This data memo presents a snapshot of nearly 900 jazz musicians who participated in the Money from Music Survey in 2011, the first comprehensive assessment of jazz musicians in the US since “Changing the Beat.” After presenting basic demographic information, this memo provides data about jazz musician’s experience, income, and feelings about technology, and also compares the jazz population to survey takers from other genres. This memo also takes a closer look at the differences between jazz musicians who are members of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and those who are not, and the relationship that AFM membership has with income.
Looking at the gross income, we see that 95.4% of the Ensemble’s gross income comes from live performance fees. They retain a professional manager in 2004, and their touring income more than doubles by 2005.
When taking expenses into account, we learn that though their gross income fluctuates from year to year, their net profit is steadily increasing. We also see that while their records are doing very well for classical music and have recouped, the Ensemble does not rely in this income at all (0.1% of their 2002-2010 income is from record royalties paid by a label) and instead treats recordings as marketing for the ensemble.
We reflect on the classical music marketplace, which is distinct from other markets. Their situation is similar to Professional Orchestra Player’s in that they are highly skilled musicians that are usually paid a relatively high wage in an extremely competitive marketplace.
After years of training and competing, the Artist has won a coveted seat as a salaried player in a major symphony orchestra – a position that includes health insurance and a pension. His income fluctuates until he wins the seat in the symphony. At that point, his income will be stable as long as he is with the orchestra.
Classically-trained professional musicians have only a few expenses – education and instruments being one of the top ones – but these expenses can be significant and usually cannot be avoided. They function in an unusual economy where musical instruments can sometimes be a significant investment and are often loaned or bequeathed because of their extreme cost.
Professional Orchestra Players are often not composers, and do not participate in a significant way in many copyright-related income streams. They rely on the unions to help them collect the few and various “background musician” royalties they are entitled to.
We also reflect on the extremely competitive nature of this line of work. Mentorship can sometimes play a large role in helping a young player navigate this competitive terrain.
The FMC team spent some time with the Network of Music Career Development Officers at their annual meeting on Thursday, January 11, 2012 at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Here are some slides from our presentation, which look at some of the survey results with respect to conservatory and music school graduates.
In this presentation we looked at the characteristics of the 2,728 musicians and composers who said they graduated from a conservatory of music school. The top regions for this group were New York, Boston, Washington DC, Long Beach/LA, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Detroit, Madison, Minneapolis, Nashville, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth and Rochester.
We found that music school or conservatory graduates were more likely to be earning more, working more, and were more likely to have … Read More »