Do Indie Artists Need Formal Music Education + Training?

Being an independent artist requires a lot of self-discipline. Musicians are responsible for finding opportunities for work, whether it is gigging for a record label or striving to perform sold-out shows. This lifestyle can prove difficult, especially as a solo artist, and even more so now in the wake of 2020’s coronavirus pandemic, with live performances having to be paused.

However, independent artists are also releasing more new music than ever due to the availability of streaming services and online platforms. They have been able to pivot and keep their business going by finding another way and opportunity to share their music.

Another question that has been raised about indie artists is whether or not they should have formal music education and training. As in – do they need to be taking voice or instrument lessons? Should they be working with trained professionals and advancing their knowledge of music education? 

The short and easy answer is no, they don’t necessarily need to have formal education or training. But let’s explore why they just might want to strongly consider it. 


Though it may not seem important, music education can provide independent artists with a lot of different rewards and benefits. Music education has been demonstrated to assist people with developing more confidence and boosting self-esteem as well as relieving stress and improving listening skills. As a working artist, you may get a lot of experience performing live in front of audiences, which can also be great to help develop all of those things as well.

However, the music educational benefits can take it a step higher. Even if you are an expert musician, you should never assume that you know everything. There is always something to be learned. For instance, maybe you know a lot about the history of music or about a particular genre. You could challenge yourself further by taking on online courses to learn other music styles and genres. Stepping out of your comfort zone to learn something new can be scary, but also shows growth in your career as an artist.


Should independent artists take music lessons? Well, even if you are the best guitar player that you know around, just as stated above, there is always something new that can be learned. It’s easier than ever before to take a music lesson online, from your computer, which creates a convenient and easy way to build upon your instrumental or vocal abilities.

Maybe you have always performed bluegrass or country and sang with your guitar. 

Could it help you to take on learning the piano as well? Or maybe some percussion? 

These are questions that as an independent artist, you should be asking yourself.

Maybe as a singer you want to learn to sing riffs and runs – could a professional voice teacher help you with that? Or maybe you want to change the genre that you sing in if you have always sung pop music, maybe you want to incorporate some R&B and soul? 

Most of the questions that come to the surface point to the truth that yes, learning from an expert or professional within a specific music field, genre, or style, can greatly improve upon your own skills as an indie artist. 


We have all heard the phrase “stick to your guns.” You can create the career path you want as long as you put in the work. If you believe in the music that you perform, whether it is singing or playing, you should always strive to devour more knowledge and take more information regarding that topic. 

But how do independent artists stick with it? How do they continue down such a difficult road? This is why training and education are important. Musicians know that they are going to get rejections, or possibly not reach their audience the way that they intended. Keeping strong in your training can give you that boost you need to keep going during those times when you might think about giving up on your dreams. 


Maybe you want to create your own record label. You should find someone who has done so successfully and educate yourself on the steps that he/she took to get there. Even as a performer gaining ground, there are things that you’re always going to find you’ll want to know about or learn so that you can keep up with ever-changing fads and developments throughout the music industry. 

In order to learn your instrument or work on your voice, you have to practice using it. Coaches and mentors are there to help you learn to not only improve technically, but mentally and physically as well. They will give you the tools to utilize so that you can set aside your own time to practice. This is essential to your career path, and why as an independent artist you should continue your education and training.


There are even other educational avenues to explore, such as how to market yourself as an independent artist, where you can build your fanbase in the online world. So, musicians can learn so much more than just how to build upon their own skills, because there are so many other factors involved when being a full-time musician. 

Making a career out of music can be very challenging, but you have to always be striving to learn more, train more, and practice more. Those who want it will work hard enough to make it happen. And many who have already made it happen most likely did so by educating and training themselves.


I listen to and write about music!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.