Hire a Musician

The MU School of Music is home to a wealth of music students – both at the undergraduate and graduate level – who are ready and eager to share their talents and engage with the community. Our Hire a Musician page aims to match well-qualified School of Music students with performance opportunities in the Mid-Missouri area, while simplifying the hiring process for you!  We have many students who have been approved by their primary faculty mentors to perform in professional settings. Below you may review our approved musicians and ensembles, learn about performance rates, and request services.

We can connect you with student performers who are proficient on the following instruments:

  • Keyboard – piano
  • Strings – violin, viola, cello, double bass, guitar
  • Voice – soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, bass
  • Woodwinds – flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, saxophone
  • Brass – trumpet, trombone, horn, euphonium, tuba
  • Percussion – various instruments

Some examples of approved MU student ensembles include:

  • String Trios and Quartets
  • Piano Trios
  • Brass Quintets
  • Saxophone Quartets
  • Woodwind Quintets
  • Jazz Combos
  • Percussion Ensembles
  • Various other chamber ensembles

Note: We cannot guarantee that all students or ensembles listed will be available at any given time. For questions or concerns, please contact the program coordinator.

Ready to get started?

Click here to hire a musician.

A Quick Note on Gigs, Clients, and Rates

You may often hear professional musicians use the term "gig" broadly, without clarification on its meaning and usage. At MU we define "gigs" as paid performance opportunities for enrolled MU students, who have been approved for such performances by their primary faculty mentors.

"Clients" may hire these student musicians at an established or negotiated rate. Gigs, then, could include but are not limited to paid performances at weddings, corporate events, private events, or in collaboration with other organizations.

Rates: As a general guideline, you can expect to hire student musicians at the rate of $75-$100 per musician, per hour. These rates are negotiable and greatly depend upon the type of engagement, the length of the engagement, special musical requests, travel distance, etc. If you feel the rate is too high for your budget, worry not! Simply submit the Hire a Musician form and we will do our best to work out a mutually acceptable rate. Please note: payment should be issued directly to the performers.

Students accept performance engagements as freelance performers, not as employees of MU or clients. They may accept gigs at a discounted or waived rate for select community events. Students who choose to do so may view these events as unique opportunities to serve their communities, and in electing such service do not waive their rights to pursue additional paid gigs at a later date.

We encourage both clients and student musicians to put performance agreements in writing, but please be advised that the MU School of Music does not enforce nor endorse any contract undertaken by students acting as freelance performers.

Questions to Consider Before Hiring an MU Musician or Ensemble

  • Do you have a specific event in mind?
  • Is the date, time, and location of the event set?
  • What is your budget? (Please review the student rates listed above). 
  • Do you expect the musicians to play for the duration of the entire event, or in sets?
  • Is this event formal or casual?
  • Do you have genres/stylistic periods of music in mind?
  • Is the location/venue suitable for musicians?
  • What kind of atmosphere are you trying to generate?
  • Is there an acoustic piano available?  Will you have it tuned for the event?
  • Is there a space where musicians can warm up or drop off their instrument cases?
  • Is a rehearsal/sound check session possible or necessary in the performance space prior to the event?

Now you’re ready to start exploring the wonderful palette of musical offerings that our students can provide! To request musicians, please fill out the Hire a Musician Request.

Information for MU Musicians

MU students are expected to exhibit responsible behavior regardless of time or place, both on and off campus. Particularly with regard to outreach and paid performances, students have the opportunity to interact and enrich the lives of many community members. As such, all MU students are expected to follow School of Music guidelines in all interactions with MU representatives and the community at large.

In order to be eligible to participate in any MU outreach and paid performances, students must read the following guidelines, complete the request for approval form, have it signed by their faculty mentor, and return it to the Community Programs Coordinator.

A sample performer agreement (contract) template is also provided here for your convenience.