As musicians, our income tends to come from a variety of different streams. Gig fees, record sales (physical and digital) and royalties all make up slices of the larger pie. There’s also a growing trend for musicians to look for opportunities beyond the traditional income streams. Part-time work from home jobs is a great way for musicians to maximise their time, generate additional income and work flexibly around other commitments.
In this article, we’ll cover off some of the options for musicians looking to remote work from home. As well as explain how to get a work from home job, and some tips for anyone embarking on working from home for the first time.
So, what are the best work from home jobs for musicians? Let’s take a look.
If you have a home recording studio, then remote recording session work is probably the most logical and easiest of online jobs work from home. There are a few different sites where musicians can upload their skills. We have found Fiverr to be one of the best.
You simply upload your ‘Gigs’ (i.e. what services you offer) to the site, a few examples of your work and what your charges are and anyone looking for that service can book you. A word of advice for those looking to enter the world of online session work – take a look at what other people are doing and line up with the competition. This might mean lowering your prices, at least initially.
If you record guitar, you are going to be facing a lot of competition from the get-go. However, if you play something a little less common then you could find yourself getting pretty busy!
Teaching has long been a staple for musicians and now you can teach online! Again, there are loads of websites that offer this service but SkillShare is a pretty well-known one.
You just create your class, build a following on the platform, and from there you are paid for every follower that watches one of your lessons. Moreover, you are also paid for every student that uses your referral link to sign up for a premium paid membership.
SkillShare boasts that some of the top-earning teachers on the platform earn over $100,000. So, there is potential for it to be quite lucrative.
If you’re a musician thinking ‘what jobs can I work from home?’, it might be worth considering a slight sidestep. Use some of those transferrable skills, knowledge, and experience gained through music to write for music blogs.
You can start your own blog or playlist and get paid as a curator or reviewer. Websites like SubmitHub have a model whereby artists can submit their songs for consideration to blogs and playlists for a fee. The bloggers and curators get a small fee for listening and providing some feedback.
If you’re an original artist or songwriter with a catalogue of music that you have created, then you most likely have intellectual property rights (potentially as well as some mechanical rights). Or, you can create new works which also fall under your intellectual property.
You can exploit these rights to generate a royalty income. Either by looking to place some of your existing recorded music on film or television in what’s called a ‘Sync’, or other artists might take songs created by you and record and perform them. For which you also get a royalty.
This kind of work is quite slow-burn so don’t expect an immediate influx of cash. However, if a song is commercially successful or places in a big Netflix series or movie then the rewards can be significant. The important thing is to make sure all of your works are registered correctly with your PRO so you can claim your royalties.
This is still quite an emergent income stream and as such, there is potentially a lot of development around the business models and consumer behaviour that needs to happen before it really takes off. However, there is a slew of websites taking the old-school fan clubs online and into the 21st Century. One of the leading sites for this is Patreon.
Patreon’s model is that artists can have a number of subscription packages where their fans can pay for content on a monthly basis. In return, the fans get exclusives, private gigs, meet and greets, and Q&A sessions.
It’s a wide spectrum, but there have been some very successful artists using the platform. Including Ben Folds, Jacob Collier, and Walk Off The Earth. So, if you are an artist, it could be a really positive way of generating a new income stream for your most loyal fans.
The jobs we have listed so far are very much individual-driven. If you’re the kind of person who prefers to have the predictability and stability of a regular paying job where you are an employee, then there are lots of options here too.
If you are wondering how to find work from home jobs specifically in the music industry then Music Week, Music Business Worldwide, and Music Gateway all offer music industry job listings. So, we recommend that you start there.
Whether or not these jobs are home-based will depend on the job in question. But, many more jobs are now based remotely. So there will be increasing opportunities to work from home.
For most of the jobs outlined above, you don’t need any specific qualifications or a degree. If you are looking at teaching, then it might be helpful to have some formal qualifications. However, it is certainly not mandatory for most platforms.
Similarly, some of the music industry-specific jobs may require certain experience, skills, or qualifications if you are looking at certain areas of work like accountancy, legal, audio engineering, web development, etc.
In addition to the jobs listed above, there are also income opportunities for influencer-based work. Obviously, this doesn’t require any specific qualifications. But, it does require a good follower-base on your chosen platform.
For example, YouTube can only be monetised after you have a minimum number of 1,000 subscribers. Specific deals can be done outside of the platform monetisation. However, these are arranged on an individual deal basis, so the bigger your following, the more likely it is that you can negotiate more lucrative deals with brands. If you would like to learn more, check out our article on How To Make Money On YouTube As An Artist.
Internships can also be a good option if you are looking for something in the music industry. However, work from home internships are still quite rare and of course the pay is pretty low, if anything at all. Internships are also listed on the Music Gateway, Music Business Worldwide and Music Week websites.
Once you’ve landed your work from job it can sometimes become quite a difficult environment to work in.
Here are a few key tips for making it as productive as possible:
When you set your own hours it can become very easy to lose any sense of routine.
Having a set time for waking up and a specific routine for each working day before you get to your desk will really help you get into a productive frame of mind.
Working endless hours at a desk can be really difficult and the quality of your work can suffer.
Taking regular breaks and getting away from the desk for a walk outside at least once a day can be really valuable in maintaining sanity.
It’s probably the least rock ‘n’ roll tip we can offer, but if you’re spending a lot of time at a desk, having a good chair and a screen at a good height means you’ll avoid some of the pain associated with more sedentary work.
This was a tip a boss gave me when I first started working from home in a regular hours job.
At 5pm on a Friday afternoon, have a little snack of some nuts or a beer (or whatever your favourite drink is!) at your desk as you finish up that week’s work.
It seems like a small point. But outside of work, you’ve got to live in the space where you are now working, and taking the time to properly unwind at the end of the week helps it feel like it’s still your home.
That was our overview of work from home roles available to musicians. Working from home offers incredible flexibility to musicians. Aside from the time benefits, you also make huge savings on the cost of travelling to work. Additionally, you can literally work for clients anywhere in the world (you never have to search for “work from home jobs near me” – the world is your oyster!). So, the opportunities are very broad.
It can, of course, be difficult. Especially as most jobs for musicians that involve working from home also involve some level of networking and marketing in order to find new clients to work for or audiences to consume your services. However, that can also be part of the fun, and websites such as Fiverr and SkillShare go a long way in making that as easy as possible.
Once you hit a rhythm with the different tools and platforms available, working from home can allow you to have a varied and interesting work pattern that incorporates lots of different areas of music.
We hope that you enjoyed this article! Be sure to share it across your socials and tag us @musicgateway, we love interacting with you all! Also, whilst you’re here, why not check out some more of our articles such as Zoom Alternatives: What Are The Best Video Apps For Musicians? and How To Have A Successful Band Rehearsal which features some super useful tips on rehearsing from home!
If you have songs that you want to share with the world – we want to help boost your career and get them noticed, including promoting your music and improving your streaming presence! You can also find global projects and collaborate with other musicians, songwriters producers from the comfort of your own home!