Professional and semi-professional singers can often enjoy a life of travel and may even earn great fame and wealth.
Depending on your personal preferences, you may find the life of a singer very enjoyable.
Consider the pros and cons below as you make your career plans.
Pros: There is something incredibly glamorous about getting all dressed up for a concert or a performance. You may be in a costume built to suit you or some gorgeous evening wear.
Your make-up and jewelry will take time and you may have a team there to help you look your best.
Cons: Stage makeup is sticky and can be hard on your skin. The lights will make you sweat and your costume will probably be heavy.
You’re going to need to own a lot of really nice clothes, because you may need something new each year for a particular gig.
Pros: As a featured singer, you will garner a lot of attention. People will tell you that they are jealous of your talent. They may ask to study with you because they want to sound like you.
While you should encourage them to work to sound like the best version of themselves, life as a voice teacher can be quite satisfying.
When you retire, you may be able to build a successful studio and maintain a life in the music business.
Cons: At the end of a big concert, all you may want is a glass of water and the chance to use the bathroom.
As you learn to turn pre-performance nerves into performance energy, you may find that you’re a bit shaky after your concert and really need a break from people.
Learning to dissipate this energy will take time.
Pros: As a professional singer, you will get to work with amazing teachers, conductors, directors, and choreographers. Your skills will always be growing.
Cons: It can take years to learn to be a successful singer, whether classical or pop. You may need to take classes in movement, from dance to stage combat.
Depending on when you start singing, your voice may change and you will need to learn new literature.
Pros: The process of memorization is very good for your brain; you may even get the chance to learn new languages as you study music.
Cons: Professional singers often need to memorize many songs, dance steps, and stage movements.
If you learn one show and perform it for a while, you may find that new songs are harder to learn because part of your voice has weakened a bit.
Pros: A professional singer may be able to travel the world as they perform in different facilities. If you want a full passport, this could be an amazing life.
Cons: If you travel a lot, you may miss out on simple joys like pets, houseplants and partners. You may also get very tired of take-out. You will have to learn to live out of a suitcase.
Pros: As a professional singer, you may be a big part of someone else’s celebration. The folks in the audience in front of you may have saved for months for the ticket and you are their reward!
Cons: Weekends off are quite rare for professional singers. You may need to embrace your weekends on Monday and Tuesday.
Pros: Depending on your vocal focus, you may be a featured holiday performer. Your voice may be a way for your audience members to set the season rolling.
Cons: Your personal traditions may be a challenge to maintain. If your steady gig is a Messiah in December, you may struggle to be with your family at Christmastime.
Pros: Good singers need good lungs and healthy vocal folds. As a professional singer, you can put your focus on a nutritious diet, regular workouts to build a strong core, and a hearty immune system.
Cons: You will get a cold right before a big gig. If you’re a music teacher as well as a singer, someone is going to cough in your face at school while you’re rehearsing for a big gig every evening.
Do your best to support your immune system and be prepared to literally catch everything the day after the big show.
9) Time Window
Pros: Depending on your training, there are many areas of study as a singer that will allow you to grow naturally. The voice of a 16-year-old is a very different instrument than the same person at 30.
If you can be patient, you can enjoy a long career as a singer.
Cons: Singers wear out. Depending on what music you sing, your voice may develop craggy or harsh aspects. As much as we all love the Joni Mitchell video, we can’t deny that a hard life did her voice some hard damage.
However, we can still certainly celebrate her artistry!
10) Other Career Options
Pros: Singers and other musicians learn many skills besides music. As a trained singer, you learn to
- manage deadlines, also known as performances
- keep going when everything is falling to pieces
- stay aware of the well-being of those around you
All of these skills can be beneficial in the business world.
Cons: If you have a full-time job outside of music and are trying to increase your number of regular gigs, be aware that your employer may not work with you.
There may be some late nights at rehearsal followed by early mornings at your desk. It’s hard, but it’s worth it.