this Time
Use your other creative outlets and freelance them
If you’re the multi-faceted, multi-talented type, you can probably focus on your other talents for the time being. Get commissioned to do portraits and drawings. Create a sculpture and sell it online. Edit videos or music. Explore your other artistic talents.
Offer your services
If your only talent is music, you’re still okay. You can offer your services to people. Do their errands for them or shop for the elderly in your neighborhood. You can make yourself available to house sit or walk dogs. Manage a business’ social media accounts. Write for a digital marketing company. Surely you can find something that you can do to earn a few extra bucks.
Make money off your interests and hobbies
One of the best side gigs anyone can ever have is to monetize their hobbies and interests. Do you have a green thumb? There’s a pretty good market for plants now. Do you like toys and collectibles? Perhaps you can flip them for a slight profit. Are you fond of tinkering with cars? You can offer your services to take care of people’s vehicles. The possibilities are endless.
Sell stuff online
Another easy way to earn on the side while staying home is to sell stuff online. Perhaps it’s the stuff that you want to get rid of. Or maybe you can formally start a small online shop where you have a supplier and you become the distributor of certain products.
Life is extra-challenging now because we live in extraordinary times under extraordinary circumstances. But that shouldn’t prevent you from thinking up ways to survive and provide for your own needs using your art. All it takes is a little creativity and that is never in short supply when you’re in a creative industry such as music.