Today’s Money-Making woman is actually not a SAHM… she is probably the only one I’ll feature in this series who isn’t…but because she is my little sister, of course I had to make an exception. Mandi has found a way to make income from home that I thought those who are musically talented may want to know about. She sells sheet music of her own arrangements online from home. Because this is a more detailed type of project there is this Part 1 and Part 2. This is Part 1 of the interview… for more details please also read Part 2.
Q. What inspired you to begin working?
A. I’ve always loved to compose music since I was a kid- this seemed like a great way to not only share my talents and also my testimony of the Gospel.
Q. How did you go about starting your business or arranging a work at home position?
A. The first step is having a great website or YouTube channel that people can access and find your work through. I have my arrangements posted on YouTube so people can listen to the pieces and then continue onto my website to buy the music if they choose to.
Q. What are some tips you would like to share with others who are interested in doing something similar?
A. Definitely have a software you feel comfortable with using. I spent countless hours figuring out how to use the particular program I had (Finale Notation Software found here). Looking back I wish I’d have had a software that was more user friendly (Sibelius Notation Sofware found here).
Q. How many hours do you work a week or how much of your time does this position require? Is it flexible? Is it consistent?
A. Self Publishing an entire sheet music book has required a large amount of time- the editing alone probably took a solid three weeks. The nice thing though is once the book is done- it’s done. You could also write sell your own sheet music as single copies until you have enough to compile them together to make a book. So really you can do this as slowly as quickly as your free time allows.
Q. When/how do you find the time to work?
A. With this project I purposely planned to do it during the summer. I teach a strings program during the school year at a nearby private school in Santa Monica, so I knew that if I really wanted to dedicate the time necessary to get this done, I would need a summer to do it.
Q. Are there certain tips/advice you’d want to share with others who want to start working like you?
A. Start composing and arranging now! I was able to collect a few arrangements for this project that I had done over the last couple years. I didn’t know at the time I was writing them that I would use them two years later for this book. You can also sell sheet music by song, you do not have to complete an entire book before you begin selling it.
Q. Was training/schooling required for the position? How/when did you complete it?
A. Yes, I did need some know-how with how to score professionally, use the software, etc. I took composition courses at Berklee College of Music to enhance my work as a composer. Though some composers study privately, and some don’t study at all, for this specific project I was very grateful for the knowledge I gained through completing my Bachelor’s Degree at Berklee; I graduated in 2011.
Q. What is the income percentage you bring in? or How much do you make from this job? or Does the income help a little, medium, or is the main source of your family’s income?
A. This job in particular provides substantial supplemental income, and will continue to for however long it keeps selling.
Q. How would someone who wants to do something similar get started?
A. Find a great composer or arranger out there and start studying, develop a nice website and youtube channel, and get some great music notation software! Those are the first few steps to get you well on your way!
Find Mandi’s website/webstore here. She is currently selling Hymn Arrangements for the Viola, Violin, and Piano. You can check out Mandi’s YouTube Channel here as well.
For more details, make sure to read part 2 here.
Mandi Kitchen is a professional composer, arranger, instructor and performer, who currently resides in Los Angeles. She holds a degree in performance and composition from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.
Thanks little sis!
For other posts in this series with live interviews on how to make money from home please click the links/titles that interest you below…
Introduction to Money-Making SAHM Series
Series 2: Starting an Online Business
Series 5: At-Home Airline Assistant
Series 6: Become an At-Home Employee
Series 9: Run an at-Home Daycare
Series 10: Write and Self-Publish an eBook Part 1 & Part 2
Series 11: Teach Music Lessons from Home
Series 12: Distribute a Product You Love
Series 14: Become a Virtual Assistant
Series 15: Buy and Resell Cheap Finds
Series 17: How to Make Money as a Transcriptionist
Series 18: How to Write and Publish a Paperback or Hardback Book
Series 19: Do Online Tech Support from Home
Series 21: Sell Your Own Sheet Music Part 1 and Part 2
Series 22: Start a Preschool from Home
Series 23: Start Your Own Boutique
Series 24: How to Make Money on YouTube
Series 25: Take Legitimate Online Surveys
Series 27: Become a Photographer
Series 28: Become a Property Manager
Series 29: Make Money Locally Teaching a Talent, Sport, or Hobby
Series 30: Substitute Teaching
Series 31: Sell Shaklee (MLM)-removed
Series 32: Review Websites for UserTesting
Series 33: Sell Mary Kay(MLM)-removed
Series 34: Become an Affiliate with Spark Naturals Essential Oils
Series 35: Quilting and Embroidery
Series 36: Make Money by Doing Laundry for Others through Laundry Care
more coming…pin or bookmark for more.
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I have been playing the piano for 70 yrs. I now would like to sell it all. I have keep it in plastic, so they are very good cond. I have over 4000 copies.
Anita Fowler says
Wonderful, this would be a great opportunity for you!
I never thought about doing this!. I went to the channel to listen to your sister’s music. The arrangements are absolutely georgeous and inspirational! I am also a SAHM and have been teaching voice ans piano for a few years. I have always loved arranging music! I also used finale in college but will give the other software a try! Thank you for sharing. God bless!
Anita Fowler says
Tasha, you are welcome! I’m so glad that it helped!
This website really has all of the info I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.
Anita Fowler says
Cassandra, thank you I’m glad you found it helpful!
Courtney Smotkin says
This is wonderful! I never thought about making money doing this. I make my own piano arrangements on musescore for fun all the time. When arranging someone else’s music, what are the legalities involved? I’ve arranged disney songs, pop songs, tv and movie soundtracks…
Anita Fowler says
As long as the song is in the public domain (which you can find out if you google the song or the public domain website) you are free to sell any arrangement you like.
If the song is not in public domain, you would need to contact the publisher of the song and get permission from them to arrange and start selling your version of the song online. Otherwise they could sue as they have the ownership of the copyright.
Thank you for reading!
stella disney says
How do you deal with copyright? I love arranging music for brass, and school orchestra. It would be great to start selling this but I don’t know which music is protected by copy write in UK?There is a website which deals with this for you but you only get 20% – Sheet music plus.I’d be very grateful for any advice please.
Anita Fowler says
You can look the song up to see if it is in public domain i.e: Most Christmas songs, traditional hymns and folk music are public domain and you can arrange and sell (make money) off of those songs without any dealings with copyright. If the song is more recent, such as a recent Disney movie song, if you are going to make money on it, you need to contact the publisher on the song and get permission to sell the arrangement publicly.
Thank you for reading!
Bill Pellow says
I am 72 years old. I have composed music since age 5. My Mom was a certified music teacher and player but I was the last one of four and none of my siblings had much talent. My Dad loved to sing but he could never stay on key. My siblings got his music genes. Mom saw my music talent and started on me at age 5 with a vengeance. She was so pushy that I threw a huge fit and did not allow her to teach me how to play. I composed music only when she was gone somewhere and kept it as a secret. In high school, I did take Saxophone lessons and learned timing and notes for that instrument, but my love has always been piano. Mom loved classical music and I have composed classical pieces as well as a few hymns. I play special music at times for our church. I twice composed Christmas hymns for our church choir and we performed for our little town, with great success. People like my music. My problem is that I have very little confidence because I have never taken piano lessons or learned how to read music except for the saxophone, which I no longer play. But I was able to put my two Christmas hymns on paper with parts for soprano, alto, tenor and bass. It was a terribly slow and tedious manual procedure. But they are both in the key of C. I wish I could get a program to transpose them into another key because when people learn that I only play in the key of C they are not impressed! I have composed in C minor. I have several of those compositions in my head and have forgotten more than I have remembered. So my other problem is that I am looking for an easier way to put things on paper and to transpose my compositions when the range is not good for singing. I am now retired and need income. Am I too handicapped to make any money with this? Do I need to take music classes first? Maybe I should write a book or something, seeing how long this is getting!
Give it a try and let me know how it goes. Good luck with everything. You can be an inspiration for others with handicaps.
Bill Pellow says
My questions are, who do I present my music to? If I use you, can I afford it? What computer programs are there to help me with my lack of ability to read (and print) music? Are there any fairly inexpensive keyboards that will do the electronic things (write the music as I play it, transpose it, copy and paste repetitive sections, etc)? Right now I am so busy growing gardens and keeping my greenhouse going. I will try to polish up one of my choir pieces for you.
I have always loved singing since I was a little girl music has inspired me to sing my voice out I am a 16 year old girl who is interested in joining the music industry it is my dream to be a singer