A Day in the Life of a Musician

musician

Glen Hartmann: Musician

EduConnect managed to get hold of Glen Hartmann, a full time musician and coffee addict. Glen has been a full time musician for two years now and is not regretting a single moment of it. He took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions for us and to educate us about the exciting life of a full time muso.

What does a typical working day involve? What are your day-to-day activities?

Time of Day Activity Comments
07:00 Wake up. Coffee. Always Coffee. Read. Breakfast. Without coffee at this point, life has no meaning.
08:00 Exercise. Body starting to feel ready for the day.
09:00 Planning and admin. Anything needed to be prioritized?
09:30 Reply to interviews (and listen to fresh music). Try to be a little bit funny in my interviews.
10:30 Practice. Work on my live performance, and just on bettering my ability.
12:00 Write/record new music Need to get a more comfortable chair.
13:00 Lunch Never sacrifice this time. Lunch is really important.
14:00- 17:00 Write/record new music
20:00 Travel to venue for performance. Hope I remembered to pack everything.

After waking up, I have a cup of coffee. It is the only thing that can coax me into the day! And I always try and read while having breakfast because it helps me prepare for the working day. Then, for me, my working day starts with exercise. It helps me get my mind alert and helps me to stay motivated. From here, my day can be flexible.

Typically, I like to start things by planning the day ahead and setting myself goals for the day. And I will get the admin out of the way: I will check to see if I have any emails/social media interactions I need to respond to. If I have to do any interviews, I will start my day by answering the interviews. And while I do this, I allow myself to listen to new music so that I can fill my mind with new musical ideas that could inspire me in writing my own music.

Next, I like to practice my music and just work on improving my ability in what I do, and this also keeps me prepared for any performances I have. If I am writing new music, then I will spend some time working on new material, refining it to a point where I can record it. If I have new ideas, I will work on recording them, which could take a couple of hours over a couple of days. Throughout the day I will also be looking to connect with those following me on social media. Performances usually happen towards the weekends and then usually in the evening.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love the flexibility that I have in my work and how I have so much variety in what I do in a day. Some days, I will have to travel to a location to film an interview and I will spend the whole day working on that interview. Other days I will have to fly to Joburg to do media tours or shows. And sometimes I have to spend a weekend on location filming a music video. Doing work in this way is very exciting for me.

What do you enjoy least about your job? If anything.

Sometimes when I have to travel, my wife cannot come with me so I have to travel alone. In those moments, things can get quite lonely and that is never fun. 

Is there a qualification required to perform this job? Where and what did you study?

A qualification is not specifically required for this job. But having a qualification certainly will be beneficial. If you study music at a university, it will undoubtedly give you technical ability in carrying out this job. I have been studying music since 8 years old, and although I have not got a formal qualification in this field, I have received formal training from guitar to vocal to piano to musical theory and composition throughout my life. And the training that I have received has been invaluable in what I do.

What type of person would be well suited to this job?

A musically creative, but disciplined and committed person is ideally suited for this work. You have to be musically creative because that is the essence of what songwriting is. You have to be disciplined and committed because this career path is not easy, and it is difficult to make money from songwriting and performance. Discipline will help you hone your craft to become excellent and get to a point where you can turn music into a career. Commitment will take you past the point where you feel like giving up into the place where you have a career.

How long have you been in this position and how did you get there?

This is my second year being a full time musician. I got here because I decided that this was my passion and I wanted to pursue this career path. Getting here involved taking risks, stepping out in faith and realizing that this would be a tough journey, but knowing that I would give it my all to make this into a career.

Do you have any additional advice for someone interested in pursuing this career?

Decide if being a musician/songwriter seriously is what you want to do. If it is, then commit to it – properly commit to it. If you can study to hone your craft, then do that. But above all give it your whole heart, because if you allow yourself to be swayed by every other person’s opinion then you will struggle to achieve your goal in pursuing this career.

Everyone is curious to know, what is the earning potential of this career?

The earning potential is high. It depends on the energy/commitment you are willing to put into it. If you choose to make this a lifelong career that you are constantly building into, then there is honestly very little limit to what you can earn. As a musician/songwriter, you are not an employee and don’t get a set salary. But the way money comes in is from various sources (shows, CD sales, sponsorships, merchandise, royalties etc) and if done wisely, there is no limit to how much you can make.

Any quirky advice for scholars looking to pursue a career in your field?

Don’t spam people to like your Facebook page!

EduConnect 2cents

A career as a musician is often seen as a risky path to take for your future. As Glen said, the income is dependent on your commitment and dedication. There is no starting salary or average salary to use as a guideline. You need to be certain of your dreams and goals. Be confident in yourself and your capabilities. As all Disney movies  continuously tell us – anything is possible if you just believe. So go out there and believe in yourself.

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