One thing I love about young musicians today is how creative and bold they are. It can be easy to settle into the conventional groove of teaching (which–don’t get me wrong–is an art in itself and one of the most worthwhile careers out there!), which is why it’s inspiring to see my peers also find ways to perform and bring music to life in innovative ways, mostly through starting their own groups and creating opportunities for themselves, instead of waiting for opportunity to come knocking.
Being in charge of your own musical group sounds like an ideal situation–you get to work with people you like; you have control over what repertoire you play; you can experiment with tradition and innovation. But the one thing that gets in the way? Money (or rather, lack thereof)–and how you report that money when tax season rolls around. With great power comes great responsibility, and there’s a lot of paperwork involved in being in charge of your own career/your group’s career. Thankfully, there are some resources out there to help shed some light on a subject that is murky and unfamiliar for many musicians.
- SFCM Grant-Writing Guide
- Taxes 101: What Self-Employed Musicians Need to Know
- Things a Self-Employed Musician Can Write Off
- 5 Vital Tax Tips for Musicians
- Should I Start a Nonprofit? (The whole Savvy Musician blog is focused on the business/entrepreneurial side of music)
- Creating a Budget