Advice to street musician: play classical on cold Sundays

A street musician who plays for the money can do this best with a classical repertoire and preferably on cold Sundays. This emerges from a study by Tilburg University.

The researchers Samuel Stäbler and Kim Mierisch wanted to know what makes street musicians successful and what they earn on average. They went to Cologne where they conducted a three-month research among 72 musicians and more than 80,000 listeners.

“The results are really exciting and surprising, because they contradict what the musicians themselves find important,” Stäbler says in a video on YouTube.

Up to 45 euros per hour on average

A street musician in Cologne earns an average of 23 euros per hour. “But if a musician plays classical music instead of rock, jazz or country, he can increase his income to 27 euros per hour,” says Stäbler.

He considers the quality of the music and the professional competence of the musician essential. Musicians who played music of above-average quality earned an average of 28 euros per hour.

If that isn’t enough, it would be a good idea to hire children as supervisors. Music groups with children earn an average of 45 euros per hour in Cologne.

The demand side

The researchers also looked at consumers, in this case Cologne residents, commuters and tourists.

They found out that it matters whether someone walks alone through the city or together with a partner, colleagues or friends. Consumers who meet a musician together with others give more easily, because they want to impress their company. And women give more than men.

But even more important is the temperature. Contrary to what musicians think, relatively more passers-by give money when it is cold. A street musician probably evokes warm feelings in us when it’s cold, says Stäbler.

Sunday, great day

And then there are the differences in the days of the week. The research shows that the most is earned on Sundays, an average of 35 euros per hour. “That’s probably because of the Sunday effect,” says Stäbler. “Emotions such as compassion, pity and guilt play a greater role on Sundays for religious reasons.”