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You’re A Musician??…What Do You Really Do?

My 8 “Jobs” as a Music Career

Whenever I go to a party and someone asks me what I do for a living, I’m always fascinated by their reaction to my “musician” answer. Without saying anything, their facial reaction and body language to my answer always insinuates, “no no no…what do you REALLY do?” For many people, it’s hard to believe that you can make a living being a musician. After all, if you’re not famous, how do you make money?

Well the easy answer for me is I do a lot! Friends always tell me that I’ve got so much going on and they can’t keep track, I can sometimes relate to that;)! So I decided to use this post to allow you a peek into my “Life.docx” file and my 8 jobs in music:

1. Film & TV Cues. Since Lisa and I started working full-time as partners on this music business stuff, this has been our main focus (I compose, she does the admin and sales). Making a living off of recorded or live music is becoming harder and harder. It’s the sync and licensing of music for TV, Film and Video Games which continues to still enjoy a thriving industry. After a year at this, I’ve composed over 70 cues.

2. Individual Song & Cue Collaborations. I often write music with others. It’s a great way to get new ideas and perspectives in your own sound while using each others’ business contacts to further the music.

3. Side Projects. These writing projects don’t necessarily make money but it’s important to do nonetheless just for my own sanity and creative outlet. At present, this includes writing a musical, music for a short art film, and various contemporary classical concert music projects.

4. Recordings. So far, I’ve done 4. And I want to do more. Grants are being applied for…stay tuned.

5. Shop Concert Music to Performers. If you want people to play your music, they need to know about it. So I work the phones (really the internet and social media;)).

6. Perform. I only do this occasionally these days as I write more than I play. But when the performance opportunity is all setup for me, I definitely love to do it and enjoy the practicing.

7. Educational Activities. This includes teaching my private piano and theory students, presenting workshops and master classes and adjudicating at music festivals.

8. ORMTA. I’m presently Provincial President. It’s a volunteer position but I happily treat it as a job. My time on ORMTA’s Council goes to 2018…at that time this jobs list will go from 8 to 7, once that happens, look out world for what I will unleash then!

This is a doc that I look at daily to remind me what I’ve got going on. It might seem strange to have to read something to remind yourself of what your work is. But I’m weird that way, if it’s not written down, it’s not important and I won’t do it. More importantly, it reminds me of who I want to be and stay focussed on that.

So it’s all well and good to know what you do, but the more important question is how do you do it? Next week’s blog post will be dedicated to that…stay tuned!


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