Music As Money

Pie charts on how much musicians make. Because gigging full-time isn't (really) the path to gigging full-time.

                                                   David Wong
                             Multi-Genre Acoustic/ Electric Violinist
Artistic philosophy: Make the music that you really want to make. The internet gives you possibilities for putting yourself out there that you wouldn’t otherwise have. Keep pushing and making the music that you want to make and you can find ways to get it to fans.
On Craft: I don’t really generate income from performing yet. When I do perform, I do a lot of playing with DJs at weddings, so I’ll do improvisation over whatever they happen to play. The good thing about weddings is that it’s a really good place to test material. I’ve definitely gotten better riffs and cool techniques through playing along with someone else in real time, and having to listen to them and respond. 
Cool Twitter Story: Did a November Rain cover. Sent the link to Slash’s wife on Twitter. She showed it to him and then she replied back saying that he said he loved it.
Collaborates with: Scott Bradley of the Post Modern Jukebox
Social Media: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube

                                                   David Wong

                             Multi-Genre Acoustic/ Electric Violinist

Artistic philosophy: Make the music that you really want to make. The internet gives you possibilities for putting yourself out there that you wouldn’t otherwise have. Keep pushing and making the music that you want to make and you can find ways to get it to fans.

On Craft: I don’t really generate income from performing yet. When I do perform, I do a lot of playing with DJs at weddings, so I’ll do improvisation over whatever they happen to play. The good thing about weddings is that it’s a really good place to test material. I’ve definitely gotten better riffs and cool techniques through playing along with someone else in real time, and having to listen to them and respond. 

Cool Twitter Story: Did a November Rain cover. Sent the link to Slash’s wife on Twitter. She showed it to him and then she replied back saying that he said he loved it.

Collaborates with: Scott Bradley of the Post Modern Jukebox

Social Media: WebsiteFacebookTwitterYoutube

                                             Jaclyn Guillou
                                     Canadian Jazz Vocalist
Performs: Jazz. Standards, new arrangements and original music.
Expectation vs. Reality of a Career in Music: “There’s not really much of a difference. I knew it would be hard. But money is only important if you want it to be.  It’s rich in what music has to offer your life.
Today’s market is an independent music world. I create my own opportunities and I give up a lot of nice normal things to make it all possible. I have faith that someday it will all work out.”
Favorite memory of a show: “I had a concert recorded for CBC television this year. I was asked to sing the role of Dinah Washington and it was a great learning experience for me. It was like getting back to the basics of music and true storytelling.”
Advice: “Search for like-minded people that believe in you and stick with them. They are your real #1 support group. You will need them.”
Tours: In Canada, USA and parts of Europe. Find her on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.
Website: www.jaclynguillou.com

                                             Jaclyn Guillou

                                     Canadian Jazz Vocalist

Performs: Jazz. Standards, new arrangements and original music.

Expectation vs. Reality of a Career in Music:There’s not really much of a difference. I knew it would be hard. But money is only important if you want it to be.  It’s rich in what music has to offer your life.

Today’s market is an independent music world. I create my own opportunities and I give up a lot of nice normal things to make it all possible. I have faith that someday it will all work out.”

Favorite memory of a show: “I had a concert recorded for CBC television this year. I was asked to sing the role of Dinah Washington and it was a great learning experience for me. It was like getting back to the basics of music and true storytelling.”

Advice: “Search for like-minded people that believe in you and stick with them. They are your real #1 support group. You will need them.”

Tours: In Canada, USA and parts of Europe. Find her on FacebookTwitter or YouTube.

Website: www.jaclynguillou.com

                                         Ethan Greene
                          Composer and Music Professor
Composes: Music for film, TV, video games, opera and chamber ensembles
Teaches: At Tennessee State University
Experience: ”I was in jazz combos in college, and I played bass & guitar in other bands. Trumpet is my main instrument, but when I got into composition track, I started writing a lot.”
Advice: ”Turn down very little, because things that initially seem somewhat trivial will sometimes turn into really amazing pieces of art and music. The best preparation for my field was working for people on projects that I did for free.
I was just doing as many projects as I could and being open to collaborative spirit. Try to make friends with people and make art with them, because when you have those genuine relationships, you help each other out.”
 Website: www.ethangreene.org

                                         Ethan Greene

                          Composer and Music Professor

Composes: Music for film, TV, video games, opera and chamber ensembles

Teaches: At Tennessee State University

Experience: ”I was in jazz combos in college, and I played bass & guitar in other bands. Trumpet is my main instrument, but when I got into composition track, I started writing a lot.”

Advice: ”Turn down very little, because things that initially seem somewhat trivial will sometimes turn into really amazing pieces of art and music. The best preparation for my field was working for people on projects that I did for free.

I was just doing as many projects as I could and being open to collaborative spirit. Try to make friends with people and make art with them, because when you have those genuine relationships, you help each other out.”

 Website: www.ethangreene.org

                                             Ayana Lowe
                         Performer and Voice & Piano Teacher
Performs: Blues, jazz, gospel and R&B as a vocalist and pianist at venues in her native New York City.
Teaches: The Dalcroze method of music to elementary school age children at Hunter College campus schools.
Take-away sentence:  ”I’ve got the only ten-year gig in Manhattan!”
Artistic philosophy: "You want your art to be your love and the expression of your deepest self. But most importantly, you’ve got to take care of yourself financially. Think healthcare, insurance and security."
"I chose a second thing so that I could afford to do things I want to do, like coming to the Vermont Jazz Center Summer Workshop. The most important thing is your art; it’s digging deep inside and finding your genuine self.”
Shows: Ayana sings 1st Saturday of each month at the 55Bar – 55 Christopher Street W. Village, 6 – 9 pm. No cover, 2 drink min. 212-989-9883
Website: www.ayanalowe.com


                                             Ayana Lowe

                         Performer and Voice & Piano Teacher

Performs: Blues, jazz, gospel and R&B as a vocalist and pianist at venues in her native New York City.

Teaches: The Dalcroze method of music to elementary school age children at Hunter College campus schools.

Take-away sentence:  ”I’ve got the only ten-year gig in Manhattan!”

Artistic philosophy: "You want your art to be your love and the expression of your deepest self. But most importantly, you’ve got to take care of yourself financially. Think healthcare, insurance and security."

"I chose a second thing so that I could afford to do things I want to do, like coming to the Vermont Jazz Center Summer Workshop. The most important thing is your art; it’s digging deep inside and finding your genuine self.”

Shows: Ayana sings 1st Saturday of each month at the 55Bar – 55 Christopher Street W. Village, 6 – 9 pm. No cover, 2 drink min. 212-989-9883

Website: www.ayanalowe.com

About This Blog

This blog came from the moment when I bravely declared to the world, “I want to do music!”

The question that immediately emerged (phrased as vaguely worried queries from family members) was, “How do I make a living doing this?” 

I asked my fellow music students and they were just as clueless as I was. I began to realize that the mechanics of being a working musician were not discussed nearly enough. I quickly began a process of informally talking to everyone from full-time professionals to part-time weekend warriors and people who just like to play for fun. All of this led me to the conclusion that you can build a life and a career doing music. 

But oftentimes, gigging full-time isn’t the path way to gigging full-time.

This blog aims to fix that. I’ll profile musicians who share the ways they make money and the things you should know if you’re planning to make your living playing music. 

"Music as Money." Because you can have both.