How can you make money when not performing? Coronavirus advice for professional musicians.

Posted on: 19 March 2020

Its a tough time for performing and teaching musicians globally

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In these turbulent times we understand how worried musicians are. If you make your living from performing or teaching you might be one of the many who are unable to do so at the moment. The music industry is waiting for further guidance from the Government on events, distancing and public space and school closures. We know that musicians, understandably, are worried that this is going to have implications on their careers and livelihood but there are some other options that might be able to supplement your income in the meantime. Here are some suggestions from our team of music experts:

Here are some suggestions from our team of music experts:

1.       Live Streaming

Over the last couple of days, artists are reacting to venue closures by live streaming gigs for their fans. Everyone from Chris Martin of Coldplay to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra are getting involved and making sure their live music is still available to their fans. With more of us having to self-quarantine it might be worth considering offering this to your fans.

Billboard have started collating all of the major artists who are doing quarantine streams so have a look to get some inspiration. 

You can even use your phone, laptop or tablet to live stream your gigs

2.       Teach over webcam/Skype/FaceTime

If you can’t go into your school, go to your pupil’s house or have pupils over to your premises you might be worried about your ability to teach, but have you considered teaching online? In the short term this could be a really useful option so you can keep your pupils on the right track and keep your income coming in.

3.       Be creative

You could use this downtime for some songwriting, composing, home recording or practice. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to get some of your
music up on Soundcloud, onto an agency’s website or on your own website? Or because you’re usually so busy maybe you haven’t had time to really put in the time for some serious practice sessions? Whatever you do, now could be a really great time to get creative and you could make some money from it.

Use this quiet time to be creative and write some new material

4.       Push merchandise

If your band does regular tours and gigs you might have some merchandise that you sell when on the road. Now could be a good time to push your online store or sales via social media in order to generate some extra income - maybe you could even offer special prices. Your fans will want to support you in these tough times so reach out to them

5.       Catch up on admin

And if all else fails be productive with this quiet time – do some of that long overdue admin, like website updates, social media posts, blog updates, bookkeeping/accounts and sorting out your insurance

6.       Reach out for support

If you’re starting to struggle financially its worth speaking with one of these organisations:

Help Musicians: ‘Our approach is person-centred; building tailored support around an individual’s specific needs. Unfortunately, for obvious reasons, Help Musicians is unable to replace lost earnings. But we are able to provide financial support in cases of significant financial hardship as well as signposting for debt/welfare related issues. We also provide financial assistance for health interventions and access to music specialist health assessments for performance related health issues.’

Arts Council England: ‘Arts Council England has pledged to “refocus” some of its grant-giving programmes to compensate individual artists and freelance workers who lose earnings because of coronavirus.’


From everyone at Allianz Musical Insurance we hope you stay well and get through these tough times. We’re here to support you and to keep you playing your beloved instruments.

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