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Using Unemployment $$ To Start A Music Business


Walt Ribeiro
Composer, Pop Songs Arranged For Orchestra

  Interview Highlights

  • 2-3 years ago he was laid off and decided to start his music composition business.
  • He was working for a music award company and they had to downsize because of the economy.
  • His business arranges popular music for different orchestras around the world.
  • He has always been involved with music.
  • He feels that you should always be involved with what you love.
  • For example, he arranges Lady GaGa and the music for a full orchestra like the Boston Pops, over 100 musicians.
  • They do about one song a week.
  • New music and new ideas appeal to new audiences.
  • Most orchestras play the same music every year and are losing their audience.
  • You can imagine if the movie theaters played the same movies every year.
  • He sells the sheet music to orchestras around the world.
  • He puts a sample on iTunes.
  • He was originally a guitar performance player in school until he got carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • That is when he started writing; he changed his major from performance to writing.
  • He was giving music lessons on the Internet and that became popular.
  • He started all of this with government money by using his unemployment checks.
  • This is a legitimate thing to do with his unemployment money.
  • He had to report on his business to the unemployment people every few weeks.
  • He started making enough revenue about the same time he ran out of his unemployment money.
  • It was all legal.
  • People seem to look at unemployment money as a source of revenue to start a business.
  • If he was not getting unemployment money he would have not been able to start his business.
  • What's cool is when you get that first sign that things may work out.. when that first customer gives you money.
  • You have to be the best you can be every week in business.