Whilst some musicians achieve financial success, incomes from creative practice are usually small, and few of those with music qualifications end up in musician occupations. Instead, many musicians adopt ‘portfolio’ careers, and leverage their skills in arts related industries such as music teaching.
Throsby & Zednik estimate the median creative income from creative work – that is, the mid-point of the range of creative incomes – is $7,000 for practising professional musicians and $8,000 for composers.
Musicians and composers said the most important factor advancing their professional development throughout their career was passion/self-motivation, followed by hard work/persistence and talent.
More musicians and composers indicated that talent was the most important factor, compared with other artist groups.