For musicians, it may sometimes feel like your passion is a mere hobby. Getting side jobs seems to be the norm instead of building an actual career. But thanks to the internet, there are now online jobs for musicians available that vary from side hustles to actual career-building jobs.
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Being a musician can be extremely fulfilling, but being a star is out of reach for many. The music business is notoriously hard to break into, unless you are well connected, super talented, or born under a lucky star.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t still make a buck or two from your music, or even turn it into a full-time job.
Whether you’re looking for a career in music or want to turn your love for all things audio-related into a lucrative side business, there are plenty of options online.
Looking for online music jobs is about networking and selling your talent, much the same as applying for music jobs in person. That part won’t ever really go away.
But the hard part is finding the work.
Fortunately, as I’ve mentioned, there are now plenty of opportunities online.
Whether you want to build a career in music or a music-related field, or you just want to earn some extra cash from doing what you love, chances are you’ll find an online job that is just the right fit for you.
Go through the following list and you might just find one that suits both your talents and needs.
10 Online Jobs for Musicians to Apply For in 2020
Here are some great online jobs for musicians that may be an option for you.
1. Offer Live Online Music Lessons
If you’re comfortable teaching in front of an audience, being a one-on-one online tutor can be a good online job for a musician like you.
The usual music lessons involve instruments, but you don’t need to restrict yourself to that subject. You can also offer lessons on music appreciation, music theory, music production, musical theater, or other music-related subjects.
You can hold 30-minute- or hour-long classes for individuals or groups through video conferencing software, such as Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet.
Or, if you’d like to avoid marketing and promotional costs, especially if you’re only starting, you can offer live lessons through Live Music Tutor, Lessonface, Music Lessons Anywhere, or other music lesson website.
2. Create an Online Course
Plenty of musicians or musically-inclined hobbyists turn their knowledge into a successful online course where they help others who are just starting to learn the basics of playing an instrument.
Setting up online courses means you have to go through the process of creating it only once, and then many people can enroll, making it a passive income source.
The best part of it is that, unlike in-person tutoring, you’re not limited to the people in your area.
And unlike live tutoring through videoconferencing, you can get as many clients as you like without having to limit yourself to teaching one or two students per hour.
You can start off by creating courses through platforms like Udemy or Coursera.
Eventually, you can build your own website and offer online courses there. You can then offer other products, such as music sheets, companion guidebooks, and other products that can help your students learn. You can also provide an
JustinGuitar is a great example of how you can turn your talent into a successful online musical career in the tutoring business. Justin has been running his site since 2003 and offers great additional tools and workshops that make people come back for more.
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3. Compose Music For Videos or Video Games
Online video content and video games have become increasingly popular in recent years, and are projected to become even more popular for years to come.
As a result, video content creators are putting out more and more content, while also becoming pressured to make their content stand out from all the other videos on YouTube, Vimeo, and other video-sharing platforms.
All of those content creators are often in need of background music or even film scoring for their videos.
So who do they turn to?
Usually, they hire composers online.
There are some great online tools for composing music (like Flat and Noteflight) as well as selling your finished compositions to anyone who would like to use them. Platforms like LuckStock lets you sell your music royalty-free.
I’ve also found that many YouTubers and other content creators make use of Fiverr for their music needs if you want to give that a try.
Also, bear in mind that video game creators are also on the lookout for composers to create original music for their games.
And as the online video game space becomes more crowded with new games coming out seemingly every month, the pressure is on game creators to make everything about their games unique and exciting, and that includes their background music.
4. Compose Stock Music
The difference between creating stock music and creating music specifically for a video or a video game is that creating stock music is more like creating a product that audiences can buy. It’s cheaper for them but since anyone can just buy it, they may be using the same stock music as another creator.
When you create and sell stock music, those pieces can be a constant source of revenue as companies and other content creators are always on the lookout for new tunes to accompany their videos.
If you want to go down this route, try to sell your music to sites like Pond5, Shutterstock and AudioJungle first.
5. Become an Audio Editor
If you’re more into the technical side of producing music, then audio editing can be one of the more lucrative online jobs for musicians.
This field is a bit more competitive than most of the others on this list, but it’s still a good option if you have some music editing experience.
From what I’ve found, the best way to get started as an online audio editor is to go the freelance route and find some clients to start off with. Popular freelance sites like PeoplePerHour and Upwork seemed to have plenty of work available.
6. Become a Music Journalist
Writing about music might just come as naturally to you as playing it does. The upside here is that you have specialized knowledge and can write with insight into a popular industry.
Online publications do pay for guest posts and some also hire writers permanently.
In most cases, you’ll have to send some article ideas to a couple of publications and wait for them to contact you back. There’s no guarantee that any will approve your article ideas, but it’s definitely worth a shot if this sounds interesting to you.
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There are plenty of music magazines and blogs that are currently accepting submissions so just find some you like and start submitting those ideas.
7. Get Paid to Listen to Music Online
Interestingly enough, this is a legit way to make money. Up and coming composers and musicians want music lovers to listen to and review the quality of their music.
There are a number of music review websites out there that will pay people to listen to the tracks on their site.
Though the key here is to make sure that you find a trustworthy site that does pay. Here’s a list of some websites that do just that.
8. Curate Music for Radio and Streaming Services
If you’ve ever been complimented on many playlists you’ve made, being a tastemaker for a radio station or a streaming service like Spotify, Google Play, or Apple iTunes may be an online job that’s a good fit for you.
Traditionally, this job is done by the music director (MD) at a small- to mid-sized radio station. This entails choosing songs based on the station’s format, target audience, and the MD’s own instincts and good tastes.
As streaming services became more popular in recent years, the MD job has been renamed to streaming curator, but the job remains essentially the same.
Streaming curators create playlists from an extremely diverse music library.
The downside may be that you’ll be hounded all the time by recording companies, managers, promoters, and sometimes even the artists themselves for you to play their songs.
But if you truly love discovering new music and rediscovering old ones, and you know how to combine them in a playlist that makes sense and that audiences will love, then this may be a good fit for you.
9. Sell Your Music Through Online Channels
Getting gigs and playing in front of an audience is the dream. However, starting small can get you there.
Online platforms like TuneCore help artists upload and get their songs on popular online stores like iTunes and music streaming platforms like Spotify.
If you’re serious about making it in the music industry but don’t know where to start, then this might be a great option.
Online Jobs for Musicians Can Turn Your Music Hobby into Cash
That old-school view that you have to work gigs and eventually get a contract at a music label to build a career in music lives in the past where it belongs, along with fanny packs and mullets.
The age of the internet has created online jobs for musicians like you and more ways to earn money doing what you love.
While you’re waiting to break into the music industry, why don’t you go through our list of side hustles to keep you busy.