How can musician survive in Covid times? What a question! I have always planned on being a voice teacher. Fortunately, since COVID has plagued our world, I still feel peace in this career choice, as I know that I can do after I’ve graduated even with a pandemic. Ideally, in a COVID world, I will teach voice lessons either online or at a safe distance apart. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have been taking piano lessons over FaceTime. I have found that this time has allowed me to progress at a quicker rate than ever in my musical life. I believe that a few factors play into this, such as travel time saved and also the fact that I could practice in my comfortable space before and after my lesson for as long as I wanted. Perhaps COVID does have some positive aspects to my musical career! Therefore, my thoughts are that voice lessons could occur over this platform, just like piano lessons have been. As a musician, I view teaching music as a more stable and consistent job to generate income compared to performing. Even in the state of our world right now, it is still possible for musicians to teach lessons. However, I realize that not all musicians want to teach, therefore, being a musician in 2020 with COVID present poses quite a dilemma. It seems that in our Covid world, musicians are relying on fans/supporters generosity in tips and monetary support. Therefore, it is important to be creative in finding ways where people can receive a “product” i.e., the musician performing songs, that will create revenue via the media platform, in order to receive greater payment.
My first idea, inspired by an article I read, is performing over Facebook or Instagram-live videos. One artist included a link in his bio where fans could donate to his performances. While this is a clever idea, it solely depends on fans generosity, rather than being a required flat fee which concerts demand. Nevertheless, creating a link to donate/tip is still a way to generate income. Since in person concerts are not an option at this time, having a donation link, is better than no donation link! Another idea, is to charge money over online apps for admission to view live stream concerts. This means that the artist still gets to perform, just over a different medium than in person. If the artist is quite popular, he/she should have little problems getting fans to tune in. If concerts are consistent, such as every Wednesday evening, this could bring in a steady stream of cash flow, as well as bring people joy who are confined to their homes. It’s a win-win.
Another idea for musicians to bring in revenue, is to sell merchandise. A great merchandise idea which is most popular right now–actually, essential, is masks! I realize that this will only be possible for more popular bands/artist, as less popular musicians will have a smaller fan base to purchase merchandise. However, if a less popular artist creates masks with a cool design, people may buy it solely for that design, and promote that artist by wearing it around. Musicians could also do performances at a safe distance, or sing behind plexiglass.
I found that this question really challenged me. It would be quite a dilemma to be in the position of being a performer in this pandemic. I think it would take a lot of courage and determination to keep going, however, there are always new ideas and options to take into consideration as a performer.