While we would love to say that all you need to be a successful musician is talent and passion, this unfortunately is not always the case. Instead, you might need a little of something else: money.
It’s not fun, and it Certainly isn’t always easy, but funding your musical projects is of extreme importance, especially if you’re just starting out.
Yes, it’s true that making music and getting it out to the public is easier than ever (in some ways at least), thanks to new technology and social platforms (looking at you, TikTok). However, if you want to make music a full-time gig, you might need some extra help.
Why Do You Need Funding?
While you can fairly easily make and record music from your own space and gaining listeners can happen by being active on the relevant social media sites, it wouldn’t hurt to have some additional funds as a musician.
For a lot of independent artists, music isn’t their full-time job. What does this mean? Well, in these situations, those musicians don’t have the time they would like to dedicate to their music projects.
So if you want to focus exclusively on your music and still be able to have a roof over your head and food in your belly, it’s time to find some funding.
Whether it’s paying for certain equipment or studio time or providing a source of income for yourself while you work on your art, funding can be incredibly valuable.
What Kind of Funding Is Out There?
One of the best ways to get funding as a musician is through grants. Maybe you’ve heard of grants before but are entirely sure what they are or how they could possibly help you.
Let’s dive in.
Grants.gov defines a grant as a way the government funds your ideas and projects to provide public services and stimulate the economy, but grants don’t have to only come from the government.
Non-profit organizations and the occasional for-profit business provide grants and other funding opportunities as well. Often. these are less economy-centric than government funding, focusing more on encouraging creativity or research.
How to Get Funding
Funding can get competitive, so don’t just automatically assume you’ll receive a grant just because. Plenty of other artists will be applying for the same grants as you, so you’ll really have to consider what makes you unique to stand out among the competition.
Some funding options will be open to any musician, but others are specific to genres. In that regard, these grants are a lot like college scholarships: whatever category you (and your music) fall into, there is likely some money available to you.
Funding opportunities will vary from country to country, so it’s always important to research your area to find local funding opportunities, but here are some major ones for musicians in the United States and the United Kingdom.
In the US
The American Guild Of Musical Artists (AGMA) Relief Fund: In 2020, the AGMA set up emergency funding for artists who needed it due to COVID-19. If you are a member of the Guild, you are eligible for support and temporary funding.
EMA Relief Fund: EMA intends to support early musicians in need. One way that they do this is by providing early musicians $250 on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants: This is for artists who have unplanned expenses in their creative projects. As the name suggests, these grants help out with more sudden and urgent expenses,
In the UK
PRS Foundation: PRS provides funding opportunities for artists at all levels. Whether you’re early in your career or just looking to take your art to the next level, there might be something for you.
Help Musicians: While Help Musicians provides grants themselves, they help artists in other ways as well. This organization connects musicians in the UK to various funding opportunities.
Awards for Young Musicians: By supporting musicians from low-income families, AYM helps artists overcome financial hardships and get started on their musical journey. If you apply between January and April, you have the opportunity to be considered for funding.