Making music is a joy in itself. Playing and creating is its own reward. Self expression is essential.
All that is certainly true… but only part of the equation. If ALL the “value” came just from playing, why we would we bother to perform?
Sure, you can make a little dough. You might get to look cool or gain some social status. Playing on stage is exhilarating, and people applauding is a wonderful ego stroke… but I still don’t think that’s the best part (or even terribly valuable at all).
The real kicker is people.