High schoolers who know more about music than about business can still become successful young entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is so much more than selling things. Following your passion is one of the best ways to become a young entrepreneur. By doing something you love, you are more likely to get others excited about it, too. And if you can make a few bucks while doing it? You’re living the dream!
While we can’t promise you’ll be the next Billie Eilish, there are plenty of ideas for starting a music-based business. Your natural gift may be exactly what the world is waiting for – and willing to pay you for.
Do your friends always ask you to make a playlist for their parties? Are you the person in your group who always knows who the next big music star will be? Consider a job as a DJ! From your sibling’s birthday parties to school events, you can easily cash in on your ability to mix up the exact right tracks for a crowd. The only downside might be the cost of professional equipment. Start small with your own phone’s playlist and go from there.
2. KARAOKE HOST
Hot on the heels of being a DJ comes karaoke host. Karaoke machines vary widely in price. Buy something affordable to get your foot in the door and build up your reputation.
3. MUSIC LESSONS
For those young entrepreneurs who love kids, offer music lessons. Parents love teachers who can come to their homes to tutor their kids. (This may not work if your instrument is a piano.) Even adults would love to learn something new!
Don’t play an instrument? Voices lessons work, too!
4. EVENT BAND
We’re willing to bet if you’re a musician, you are friends with other musicians. In that case, consider starting a band and playing local events. Weddings, birthday parties, anniversary parties, and corporate events all need someone to provide music. You and your friends can get paid to play together!
5. MARKETING AND PROMOTION
For our musical young entrepreneurs who are good at getting a crowd hyped up, consider starting a promotion business. Who better to book gigs and promote the talent of your friends than a fellow musician?
6. INTRO/OUTRO MUSIC
Podcasters, YouTubers, and other influencers often need music to go along with their products. They want music to set the tone for their intros, something to play against the outros, and possibly snippets of music or ambient scores in between. Start a website with a few samples of a variety of types of music you offer and promote yourself to other young up-and-comers.
7. INSTRUMENT RENTAL
Are you a musical jack-of-all-trades? You can make easy money by renting out your instruments. Parents whose kids want to try an instrument are your best target customers.
8. INSTRUMENT REPAIR
You’ve been playing the guitar for so long you can’t remember what it’s like to not play. You know a guitar backward and forwards. Maybe you’ve even built one yourself! Take that superpower and start an instrument repair service.
9. MUSIC BLOGGER/PODCASTER
We’re living in a golden age of podcasts. As a musical young entrepreneur, we know you have your finger on the pulse of what’s new, what’s hot, and what’s next in the world of music. Share your insight with the world via a podcast or blog!
10. WRITE AND SELL SHEET MUSIC
The ability to write good music from scratch is truly a gift. Let others pay you for sharing that gift with the world by selling your original sheet music. Sites like this one tell you how. Or keep it simple and sell on eBay!
11. MUSIC VIDEO PRODUCER
Not only do you have an ear for music and a sixth sense for the Next Big Thing, but you have an eye for great music videos. Grab your phone, download free video editing software, and get to work!
12. MUSIC FESTIVAL PRODUCER
You don’t need to assemble the next Coachella to become a music festival producer. All it really takes is some location scouting, a little investment capital, and a few bands you know who are available to perform on the same day. Use your excellent people skills to get donations from local vendors for things like food and drink in exchange for promotion and advertising.
13. MERCH SELLER
Help your music festival producer, music podcaster, or event band friends by creating and selling merch.
14. SOUND EDITING
Your ears are so finely tuned that anything even remotely off-pitch gives you a headache. Use that super-powered sense of hearing to start your young entrepreneurial journey by downloading free audio software. Offer your services to aspiring musicians, podcasters, voice-over artists, and other audio artists.
15. PUBLISH YOUR MUSIC ON SPOTIFY
Forget everything else. All you want to do is make music. Thanks to sites like Spotify, almost anyone can become a published musician. Click here for tips on how to get started.
16. BECOME A SESSION OR GIG ARTIST
There is a world of need out there for every type of singing and music. Consider posting your work on sites like AirGig, where others can find and hire you. It’s like a jobs board for freelance musicians, producers, and singers.
17. APPRENTICE A MUSIC THERAPIST
Music therapy is a wonderful way to connect with people in need. While still in high school you can’t provide music therapy on your own (you need certain certifications). But if this is a career that interests you, reach out to local music therapists and ask if you can intern for them.
18. MUSIC PRODUCTION INTERN
Not all young entrepreneurs want to make a career on stage or in front of a microphone, and that’s totally fine. There are plenty of other music-related jobs out there that require your attention behind the scenes.
The music industry is so vast and diverse, that whatever fills your heart can become the start of your entrepreneurial journey. Your talent will make the world a more harmonious, more beautiful place to live in!
Young entrepreneurs who attend high school in Florida may be eligible for a Kantner Foundation college scholarship. Click here to learn about what we offer and how to apply.