freelance musician

Is a Freelance Music Career Right for You?

Is a Freelance Music Career Right for You?

In music school, we learn about performance style and theory, analysis and history. We study and read and listen and write. We soak up rich musical experiences and learn to dedicate ourselves to practicing our instrument and refining our musical skill set.

And if we're lucky, we learn about music careers and the business side of things: arts leadership and advocacy and community engagement, taxes and finances and grant-writing, websites and social media and marketing yourself: the extra-musical skills needed to make it in the 21st century music world.

Will you graduate and land one of the coveted symphony jobs? Will you join the ranks of academia and start down the tenure track?

Some of you may. Some of you did.

But what if you want to do a few different things? What if you want to teach and have a podcast? What if you want to perform in a professional chamber music ensemble and run a YouTube channel?

Jumpstart Your Music Career with These Helpful Tips

Jumpstart Your Music Career with These Helpful Tips

The beginning of a new career is an exciting time, full of energy, motivation, and possibility.

Maybe you’re taking that first step from music student to music professional, newly-printed diploma in hand (or in the mail - sometimes these things take a while).

Or maybe you’ve been working for a few years and are ready to make a change and set off in a new direction.

Maybe you’re in between things: trying to figure out what you want to do and what kind of musician you want to become, or maybe you’re beginning a second career later in life.

Wherever you are today, and wherever you hope to be in the next few months, here are 5 helpful tips for getting started:

How We Structure Our Freelance Work Retreat (+ a Free Workbook!)

How We Structure Our Freelance Work Retreat (+ a Free Workbook!)

Every spring, my husband Steve and I set aside a few days for a work retreat.

We’re both music freelancers, so this is a time for us to take a step back from our businesses, reflect on the successes and challenges of the past year, evaluate what’s going well and what could be improved, and do some creative planning for the year ahead.

Often, we try to tie this in with a short getaway (because by March or April, we usually have a pretty bad case of cabin fever). In the past, we’ve found affordable rentals on Airbnb (a business expense!) within an hour’s drive and bring our dog Rory, our laptops, a few books, and food and snacks for a few days. 

How to Stay Connected As a Music Professional

How to Stay Connected As a Music Professional

The years I spent in music school were some of the most challenging, rewarding, and inspiring years of my career so far.

My technique was in the best shape it's ever been, I knew all the rules of augmented sixth chords (I need to brush up on these!), and I felt very connected to the music world and my network of music peers.

In the months following graduation, I realized the crucial need to stay connected to music as I developed my professional career as a church musician, teacher, and arts administrator.

In music school, we're automatically connected; outside of school, we have to work at it. But, the rewards are great.

By staying connected, you'll continue developing your musicianship throughout your career, have access to more opportunities, grow and change with society, and be better prepared to meet the demands of the 21st century music world. 

Here are a few ways to stay connected - to music, music-making, and the music world, in general - as a music professional: