In consideration of the whole point of Session 11, discuss how a musician can succeed in Covid times. What adaptations can they implement? What specific challenges do they face?
The way I think about it there are three pillars that make up the profession of a successful musician: Artistic Expression, Reputation, and Income. Successful musicians should be creating music that they care about and that they are proud of. Along with that they also should have a following of people who want to share that music with them. And finally since it is an occupation income is a factor to consider.
In the times of the Corona Virus each one of these essential pillars are disturbed in different ways and to different extents. One’s artistic expression can be impaired when one is forced to stay inside, in almost complete isolation, for 8 months. This pandemic can bring great mental stress to someone and severely affect their mental health, thus affecting their ability to create art. At the same time some people may find inspiration to dive head first into their art as an escape from this reality. Another important pillar that is affected by the Corona Virus is how one develops and maintains their reputation as a musician. Without the ability to create and play shows to reach audiences’ ears it is hard to stay relevant in today’s musical climate. Live human connections are invaluable to professional musicians and the legacy they leave behind. This point is amplified even more by musicians with a small local audience. The growth of their career is heavily dependent on word of mouth and social interactions. The final pillar affected by the Corona Virus is of course income. Where is there money to be made when there are no shows to play? How can one maintain a steady source of income without having people to come pay them for their craft?
Of course with every obstacle thrown one’s way there comes adaptations. Many artists are taking this time of isolation to create a further bond with their audience. With the magic of the internet and social media, artists are speaking directly to their supporters and organizing new ways for them to experience their music. This can come in many forms such as live streamed concerts from empty venues to live streamed meet and greet events to help share their music to new people. These adaptations help fortify both the reputation and artistic expression pillars. And for those with large audiences they are turning to other forms of monetization such as merchandise or paying an artist for a work in progress album with the use of sites such as patreon. Business moves like the two examples above help people with established audiences stabilize the income pillar. There are many more examples of how the Corona Virus is affecting musicians as well as how they are adapting to the pandemic. These are just the most general examples that all aspiring musicians should keep in mind.