A Pianist’s Income

It’s already been a year since I began my career as a full-time musician! As someone who used to be quite certain that music would never be more than a hobby, I often ask myself, “Is this really my life?” I mean, what kind of crazy fool with a Chemistry degree tries to earn a living as a starving artist?

Well, I am that crazy fool. And since I still enjoy data analysis — what? I did go to MIT — I decided to do some number-crunching to see how the starving artist business was working out. Below is a chart of my monthly income.

Music is a seasonal business indeed. It’s a pretty drastic change from my desk job, where I was paid a monthly salary with a quarterly bonus. I do miss that paycheck, and I am ever grateful that my husband’s job covers health insurance for both of us.

You might have noticed that the title of this post is “A Pianist’s Income,” and not “A Pianist and Singer’s Income.” Why is that? Because being a singer is f’in expensive. Between lessons, coachings, pianist fees, audition fees, and the thousands of sopranos auditioning for every gig, I would be elated to merely break even on the singing business. If I ever quit playing a piano to become a full-time singer, you’ll know I’ve really lost my marbles!

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