IS MUSIC A GOOD CAREER CHOICE FOR ME/MY CHILD?
Should my child become a professional musician? This is the question I get most often from conscientious dads/moms who want to make sure their child chooses a field that will enable them to have stable income and employment.
My answer: No.
Here are the reasons:
1. If you are looking for economic stability in your chosen field, music is probably one of the worst fields to choose.
No explanation necessary, this is the very reason why people ask this question.
2. When something you love becomes your profession you will have to do a number of tasks that do not relate to your passion.
A successful music career involves spending a large part of your day on non-musical tasks. For example:
curating social media content
updating your website
booking performances/ scheduling with musicians
researching venues, music blogs, music services,
promoting your performances
and the list goes on and on and on
Popular advice right now is to spend 50% of your work time on music and the other 50% on the business side of your career.
Question if you would be better served by keeping music as a hobby where you can focus on only the parts of it that you like.
3. Revenue streams are drying up:
How many CD’s have bought lately? How much music in general have you and your friends purchased lately? When I was growing up, every spare cent was allocated towards the newest cassette or CD purchase at Tower Records, Coconuts, or Sam Goody (none of which exist anymore - hint,hint)
4. It’s very difficult to become established as a solo artist:
The sheer amount of individuals and groups putting out original music now makes it very difficult to cut through all of the noise and to get heard in order to build an audience. A vast majority of people who attempt to make a career of their own music do not succeed. It’s hard to find accurate statistics, but surveys like the following suggest that over 90% of artists are “undiscovered.”
Here are the reasons to go into music:
1. Perhaps your stability job isn’t that stable after all:
Every day there are new stories in the news about other fields that will be destabilized by technology - truck drivers, lawyers, cab drivers, food service workers, retailers, have already felt the changes. You may end up choosing a job for security only to realize there is no security to be found - now you have the worst of both worlds.
2. New revenue streams are being created:
Sites like Patreon, Indiegogo, Kickstarter, Pledgemusic, and more are allowing music to connect with fans directly for support.
You can make passive income for years with songs that are streaming on platforms like: spotify, tidal, apple music, and pandora.
3. If the idea of reading this and making a pragmatic decision about whether to go into music or not makes you furious and nothing can dissuade you.
Use that passion to fuel your career in music everyday and will your way to a successful career.
4. If you can’t do anything else: you think of, dream of, music all day every day and you believe that it’s what you’re put on earth to do.
There’s nothing stopping someone who will not be denied from having success in the music industry. If you show up hungry every day and do whatever it takes you will succeed. However, don’t expect that you will succeed immediately. You need to be able to give it at least a couple of years. If you don’t find the success that you are looking for in 6 months and are discouraged, perhaps you don’t have the passion that you thought you had for it.