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Ways To Use Musical Talent for a Career

Achieving your ultimate dream as a famous rock star is a nearly impossible task for the vast majority of the population. If you watch TV talent shows, you’d be forgiven for losing heart when you see someone walk into a studio and achieve their dream overnight when all of your hard work just doesn’t get you there. However, there are plenty of alternative ways to make money out of a career in music.

Here are some practical, achievable ideas and tips.
1. Become a Session Musician

Being a session musician can reward your creativity and passion for music, whether you are involved in a recording session or on tour with a band. Session recording will pay better and give you the studio experience. Touring as a session musician will give you a great experience in playing live at venues and festivals around the world. It may not pay as well as recording, but it will come with the perks of hotel rooms, tour buses and the chance to visit new countries and experience new cultures.
2. Write Soundtracks

Recording soundtracks for films, tv shows and computer software is a great way to make a living out of music. It can allow you to really develop your creative process and give you invaluable recording experience. App development is a rapidly growing field in IT, and many companies are looking for musicians to record music for gaming apps. Get in early and you could make a decent living from selling your songs for software.
3. Market Royalty Free Music Online

There are a great deal of websites selling royalty free music, and since video became so popular, music is in demand. Musicians can upload their tracks to libraries online, and companies will pay a one off licensing fee to use an artist’s track. Whilst this may not provide enough income to pay the bills like a regular creative job would, it is an invaluable second income string for artists who are particularly prolific when it comes to creating and recording new tracks.
4. Be a Music Teacher

Music teaching is not only a great way to generate an income from your musical talent, but it is also a great way of developing new skills and moving your creative career forward. Assessing how you go about writing music and how you would teach that to a student provides valuable insight into your own skills and can help you to progress as a musician, as well as helping another to learn an instrument. There are a great deal of different opportunities in music teaching, from private tuition to school and music clubs. There are even some ‘rock schools’ allowing you to teach young students an instrument during the school holidays. Both look great on a creative’s resume.
5. Be a Self Published Musician

Producing and selling CDs is a costly process. However, the internet offers all musicians the opportunity to publish and sell their own work at almost no cost, particularly if your work is sold digitally. It can be difficult to make a lot of money this way, so it’s probably not going to become your career in itself, but by making the best of social media channels and online music forums and zines, musicians can make a name for themselves and grow an audience for their work.

It’s worth trying various career options and making the most of your talents, even if you have your sights set on a high profile music job. When competition is fierce, every bit of experience really helps.

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Mark Montoya has been working in personal branding for more than a decade for hundreds of online and offline companies, small businesses and individual service professionals. His focus has been toward improving the way jobseekers find employment on the Internet. He has synthesized his expertise by helping job seekers obtain their ideal choice of employment over the Internet on his sites and, and through his books 101 Tips Every Job Seeker Should Know and The Ultimate Online Job Search eBook.

Learn more at, on Twitter, on LinkedIn or StumbleUpon, or Google+.

"It is the responsibility of the individual to reject the prospect of mediocrity and to strive for the betterment of society as a whole" ~ Mark Montoya

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