Insights

  1. Music as a profession doesn’t pay well initially, so it needs to be coupled with another source of income. Therefore, I teach IT and Music. This enables me to follow my passion (music) as well as earn income and respect, which is every individual’s end goal.
  2. I recommend that one should pursue certification courses after completing your B.Sc. and M.Sc. since these degrees provide very basic knowledge, which in today’s time is insufficient to get good jobs.
  3. Music is an on-going process that seldom ceases. Along with teaching music, it’s important to continue learning in order to flourish.
  4. It’s not easy to establish a name in creative arts, hence, one should make sure they already have a day job that assures a stable income.

Profile Details

Name – Sachin Nikam

Profession – Music & IT teacher

Gender – Male

Age – 26 years

City – Mumbai

Industry – Performing Arts & Education

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Mumbai and have been residing here ever since. I completed my schooling, graduation, and post-graduation and established a career here itself.

What is your family background like and who would you say, had a remarkable influence on you growing up and how?

We were a family of five; my parents, two elder siblings and me. My father served as a government employee and my mother managed the house. The five of us were extremely contended with the way things were. We didn’t experience any kind of a financial quandary as such and learned how to adjust to any kind of adverse situations.

For me, it’s always been my father who’s had an influence on me. He started right from the bottom, striving for excellence, always. Despite all the hindrances in his way, he emerged a victor every single time, you could say.

I think this rubbed off of on me.

Please give me a summary of your career in a chronological order, entailing the organization names and your respective roles/designations.

I started working at a very tender age.

I was in 9th standard when I volunteered to teach at “Raj Tutorials”. My job was to take up orals and make sure that the students had perused everything in their syllabus.

After a few years, when I’d completed my junior college, I started teaching them science since that was the stream I’d opted for in college.

I think that’s when I discovered my passion for teaching, hence, I decided that I wanted to pave a path through this road itself.

After pursuing my B.Sc. and M.Sc. from Patkar College, I started working with different schools. Initially, I was a computer teacher at “Jawahar Vidyalaya”, after which I taught at “D.J. Khetan” and currently at “Friends Academy”, I teach I.T.

As for music, somewhere around 2013, I’d signed up with a label temporarily. We created and produced a few songs for a movie too!

However, I couldn’t fit so many hours of music into my already strenuous schedule which is why I opted out of it and started taking guitar/keyboard/violin classes according to my own convenience.

Which institutes, according to you, are the best for pursuing this career?

In my opinion, apart from top colleges of India, most of the other colleges don’t hold that much value. In these colleges, it really depends on the faculty.

Fortunately for me, even though I didn’t go to the most prestigious college, I enjoyed my experience because of the professors.

When it comes to music education, I’d say “Swarnina” and “Academy of Music” are astounding institutes that provide unbeaten training to beginners as well as professionals.

What is the expenditure associated with the education/training of this profession, approximately?

If you’re pursuing your B.Sc., you’ll probably incur an expenditure of about 1 lakh. As for your M.Sc., your expenditure won’t exceed 1.5 lakhs.

Also, since you’ll be working on ample projects throughout these five years, you’ll require a lot of material to do justice to the course, hence, these costs are separate.

On the other hand, if you want to pursue music, you have to determine which course you want to select, for example, there’s a choice between Western and Trinity. Trinity is a little more extravagant when it comes to the fee structure. So, the expenses are all subject to an individual’s personal preferences and hankerings.

Also, there’s no end to learning when it comes to music. In fact, I’m still learning! It’s an on-going process, so one really cannot estimate how much they’d spend on it.

You just go with the flow!

How does one manage to enter this field?

After completing your Masters in Science, you can secure a degree in MCA or work towards joining other certified courses since your bachelor’s and master’s in science comprise finite knowledge.

Next, you can apply to corporate companies like Infosys, Wipro, L&T, etc.

Luckily for me, I explored, scrutinized and discovered a link between my passion and profession. My raison d’être was studio recording and software designing, which I combined and found a concoction of- Music Software!

So, what I’m trying to say is, there’s no specific “regime” to join this field. It all depends on your creativity and ambition.

What is the range of remuneration one can expect when starting out in music and teaching industry?

Income from Music is unpredictable. It can be as low as 1–2 lakhs per annum; and as high as few crores per album/concert. It all depends on your talent, number of projects you’re being offered etc.

Following is income for a teacher in coaching institute:

Starting out – 2 lakhs per annum

5 years of experience – 3–4 lakhs per annum

10 years of experience – 5–6 lakhs per annum

15 years of experience – 9–10 lakhs per annum

20+ years of experience – 10–12 lakhs per annum

The above figures depend on what and where you’re teaching, which grades or how many grades you’re teaching, etc.

Please describe your work.

I usually teach in the morning. I also devote time to update content on our website, check and grade exam papers, invigilate a class during examinations, etc.

I spend about 7 hours at the institute and work from Monday to Friday including every alternate Saturday.

After completing my shift at the institute, I take private tuitions of musical instruments. I spend about 3 hours doing this on a daily basis and that marks the end of my day!

I work on music software too, so that takes up a fraction of my time.

Not that I’m complaining!

In your opinion, what are some benefits that would encourage an individual to consider this career/job?

The chief benefit I’d say is that if one is following his/her passion, then that doesn’t feel like a job. For me, teaching music and creating music is simply a fun activity. You may say that I slog long hours, but, frankly I have only one ‘job’ and that is teaching IT at the institute.

Secondly, music soothes my nerves, and everything flows tranquilly, without any intervention.

Another benefit is that I interact with a lot of varied people such as fellow teachers, students, music veterans etc. And believe me, these interactions are both humbling and refreshing.

Can you mention a few challenges that you would want someone to be aware of if they’re considering a career in music or teaching?

As a teacher, I think it’s very important to gain expertise in mastering patience.

You have to empathize with a child’s learning pace, his attention span and introduce teaching techniques that’ll enable him/her to comprehend things easily.

You’re also expected to meet pre-determined/sudden goals on the school’s agenda. Hence, the pressure may start building up after a certain point in order to keep up with their expectations.

Being a teacher can be challenging.

These are just a countable number of factors that a person should be aware of.

As for music, it’s not easy to make a mark in creative arts from the get-go. First of all, learning is a very slow-paced process, especially when we talk about music.

Next, things are unpredictable when it comes to this field. You may not get as many opportunities to work on different projects however dexterous or skilled you may be.

There may not be clearly marked designations in the field of “music”. So, it’s always important to have a day job which guarantees a stable income. That way you’re securing a good income along with honing your passion.

Also, it’s crucial to make and maintain contacts if you’re a part of the creative field. You ought to attend workshops, socialize, etc, which not everyone would like.

What kind of a person, do you think, would be content in music?

First of all, you have to have a hankering to teach. Teaching is definitely not easy, but if you possess patience, are open to new ideas and strive to grow, you’d be happy doing this.

You should be able to connect with students and be empathetic since not everyone’s pace is the same as others.

If you’re an “out of the box ideas” kind of a person and know how to introduce new teaching techniques, you’ll thrive in this field.

The same applies to music. I’ll stress on the word “patience” while I’m talking about it. Making a career out of music is arduous and exhausting. It can be a slow process however dedicated you are and might not assure a very stable source of income. So, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t rush into things, tremble under pressure and keeps trying, you’ll be pretty content with the way you’re doing.

Given another choice, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned?

I don’t think I’ve ever considered changing my career selections. I think that’s majorly because I’ve pursued my passion. I can never get bored of teaching! And then there’s music too.

The fact that I can never cease to grow and transform as an individual with respect to my career has made me so sure of my choices.

What advice would you offer to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path similar to yours?

Master the art of patience and endurance. Try to bridge the gap between your passion and profession like I did. It’s possible. Don’t settle for anything short of your interests.

If you liked this article, you may also like to check out our conversation with RJ Naman who is also a Musician.