If you’re like me, you don’t have a huge budget for music.
So even though going to music college sounds cool, it’s just not feasible.
Fortunately, there’s a great alternative: online music courses.
They’re much cheaper, more accessible, and take less time to complete.
And in light of this, here are three online courses that can help boost your music career.
Middle Class Musician
Reality check: most musicians are not making a superstar-level income. Most musicians are blue collar — middle class.
And DIY musician Derek Webb knows this middle-class world very well.
For over two decades, he’s been a full-time musician and, what he calls, “an accidental entrepreneur” because of his founding role in the free-music website NoiseTrade.
He started a band, with whom he’s had a good amount of success, and now he’s a solo artist. So he’s got the resume to fit the online course he put together called The Middle Class Musician.
“I wanna tell you everything I know,” Webb says. “Everything from the basics (and not so basics) of songwriting, demo, and full album recording, to touring and playing house shows, and the basics of setting up your business online and beyond.
“I want to bring all of my experience to bear on helping you build your career.”
And when he says “career,” he means a living, not getting rich and famous. You know, a middle-class living.
I’ve taken this course myself and I can attest to its usefulness and practicality.
Each lesson is a professionally filmed video of Webb talking into the camera as he sits on a couch in his home studio or at his workstation.
To give you an idea of the content, here’s the basic course overview:
- The Philosophy & Business Of Middle Class Music
- Bonus Content (which includes email templates, discounts, website-building tips, and an interview with a fellow middle-class musician)
Sell Music Masterclass
The Sell Music masterclass was created by musician and YouTube creator Adam Ivy. He helps his 65,000 plus subscribers with the business side of music, marketing and promotion, and just generally staying motivated.
As a beatmaker and producer, his YouTube channel started as a parody channel, and now he helps thousands of fellow musicians (including me) with each video.
He’s energetic, driven, and knowledgeable — three things you want in a teacher.
He talks about how he went from eating only eggs, tuna, and Ramen to buying nice cars and fancy watches. He says there’s was a time when he had debt collectors calling him, no gas in his car, and a job where he worked 12-hour shifts.
Then he contrasts that with today — he claims to be making more than doctors and lawyers and the kids he went to high school with. He apparently makes six figures a year selling beats and making music.
And in the promo video for his masterclass (which I have not taken), he talks about “Purpose Driven Music Marketing.” And it has three pillars of a purpose-driven music career: Creative Freedom, Financial Freedom, and Freedom Of Opportunities.
Creative freedom is being able to work on your music whenever you want and for however long you want. Ivy says he got tired of working all day only to have an hour or so to work on music.
“I could never complete something to the level in which I knew I was capable of because I just didn’t have the time,” he says. “I didn’t have the mental bandwidth.”
Doing music full-time gave him the creative freedom to unlock his potential.
And when we attain financial freedom, he says we musicians can then “get to the next level,” give back to causes we care about, and live better lives. Essentially, money frees you up to make more music.
And finally, the freedom of opportunities means that you have more time to pursue more and bigger opportunities that you wouldn’t have been able to as a music-dabbler. He says you can create your own opportunities.
The more music you make, the better you’ll get over time, and the more chances for advancement you’ll get.
The Successful Part-Time Musician
As Ivy knows all too well, being a part-time musician is difficult, but it’s a reality for most songwriters, producers, and performers, at least for a little bit.
Anyone looking to go full-time with music has to start somewhere. Every artist starts as a part-timer.
That’s why I put together The Successful Part-Time Musician course.
It’s easy to forget about the hobbyist or the night-owl musicians, but they also need content specific to them. Whether you’re looking to go full-time or to just keep music as a side thing, this course is tailored to you.
The reason I made this course is because I’m a part-time musician too. And I wanted to share what I’ve learned over a decade or so of making music.
I truly want to help other artists who are trying to navigate being a musician on the side — how to stay focused, not waste time, work within a super tight budget, and avoid crippling self-doubt.
To give you an idea of what the course involves, here’s the table of contents:
- Defining Success
- How To Stay Focused And Not Waste Time
- Songwriting In Between Life (Tips & Tools)
- How To Record Good Music With Not Much Time Or Money
- Business-y Stuff (It’s Not That Scary)
- How To Release Music Like The Pros
- Bonus Stuff (email/doc/spreadsheet templates and other resources)
Being (and staying) a driven musician is especially tough if you really want to do music full-time but aren’t currently.
Hopefully, this course can help you stay driven, organized, and moving toward your goals.
Want some more tips on how to navigate being a part-time musician? Grab the free PDF guide How To Be A Musician With A Day Job below.