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Making Money with Music?

(written for A. Ullah)

While grocery shopping, you hum the overture you heard for the first time at the theater last night. At a traffic standstill, you drum your fingers on the steering wheel to a reggae beat in your mind. You absentmindedly yet correctly name the tune at the first strains of the recorded elevator music. No doubt about it. You are musically inclined and actually gifted. You play some guitar and had a string of gigs with assorted bands, though amateur to be sure. Melody and lyrics come to you naturally and find their home in a corner of your memory, next to important stuff like due dates for bills while pushing away the anniversary dates, much to your partner’s dismay. Music is a pleasant hobby for you. Stop your cheerful whistling for a moment and consider this. Perhaps it could be a hobby that also pays.
I don’t suggest that you drop your daytime job, but your interest may bring you some income. If it is an actual performing career for yourself or to launch a performer you know (and remember, your ear for talent is pretty good), record a video for You Tube. You can do it at home with some planning or rent a small studio for an hour or two. Many producers who are looking for performers, particularly the Indie-music type, regularly check out the net for fresh talent.

Offer your service to do the playlist and soundtrack for special events. Wedding receptions usually have video presentation and a planned program with dancing. Videographers focus only on the video quality making music merely incidental. Oftentimes, the music actually diminishes the video impact. Notice too how the dance music is either a string of very modern hip hop or a long segment of old cha cha, keeping the guests at the tables instead of on the dance floor? Are you starting to get the picture? Now you know better naturally, and would do a playlist that alternates bouncy current tunes, romantic slow classics, and some Latin mix all of them danceable, keeping everyone on the floor. It will be a long-remembered evening for the bride and groom, especially because you would of course thoughtfully include all the songs that have marked their coming together. And wait, the much-enjoyed playlist can be put on a CD and be part of the wedding’s giveaway. That’s additional income. You would need to research any copyright laws on this, of course.

Want to dabble in composing original music? It may sound daunting but remember, music comes effortless to you. Okay, so you don’t read notes and did not actually study music. What about partnering up with someone who did? Search for software available that could simplify the process. Start slowly – maybe ad jingles. Think about how much advertising goes on over 24-hour cable TV.

What about doing a bit of consultancy work at a radio station to tweak their playlists and appeal more to their target listeners? Since you know music well, you can probably even do disc jockey work at the station. Okay, that will take a bit of training … but you get what I am saying now, right? The next bit of music you hear could be your mobile phone ring tone and the words “Your check is in the mail.”

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