Is a Music Career Worth It?

I have taught many high school age students who are making decisions about whether or not to go to college and what other options might be available to them. Others are making decisions about where to go to college and what to study in college. Marissa, one of my very talented voice students, came to her lesson last week and said… “I love singing and I feel that I would really enjoy a career in music. But I’m concerned. Parents and relatives have told me that I will struggle to earn a good living. Should I go into music? Is a music career worth it?”

These are always difficult conversations for me, as I remember my parents advising me against a career in music. Though they had given me every opportunity growing up, to hone my skills as a musician, they were afraid that I would struggle to earn a good living as a musician. I decided that I wanted to be a musician and my parents went along with it because more than anything, they wanted me to be happy.

My dad told me to go to college and continue in college until I got a Master of Music Degree, so I did. At 22 years old, I had gotten a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree. Mom and Dad were happy because I was qualified to teach at the university level. As a matter of fact, I was offered a position as a university adjunct professor of music. I turned it down, because I wanted to sing and produce and tour!!! I wanted to see the world and enjoy other peoples and cultures! Getting the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees allowed me to give my parents peace of mind and it allowed me to confidently follow my own dreams.

These music career conversations are always difficult for me as an influencer of impressionable students. I want to respect the wishes of parents, but I also want to encourage that exceptionally talented, hard working student, who would find their bliss as a professional musician.

It’s important for students to understand that a successful career in music is not easy. It requires a lot of hard work to develop technique and skill on your instrument. However, in addition to that, a successful career in music requires a lot of hard work on the business side. If you’re willing to be committed and work hard, you’ll find success. Take some business classes. Learn how to move your career forward.

So, the answer to “Is a Music Career Worth It?” is a very personal one for each individual. It certainly is possible to have a very successful music career over many decades. It requires hard work and dedication. Is a music career right for you? Only you can answer that question. Only you know your level of commitment to building a successful career. Whether you choose a career in music or not, I wish you the very best on your personal journey!

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About gretapope

Dr. Greta Pope has enjoyed a three decade career as an in-demand entertainer for corporate events, as well as public and private events of all types. She has performed throughout Europe, the Far East, South America and the Caribbean, as well as in the United States and Canada. Dr. Pope is a published author. Her book is entitled Music, Money & You; Managing the Business. It is used in the Chicago Public Schools and is available at booksellers nationwide. Dr. Pope is President/CEO of Greta Pope Entertainment, Inc. since January 1991. The company is in the business of Entertainment Production, Publishing, Recording and Educating. Greta Pope Entertainment products include the shows Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, American Songbook, American Jazz in Paris and International Intourlude. The most recent Greta Pope Entertainment, Inc. production is the very popular MOTOWN...Pride of the Motor City! show. For more info visit Dr. Greta Pope is the founder of the, where she offers Business Education products for Singers, including Business Courses, Business Consultations, Voice Lessons and Piano Lessons. She also hosts The Business Savvy Singer Podcast. For more information or to join the "tribe" of Business Savvy Singers, visit
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