10 ways that someone can make a living with music outside of the "music industry"?
I just read a thoughtful article on the state of the music industry: https://tedgioia.substack.com/p/get-ready-to-pay-more-for-music.
I am a fan and subscriber to Ted Gioia, but the article was long on complaining and short on solutions.
The world does not owe you a living, especially for something optional to survival like music.
Streaming services do not pay enough to the artist but it can be part of your mix.
1. Create lesson content and courses online.
People always want to learn more. Many active people on YouTube seem to be making money giving instruction. This is a "long game," and you will probably spend years making content before you make money.
2. Perform live and stream the results. Keep an online "tip jar" available.
With lots of archived material online this can become a trickle or even a solid income stream if you are good/popular enough.
3. Specialize in creating certain kinds of music: for yoga studios or gymnastics routines. Sports walkup music.
Create your label for this. You can have multiple labels if you create similar music.
4. Make your own show and create the music for it.
The next Simpsons or South Park! You would have to monetize the show...
5. Sell special access to yourself: a behind the scenes tour or masterclass.
You would have to have some level of a following to do this. I know that the bass player Victor Wooten does this and others also have "summer camps" for players.
6. Create a summer camp or after school program for kids: teach and play music together.
7. Create a "camp" experience for adults
Many "legends" do this: maybe you can too!
8. Work at a resort or on a cruise ship
Many of these have full-time jobs for musicians
9. Own and operate a music center where you sell and service equipment and also provide lessons and a performance space.
10. Have a traveling music service to go to homes for the aging or elementary schools
There are many of these places and they all like to advertise that they have "music time." You could either have an interactive jam session with people there (bring tambourines, kazoos, etc), lead sing-alongs or do performances.
11. Keep creating your art whether anyone else listens to it or not!
You can make fantastic sounding recordings with nothing more than a laptop.