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Inside the Secretly Lucrative World of Solo Piano Music
#2961635 03/29/20 06:01 PM
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Look what Firefox suggested that I read:

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/...olo-piano-music?utm_source=pocket-newtab

So much for starving artists!



“Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer,
and pour out my despair at the piano.”

-Frederic Chopin
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Re: Inside the Secretly Lucrative World of Solo Piano Music
Retsacnal #2961640 03/29/20 06:13 PM
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I remember when that article first came out. I wonder how many musicians actually benefit from the model that has provided such financial success for McLaughlin and Nevue...

Also, I wonder if the system is or will change, putting them at a disadvantage...

Because it would be great if solo pianists had the chance to make the kind of money that other musicians make (say, Katy Perry...)


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Re: Inside the Secretly Lucrative World of Solo Piano Music
ShiroKuro #2961836 03/30/20 10:27 AM
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Is this an older story? Sorry, just saw the Firefox link yesterday.



“Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer,
and pour out my despair at the piano.”

-Frederic Chopin
Re: Inside the Secretly Lucrative World of Solo Piano Music
Retsacnal #2961838 03/30/20 10:29 AM
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Perhaps early adopters benefitted disproportionately well. For example, I know someone who earned quite a bit selling eBooks early on, but now that there a jillions of them she struggles to make sales.



“Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer,
and pour out my despair at the piano.”

-Frederic Chopin
Re: Inside the Secretly Lucrative World of Solo Piano Music
Retsacnal #2961967 03/30/20 03:24 PM
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This may be somewhat unrelated here, but I listen to NPR a lot. I've heard several reports recently about the severe and sudden loss of income for touring musicians. I hate to hear that. I'm sure some of the more famous artists have made enough money in the past that they will never need for money for life.

But others may depend on the regular stream of income from their performances to make ends meet financially.

Personally, I've never made much money as an amatuer musician/hobbiest player, (good thing I had a day job:-) but I know I depend on my income, which is now from my retirement sources.

My heart goes out to those who make their living playing music and are now suffering due to COVID-19 and social distancing.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Inside the Secretly Lucrative World of Solo Piano Music
Retsacnal #2962003 03/30/20 05:33 PM
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Retsacnal, yes, that article originally came out in Nov. 2018:
https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/solo-piano-music-pandora-mclaughlin-nevue-749894/

GetPocket is funny that way, because they pull interesting articles from around the internet, which is cool, but usually you can't find the date and the original link is missing (although it does list the source and author). That said, I generally like GetPocket despite that.

Originally Posted by Rickster
My heart goes out to those who make their living playing music and are now suffering due to COVID-19 and social distancing.


Me too Rickster! My brother makes his living as a guitar teacher + regular live gigs in local bars and clubs. He usually plays about 4-5 shows a week (paid of course). So this has been a big hit for him. He's still teaching online, though I don't know if he's lost any students or not.

And he's lucky, b/c his wife has a "traditional" job and they and their daughter have health insurance through my sister-in-law's job. So I know they are more fortunate than many.

This covid problem is hitting really hard at many, around the world. frown


Started piano June 1999.
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Re: Inside the Secretly Lucrative World of Solo Piano Music
Retsacnal #2962182 03/31/20 10:32 AM
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My hometown college was pretty determined that even those who pursued performance degrees should also acquire teaching certificates. So, fortunately, most of my friends who did so have full time teaching jobs. Although many of them do extra stuff that might be suffering now (church jobs, lessons, etc), I don’t think I personally know anyone who earns their living only from gigging or lessons.



“Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer,
and pour out my despair at the piano.”

-Frederic Chopin
Re: Inside the Secretly Lucrative World of Solo Piano Music
Retsacnal #2962204 03/31/20 11:28 AM
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Most of the professional musicians I’ve known more often than not needed a day job to get by.. A few years before retirement I took 4 semesters of Piano Class. My salary as network engineer at a National Lab was twice what the tenured Music Professor at our state university made. There’s some incredible competition for steady paying gigs for any instrument, especially piano. There are a few exceptions I’m sure but thank God I had talent in a more lucrative field.


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Re: Inside the Secretly Lucrative World of Solo Piano Music
Retsacnal #2962218 03/31/20 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by j&j
Most of the professional musicians I’ve known more often than not needed a day job to get by.. A few years before retirement I took 4 semesters of Piano Class. My salary as network engineer at a National Lab was twice what the tenured Music Professor at our state university made. There’s some incredible competition for steady paying gigs for any instrument, especially piano. There are a few exceptions I’m sure but thank God I had talent in a more lucrative field.
My oldest son is a very good guitar player... and I mean as good as any professional player I've ever heard, but I may biased just a little (or a lot?). smile

He said someone told him once that he needed to be in Nashville playing the guitar as a professional musician. He responded and told them that Nashville was full of guitar players way better than he was, and many were waiting tables at restaurants, or had other types of day jobs in order to make a living.

So, yes, I think making a good living as musician or performer is not all that easy, even though the ones that are successful at it are usually very successful. There doesn't seem to be much of an inbetween or middle-class musician wage earner, just feast or famine.

Also, and on a slightly different note, I've heard that living on the road as a musician and traveling from gig to gig or show to show is also not so easy, except for Willie Nelson (On the road again... :-). smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Inside the Secretly Lucrative World of Solo Piano Music
Rickster #2962253 03/31/20 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by j&j
Most of the professional musicians I’ve known more often than not needed a day job to get by.. A few years before retirement I took 4 semesters of Piano Class. My salary as network engineer at a National Lab was twice what the tenured Music Professor at our state university made. There’s some incredible competition for steady paying gigs for any instrument, especially piano. There are a few exceptions I’m sure but thank God I had talent in a more lucrative field.
My oldest son is a very good guitar player... and I mean as good as any professional player I've ever heard, but I may biased just a little (or a lot?). smile

He said someone told him once that he needed to be in Nashville playing the guitar as a professional musician. He responded and told them that Nashville was full of guitar players way better than he was, and many were waiting tables at restaurants, or had other types of day jobs in order to make a living.

So, yes, I think making a good living as musician or performer is not all that easy, even though the ones that are successful at it are usually very successful. There doesn't seem to be much of an inbetween or middle-class musician wage earner, just feast or famine.

Also, and on a slightly different note, I've heard that living on the road as a musician and traveling from gig to gig or show to show is also not so easy, except for Willie Nelson (On the road again... :-). smile

Rick


Yeah I always thought Willie Nelson was Country’s answer to Ozzie Osborne and Keith Richards. I’ve heard some interesting tales of life on the road with Waylon and Willie. and George Jones. Those guys partied hearty. Hard drinking and road life always take a toll. Poor Waylon was taken out from diabetic complications.


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Re: Inside the Secretly Lucrative World of Solo Piano Music
Rickster #2962265 03/31/20 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by j&j
Most of the professional musicians I’ve known more often than not needed a day job to get by.. A few years before retirement I took 4 semesters of Piano Class. My salary as network engineer at a National Lab was twice what the tenured Music Professor at our state university made. There’s some incredible competition for steady paying gigs for any instrument, especially piano. There are a few exceptions I’m sure but thank God I had talent in a more lucrative field.
My oldest son is a very good guitar player... and I mean as good as any professional player I've ever heard, but I may biased just a little (or a lot?). smile

He said someone told him once that he needed to be in Nashville playing the guitar as a professional musician. He responded and told them that Nashville was full of guitar players way better than he was, and many were waiting tables at restaurants, or had other types of day jobs in order to make a living.

So, yes, I think making a good living as musician or performer is not all that easy, even though the ones that are successful at it are usually very successful. There doesn't seem to be much of an inbetween or middle-class musician wage earner, just feast or famine.

Also, and on a slightly different note, I've heard that living on the road as a musician and traveling from gig to gig or show to show is also not so easy, except for Willie Nelson (On the road again... :-). smile

Rick

Your guitar videos make it pretty clear from where he got his talent. wink



“Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer,
and pour out my despair at the piano.”

-Frederic Chopin
Re: Inside the Secretly Lucrative World of Solo Piano Music
Retsacnal #2962276 03/31/20 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by j&j
Most of the professional musicians I’ve known more often than not needed a day job to get by.. A few years before retirement I took 4 semesters of Piano Class. My salary as network engineer at a National Lab was twice what the tenured Music Professor at our state university made. There’s some incredible competition for steady paying gigs for any instrument, especially piano. There are a few exceptions I’m sure but thank God I had talent in a more lucrative field.
My oldest son is a very good guitar player... and I mean as good as any professional player I've ever heard, but I may biased just a little (or a lot?). smile

He said someone told him once that he needed to be in Nashville playing the guitar as a professional musician. He responded and told them that Nashville was full of guitar players way better than he was, and many were waiting tables at restaurants, or had other types of day jobs in order to make a living.

So, yes, I think making a good living as musician or performer is not all that easy, even though the ones that are successful at it are usually very successful. There doesn't seem to be much of an inbetween or middle-class musician wage earner, just feast or famine.

Also, and on a slightly different note, I've heard that living on the road as a musician and traveling from gig to gig or show to show is also not so easy, except for Willie Nelson (On the road again... :-). smile

Rick

Your guitar videos make it pretty clear from where he got his talent. wink


Indeed! +1 thumb


J & J
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Re: Inside the Secretly Lucrative World of Solo Piano Music
Retsacnal #2962283 03/31/20 03:55 PM
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The need to get a better piano for my 10-year-old son is the reason I joined PW in 2004. He's now 26 with a degree in Jazz Studies, and supports himself playing a wide variety of keyboard gigs: a church job every Sunday morning, pianist in swing dance and New Orleans party-style bands, keyboardist in a couple wedding bands and a funk band, and the occasional cocktail/reception gig. Unfortunately everything has dried-up over the last couple weeks except the church job, which transitioned to a live feed this week.

Some of his YouTube stuff (there's not much of it) has thousands of views and very enthusiastic comments, so I've been encouraging him for years to cultivate a bigger online presence that can be monetized, but he's not the most ambitious person in that regard. Maybe now that his modest income has temporarily tanked, he'll give it a go.

Re: Inside the Secretly Lucrative World of Solo Piano Music
Sir Lurksalot #2962287 03/31/20 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Sir Lurksalot
The need to get a better piano for my 10-year-old son is the reason I joined PW in 2004. He's now 26 with a degree in Jazz Studies, and supports himself playing a wide variety of keyboard gigs: a church job every Sunday morning, pianist in swing dance and New Orleans party-style bands, keyboardist in a couple wedding bands and a funk band, and the occasional cocktail/reception gig. Unfortunately everything has dried-up over the last couple weeks except the church job, which transitioned to a live feed this week.

Some of his YouTube stuff (there's not much of it) has thousands of views and very enthusiastic comments, so I've been encouraging him for years to cultivate a bigger online presence that can be monetized, but he's not the most ambitious person in that regard. Maybe now that his modest income has temporarily tanked, he'll give it a go.


Nice uplifting post and your initial investment sure paid off. I’m guessing YouTube lessons in all instruments from skilled performance musicians will and is exploding in popularity during a pandemic. My church is doing services, bible studies, children’s lessons and musical recording in small teams of 5. Most new artist’s first recording studios are in their bedrooms, like Billie Eilish.


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Re: Inside the Secretly Lucrative World of Solo Piano Music
Retsacnal #2962356 03/31/20 07:34 PM
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Quote
Nice uplifting post and your initial investment sure paid off. I’m guessing YouTube lessons in all instruments from skilled performance musicians will and is exploding in popularity during a pandemic. My church is doing services, bible studies, children’s lessons and musical recording in small teams of 5. Most new artist’s first recording studios are in their bedrooms, like Billie Eilish.

+1 thumb

I've had people ask me if I teach piano lessons. I'm a little shocked and surprised when someone asks me that, and I tell them I'd be glad to show them what little I know, but there is no way I could charge a fee for the service. In fact, I tell them I need to take piano lessons myself. smile

Thanks for the compliment on my meager guitar playing, Ret and j&j! I appreciate it! My oldest son's guitar playing skills far surpassed mine many years ago. He was playing with the praise band at a large Church in the area and they were paying him, along with all the musicians in the band. He also plays at a local restaurant once a month or so and they pay him for that gig.

I got to play my 5-string banjo with him at the restaurant a few months ago, when he played a bluegrass style set. That was a lot of fun. He usually plays Stevie Ray Vaughan style blues with his blues band.

The folks at the restaurant love him, and their business is up whenever he performs there. Of course, the restaurant gig is on hold for now...

He also has his own HVAC business and has done very well for himself in that business. If my country music history is correct, Travis Tritt was an HVAC service technician before he went pro in the country music business. smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Inside the Secretly Lucrative World of Solo Piano Music
Rickster #2962391 03/31/20 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
Quote
Nice uplifting post and your initial investment sure paid off. I’m guessing YouTube lessons in all instruments from skilled performance musicians will and is exploding in popularity during a pandemic. My church is doing services, bible studies, children’s lessons and musical recording in small teams of 5. Most new artist’s first recording studios are in their bedrooms, like Billie Eilish.

+1 thumb

I've had people ask me if I teach piano lessons. I'm a little shocked and surprised when someone asks me that, and I tell them I'd be glad to show them what little I know, but there is no way I could charge a fee for the service. In fact, I tell them I need to take piano lessons myself. smile

Thanks for the compliment on my meager guitar playing, Ret and j&j! I appreciate it! My oldest son's guitar playing skills far surpassed mine many years ago. He was playing with the praise band at a large Church in the area and they were paying him, along with all the musicians in the band. He also plays at a local restaurant once a month or so and they pay him for that gig.

I got to play my 5-string banjo with him at the restaurant a few months ago, when he played a bluegrass style set. That was a lot of fun. He usually plays Stevie Ray Vaughan style blues with his blues band.

The folks at the restaurant love him, and their business is up whenever he performs there. Of course, the restaurant gig is on hold for now...

He also has his own HVAC business and has done very well for himself in that business. If my country music history is correct, Travis Tritt was an HVAC service technician before he went pro in the country music business. smile

Rick


My Dad was an HVAC guy. Major problem with that profession is you work on hot tar roofs in the summer and on cold windy roofs in the winter. That’s one of those jobs you really couldn’t pay me enough. You must be proud!


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Re: Inside the Secretly Lucrative World of Solo Piano Music
Retsacnal #2962401 03/31/20 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by j&j
My Dad was an HVAC guy. Major problem with that profession is you work on hot tar roofs in the summer and on cold windy roofs in the winter. That’s one of those jobs you really couldn’t pay me enough. You must be proud!

Yes, I'm very proud of both my sons, j&j.

As for the HVAC business, it is indeed a very physically, and mentally, demanding business. But one thing is for sure, you will always have a job in the HVAC biz, even during economic recessions and virus pandemics. His HVAC work hasn't slowed down a bit recently.

Glad I'm retired... smile

Rick


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Re: Inside the Secretly Lucrative World of Solo Piano Music
Retsacnal #2962420 04/01/20 02:28 AM
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HVAC equipment is becoming more and more computerized. I tell a lot of my students that they should consider it if they want technology jobs that can't be outsourced. It may be hot or cold up on those roofs, but the units aren't shipped overseas for repair.



“Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer,
and pour out my despair at the piano.”

-Frederic Chopin

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