College Grad Freelance Musician in Columbus, Ohio
Name: Paul
Career: Freelance Musician
Company Field: Music
Located In: Columbus, Ohio
Grew Up In: Springfield, Virginia
Graduated From:
Majored In: Jazz Studies
Graduated In: 2011
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After College Lifestyles

Paul is a Freelance Musician in Columbus Ohio. As a freelance musician, Paul's job entails many teaching and performing gigs. Paul explains how a lot of time is spent practicing, writing music, organizing rehearsals, notating and printing music, etc. See what life as a Freelance Musician is really like!

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Name: Paul
Career: Freelance Musician
Company Field: Music
Located In: Columbus, Ohio
Grew Up In: Springfield, Virginia
Graduated From:
Majored In: Jazz Studies
Graduated In: 2011

Quick Stats on Being a Musician

Work Hours/Week: 20 Hours + All the Time
Work Hour Flexibility: Medium
Quality of Lifestyle Outside of Work: Medium
Work Stress Level: High
Level of Routine Work: Low
Interaction with Co-Workers: Medium
Pay Level (out of 5): $$

Life of a College GradMusician


My job includes teaching, performing, practicing, writing music, organizing rehearsals, notating and printing music, and much more. Only those first two are paid, so I spend most of my own time working and preparing for teaching and gigs. I teach piano and guitar to mostly young students at a studio in Dublin, Ohio, and I have a few private students at my home as well. Gigs can range from a private reception or wedding to a bar or festival gig.

Freelance Musician's Daily Routine:

1:00 PM Wake up, eat, check email and plan my day

2:00 PM Practice and/or compose music

3:00 PM Prepare for teaching or gig

4:00 PM Studio teaching

9:00 PM A gig (maybe)

12:00 AM Unwind, watch TV

2:00 AM Eat, practice, compose, relax

5:00 AM Sleep

Freelance Musician After College in Columbus Ohio
How To Get Into The Field
In college I majored in music performance, but there's a lot involved in being a freelance performer that they don't teach you in most schools. Most importantly, this includes how to book gigs and manage relations with the owners and managers. Most gigs come from other people, however, so after moving I started going to the jam sessions and met as many people as I could. I also kept my eye on Craigslist for teaching opportunities, which I did until I landed my current job at a private lesson studio about five months after I moved to Columbus.

What Do You Really Do?
Most of my time isn't actually spent teaching or performing. It takes much longer just to prepare for these jobs, whether it's learning a song for a student; writing, notating, revising, and printing parts for a gig; or simply practicing to learn the common jazz repertoire and sound good while playing it. Unfortunately, this means that I'm always at work, even when I spend all day at home, but the payoff is that it is work I enjoy.
Pros/Cons of Your Job
The best thing about my job is that it doesn't feel like a job. As a freelancer, I'm not tied down to any one thing or place. I rely on my skills and work ethic. The downside is that the income can be very unsteady, and low overall. I'm also missing out on benefits such as healthcare that full time jobs provide, so, looking to the future, it would be prudent to get a Master's degree and try to teach at a university. This career is definitely for those who like to do things on their own, at their own pace, and be in control and completely lost at the same time.

Tour My Columbus, Ohio Apartment

Quick Stats on Columbus, Ohio

Job Opportunities: High
Competition for Housing: Low
Housing Cost: Low
Population of Young People: High
Nightlife: High
Safety: Medium
Biggest Industries: Education, Finance

The Life of a College Grad In Columbus, Ohio


College Grad life in Columbus Ohio

What's it Like to Live Here?
In Columbus you'll find all sorts of people, most of them friendly. Where I live, not far from OSU campus, is hugely populated with the young and trendy, but you'll find people from all walks of life. As any Ohioan will tell you, the weather has constant mood swings, rapidly changing from extreme cold to extreme heat, with little middle ground. And if you like flat, Central Ohio is the place to be. Columbus itself has a lot of culture, with good food, festivals, and districts that have a lot to offer.

How Did I End Up Here?
I grew up in Springfield, Virginia, which is just south of Washington D.C. Through my high school's guitar program I discovered Bowling Green State University, which is where I went to school, and how I ended up in Ohio. After graduating, I moved to Columbus because it seemed like the best scene in Ohio to work as a musician and teacher. Aside from High Street, it's a pretty chill town, but people say "soda" wrong.
My Set-Up
I live in a neighborhood called Clintonville in a one bedroom apartment the top floor converted from an old two-story home. I lived by myself until a couple months ago, when my girlfriend moved in. Clintonville is great because it's cheap, close to everything, and it's where all the musicians seem to live. Just make sure to check your fruit thoroughly before checking out at the grocery store.

Closing Advice


If you know what you want your career to be, don't waste any time. Start acting as if you have it already, and do what needs to be done, even if it takes up all of your free time. I wasted too much time after graduating delaying my move to Columbus and avoiding booking gigs, and even after moving I could have been much more proactive.

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