Melodic Side Hustles: Unique Part-Time Gigs for Musicians

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The life of a musician is often portrayed as a glamorous journey filled with fame and adoration, but the reality can be starkly different. For many musicians, making a living solely from music is a challenging feat, leading them to seek part-time gigs to sustain their passion. The quest for financial stability without compromising their love for music is a common struggle. This guide aims to shed light on unique part-time gigs for musicians, offering pathways to balance passion and profit.

Where do Musicians Work?

Musicians find themselves working in a variety of environments beyond the conventional stages and recording studios. From intimate coffee shop performances to teaching music in schools or private studios, the opportunities are diverse. Some musicians explore the digital realm, creating content for YouTube or offering online lessons. Others may venture into unconventional venues like cruise ships, theme parks, or even hospitals, bringing their musical talents to a wide array of audiences. Understanding the breadth of work environments can open doors to new possibilities for part-time gigs.

Side Jobs for Musicians

Part-time opportunities for musicians can vary widely, depending on their skills and interests. Teaching music is a popular choice, whether it’s private lessons, group classes, or online instruction through platforms like TakeLessons or Lessonface. Musicians with a knack for writing might consider creating educational content, such as blogs or instructional books. Some may find gigs performing at weddings, corporate events, or private parties. Additionally, musicians with technical skills can explore roles in audio production, offering services like mixing, mastering, or even video editing for music-related projects.

Music Side Hustles

For musicians looking to diversify their income streams, music side hustles offer creative and rewarding opportunities. One popular option is composing and selling stock music for use in commercials, podcasts, or videos. This allows musicians to leverage their composition skills and earn royalties from their work. Another avenue is offering music production services, such as mixing, mastering, or beat-making, to other artists or content creators. With the rise of home recording, musicians can turn their skills into a profitable side business.

In addition to production work, musicians can also explore the world of music licensing, pitching their songs for use in film, TV, and advertising. This not only provides potential income from licensing fees but also exposure to a wider audience. For those with a knack for teaching, creating and selling online music courses or tutorials can be a lucrative side hustle. Platforms like Patreon or YouTube allow musicians to monetize their expertise and connect with fans on a deeper level.

Good Day Jobs for Musicians

good day jobs for musicians

Finding day jobs that complement a music career can be a strategic move for musicians looking to maintain financial stability while pursuing their passion. Ideal day jobs offer flexibility in terms of hours and commitment, allowing musicians to dedicate time to their craft and gigs. Positions in music retail, where one can be surrounded by instruments and gear, or roles in arts administration within cultural organisations, can be fitting choices. Additionally, jobs in education, such as teaching assistants or administrators in music schools, can provide valuable experience and networking opportunities within the industry.

Another option is working in customer service or hospitality, where the ability to interact with people and manage schedules can be beneficial. Freelance work, such as graphic design, writing, or web development, offers flexibility and the potential to work remotely, accommodating a musician’s often irregular schedule. Ultimately, the best day jobs for musicians are those that provide a steady income while allowing enough time and energy to focus on music-related endeavours.

Part-Time Musicians

The life of a part-time musician involves juggling multiple commitments, from day jobs to gigs and rehearsals. Effective time management is crucial in this balancing act. Setting clear goals and priorities can help part-time musicians allocate their time wisely between their music and other responsibilities. It’s also important to stay organised, keeping track of schedules and deadlines to ensure nothing falls through the cracks. Embracing this dual lifestyle requires resilience and adaptability, as musicians navigate the challenges and rewards of pursuing their passion alongside other endeavours.

Jobs for Musicians

Beyond performance and teaching, there are numerous job opportunities for musicians that tap into their skills and knowledge. Music therapy is a growing field where musicians can use their talents to help individuals with various health and emotional challenges. Working in music licensing and sync can be another avenue, where musicians help place songs in films, TV shows, and commercials. For those with a technical aptitude, roles in audio engineering, sound design, or music production can be fulfilling career paths. Exploring these diverse opportunities can open up new avenues for income and professional growth.

In addition to these roles, musicians can find employment in artist management, helping to guide the careers of other musicians. Working for a music venue or concert promoter offers a behind-the-scenes look at live music production. Musicians with entrepreneurial spirit might consider starting their own music-related business, such as a record label, music school, or instrument repair shop. Each of these jobs for musicians allows them to leverage their musical background in different ways, contributing to a varied and satisfying career.

Music-Related Jobs

Musicians looking to broaden their career horizons can find opportunities in music-related jobs that capitalise on their expertise and passion for music. One area is music journalism, where musicians can use their knowledge to write reviews, conduct interviews, or cover events for magazines, websites, or blogs. Another option is working in a music library or archive, preserving and cataloguing musical works and historical records. These roles allow musicians to stay connected to the industry while contributing to its documentation and preservation.

Additionally, positions in music marketing and promotions offer a dynamic environment for musicians to utilise their understanding of the industry to help artists and labels reach wider audiences. Music supervisors, who select and licence music for film, TV, and other media, also provide a unique opportunity for musicians to apply their musical sensibilities in a different context. These music-related jobs not only offer alternative career paths but also enrich the musician’s experience and understanding of the industry.

How to Make Money as a Musician

Making money as a musician involves diversifying income streams and leveraging various opportunities. In addition to performing and teaching, musicians can explore avenues like royalties from songwriting and recording, merchandise sales, and crowdfunding campaigns. Digital platforms offer new ways to monetize music, such as streaming revenue and online content creation. Collaborating with brands or other artists can also open up paid opportunities. It’s crucial for musicians to understand the business side of their craft, including copyright and contract negotiation, to maximise their earning potential.


The path of a musician is one of creativity and versatility. By embracing a variety of part-time gigs and exploring different income streams, musicians can sustain their passion and build a fulfilling career. Whether it’s teaching, performing, or venturing into music-related roles, each opportunity can contribute to both personal and professional growth. Remember to stay adaptable, continue honing your skills, and never lose sight of your love for music. Embrace your melodic side hustles and let your musical journey flourish.

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