Author: Maxine Gong

Music and Finance, Opportunity

How Finance Applies to Musicians


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#MusiciansandFinance is musicovation’s blog series exploring finance for musicians. All posts are contributed by graduate students in New England Conservatory’s Entrepreneurial Music course  Finance 101: What Musicians Need to Know taught by NEC alum Jessi Rosinski

by Maxine Gong

Looking through lists of highest paid careers, you will find out that musicians are never listed as one of them. Even though most musicians are pursuing what they love to do, they still face the toughest question: how do we survive?

As the college student matures, we eventually face serious life issues about basic survival skills. One example is being responsible for rent payments and other bills. A solid majority of students need to find financial support while they are, at the same time, attending schools. Realistically speaking, even doing part-time jobs helps a little bit in terms of supporting living expenses, but things like those are only going to drag a student back from pursuing his or her musical career dreams.We really need to put as much focus and time as possible to prepare themselves for such a demanding field.

Therefore, having a solid skill set in finance helps a student to understand the management of their expenses and budgets, and they can feel more prepared and confident about their future plans. Not everyone is as lucky as Lang Lang, Yujia Wang, or Evgeny Kissin.

Believe or not, America is truly a land full of opportunities. If you want to become someone noteworthy, go find the support and create your own chances so that you happily manage your own future. We no longer need to live in a bubble. We just have to seek our own ways to be successful.

Many college musicians, and professional musicians alike, are pretty narrow minded. They live in their own bubble because the only things they care about are sleep, eating, and practicing. The majority of their daily life is probably focused on things music related and nothing else.

They get relaxed with music, they socialize with music, and they only live within a musical realm. Thus, they probably would never imagine that they could go out and reach out to local foundations or grant sponsors to ask for support so they can go somewhere to perform. For a lot of people, they think competing in competitions to get noticed is the only way they can reach fame. And if they fail, then they feel their whole life is a failure. But learning finance can open up one’s mind and provide them with resources that help to create their own opportunities. You can become your own music manager and perform anywhere you want. Finance is a skill set that helps you map your own life and will certainly set up the foundation you need to chase after your dreams if you have the guts.