Learning a music instrument to earn a living

There are many paths to choose from in the music career and playing an instrument is one of them. If you don’t have the opportunity to learn from a church, a music school is the best option.

LinkmeUg interfaced with Denis Nuwagaba of Uganda Music Academy who says age doesn’t matter with music. A child aged 2 and a grandmother of 60 can both learn to play an instrument and even earn a living from it.

Nuwagaba: Talent is born, a skill is learnt and a gift is a supernatural ability which may not be explained. In Uganda we have lots of music talent, both natural and nurtured.

Who should take up a music instrument?

Nuwagaba: It’s all about passion and interest. When you see someone playing, do you want to take the machine from them and learn it? Then you should be learning that machine. Find a music school and learn how to play it.

Can a bad singer be a good instrumentalist?

Yes, you can be a bad singer but play very good music on an instrument. We have classical and contemporary music. Contemporary players use their ears to get the code of a song and play to it. Classical music players read music and play to that.

Some people are gifted enough to play and sing, I advise good singers to take up a machine like a guitar.

Opportunities for instrument players

Young people must remember that an opportunity of a lifetime must be seized in the life time of that opportunity. So how and when you get an opportunity matters a lot. Be prepared for the opportunity. Church is always a great place to nurture talent and so are family gatherings.

Acquiring an instrument

Instruments are not as expensive as smart phones. A guitar goes from as low as $100.  But some music schools offer you the opportunity to buy the machine you train on at a discount.

Can I earn a living as an instrumentalist?

Uganda’s music is growing fast and in a few years, instrumentalists will earn more. As Uganda develop, we shall have nursing homes, homes for the elderly, live music concerts all requiring bands to play, so now is the time for youth to position themselves strategically.


  • Playing at a restaurant for a fee
  • Teaching others to play the instrument you know.
  • Concerts with bands.
  • Studio recording with musicians
  • Churches

Instruments on demand in Uganda

If you have an idea about many instruments and want to polish one for demand, I recommend a guitar and piano if you want to teach others. A music teacher is paid about 50,000/= per hour and music schools charge about 500,000/= for 12 classes.

Advice for Youth

  • Don’t limit yourself; you have so much to offer. There is a giant in you, release it.
  • Don’t be caught up with social media and forget to be who God created you to be. There are many ways to waste your life but also many ways to build it.
  • You should seek for opportunities and information to make your life better.

Ref: http://linkme.co.ug/2017/02/start-a-band-like-ivuga/

By Prossy Nyafono


Online Media for Youth

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