Guest Post by Elena Stewart
The Sound of (Socially Distanced) Music
The late and legendary Dick Clark said that “Music is the soundtrack of your life.” Yet for all their import, the musicians we encounter in our daily lives — the ones who add ambiance to our dinners, accompaniment to our chorus, and patient tutelage to our school bands — typically fit the descriptor of “struggling artist.” According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many musicians need at least one other job to pay the bills. Because of the personal nature of the craft, it’s not difficult to imagine how an era of long-term social distancing could bring tremendous financial pressures and hardship to musicians. With some perseverance and creativity, you — the musician — can still find ways to spread your harmonies and keep some money rolling in. Done correctly, it could even build up your post-pandemic careers.
Zoom, zoom in the room, room
Those musicians who offer instrumental, voice, or other music-based instruction can take their own lessons from other educators who’ve had to navigate video conferencing instruction. It may start out awkwardly, but as time goes on, both teachers and students will become more comfortable with the technological format — and it offers the opportunity to still generate income, even with home confinement. The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) recommends incorporating some non-performance-based assignments into lessons, such as songwriting. Students at all stages of their musical instruction can craft a poem or verse that music tutors can then help them craft into musical lyrics. If you have a knack for DJing, a lesson or two on that can invoke some fun and energy into your tutoring.
Social media live streams
Take a page from the book of rich and famous musicians and do live stream performances on social media platforms. It may not guarantee revenue generation, but you can request donations and include a donation link. Many fans appreciate and understand how hard musicians work. They empathize, knowing you are now losing live-performance opportunities during the forced social isolation period. As you build a following, you are more likely to receive donations. Just as importantly for your post-pandemic career, however, you are also building your brand. More people will become aware of you as your performances are shared. You will be remembered for being a presence during a time of hardship for many. You may even capture the attention of a key person in the music industry.
A related business
What better time to start a home-based business than when you have time on your hands and are confined to your home? Try writing jingles for commercials — companies are still advertising in broadcast and social media. If you have recordings of your performances, check out the mixing and streaming options offered at Raw Technique Studios.
Setting up a business as a sole proprietor is easy, inexpensive, and offers tax rates that are typically the most beneficial to musicians — namely, that your business losses are deductions on your personal tax return. You also control 100 percent of the business. A business formation company can help walk you through the process, showing you how to obtain your tax identification number and registering your business name for you.
Self-isolation can create self-doubt. Financial worry compounds that. Since you’re stuck at home anyway, take advantage of the situation and do something constructive with your musical career and earn money in the process. What you do may be what propels you even further when we break the chains of pandemic confinement. Don’t let it stop creating the soundtrack of your life.
Want to take your music career to the next level? Raw Technique Studios uses video calls to coach budding musicians. Book a session today.
Guest Post written by Elena Stewart https://www.elenastewart.com
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