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How does a violinist live everyday? I'm considering on becoming a professional violinist.

How does a violinist make money? I would love to know whether they make lots of profit. And what would be a good price violin when it comes to being a professional?

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Katherine’s Answer

If you want to see something about how teaching business could go for you in your local area, try creating profiles on Thumbtack and Lessons.com.
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Kevin’s Answer

There are probably 3 main ways that a violinist makes money. They could be categorized under the following:
1) Performer; 2) Composer ; 3) Educator.

Almost all professional violinists will be well versed in Classical music. This is because it is the music that has the largest repertoire for the instrument. Classical Music helps a violinist to develop a well rounded technique and a thorough grounding in the violin. There are other approaches to learning the violin available without playing Classical Music. Many violinists play only Folk, Romani music and other styles and are able to earn a living.
However, classically trained violinists more often than not have the ability to make the most money from the playing of the instrument.

Many violinists play in Classical Music orchestras. These positions are highly competitive.
If one were to secure a position in an orchestra the yearly salary (as of 2022) would likely be in the lower six figures. It is considered a well paid middle class job. To play in the very top orchestras, a violinist would need to be a world class instrumentalist but would be rewarded handsomely for their ability. There are other opportunities.
For example working in smaller groups such as string quartets.

Becoming a soloist would mean gaining even more recognition and a higher salary.
There are probably no limits on what a world famous violinist could earn.
Becoming one would likely open up the opportunity to become a recording artist.
This would increase the earnings of a violinist by giving them the chance to earn money from record sales on top of money earned from performing. They would also be heavily promoted by their record label which would probably increase their name recognition. There are many examples of famous classical violinists becoming pop stars.

On the other end of the scale some violinists become sessions musicians or freelance; recording string parts on recordings for composers or producers or performing with groups as opportunities arise.

Violinists can also become composers. Many famous composers were violinists. Becoming a composer in the Classical Music world is particularly challenging but it is a way for those who have the ability and drive to earn a living. There are still more opportunities in areas such as arranging music for others genres or writing original music for TV and film. Film and TV studios also hire orchestras to record soundtracks.

There are also many examples of successful violinists becoming conductors which is another avenue for a violinist to make money.

Violinists also can become educators earning a living by teaching at schools, colleges and university. They also can teach private lessons too. This can also be lucrative.

Many violinists will mix and match all of the above approaches; likely making money from whatever they can when they are beginning their career.

The instrument itself has a vast price range. They can begin in the low hundreds of dollars but a Stradivarius could cost millions of dollars or be priceless.

I should add finally that the answers I have give here would apply (in most cases) equally to any person interested in pursuing a career playing a different musical instrument.

Kevin recommends the following next steps:

Research an orchestra, a violinist or even just a recording you like that has a violin. Find out who played the violin on the recording or performance. Look at what they have done and how they got to be where they are now.
Find out about the most famous violinists that have ever lived. Learn their names and their stories. See if there is anything you can learn or be inspired by.
Find out about violinists who are recording artists and are famous. What is different about them compared to other violinists in the music they play and their performances?
Watch your favourite films and listen to the soundtrack. What pieces move you the most? See if there are any strings or violins playing. Learn about the piece/s; where it was recorded; who composed it; who played the violin. See what you can learn from this.
Find out about Violinists who have become conductors; Violinists who have become teachers; contact teachers and find out about their careers; any advice they have for you. visit a store or place with violins on sale and ask about them and try some!
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