How to Promote Your Music Online

Posted by on January 22, 2014 with 0 Comments

As a music student, you are no doubt aware that there is a nearly infinite supply of young talent out there competing for the relatively small number of music careers available. Therefore, raw talent alone is not enough to stand out in 2014. A strong Web presence is essential if you want to have a successful career in music. Here are four ways to promote your music online.

1.    Network Using LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a valuable tool in making connections within the music industry. It goes without saying that you should connect with fellow music students and faculty that you know at school, but you can also do much more. If there are professionals in your field of study, trombone for example, check if they are on LinkedIn and if so, send them a message. You never know when an idol could become a mentor, someone who could give you and your music quite a bit of publicity.

Groups are also a great tool on LinkedIn. By joining large groups of like-minded musicians, you will have a place to not only share your ideas and music, but also to scope out the competition. Groups can provide helpful critiques, free of the harshness or trolling of more anonymous communities.

2.    Use Facebook to Advertise Your Services

As you may know, almost everyone’s on Facebook. Create a Facebook page to not only advertise upcoming gigs, but to also advertise your services through uploaded recordings of past performances. Additionally, don’t be sheepish; while it may seem pompous at first, it is foolish to not mention every gig you have scheduled on your timeline. You never know when a friend might decide to show up and later put in a good word for you.

They key to using Facebook is to make sure that you don’t live a one-sided Facebook life. Become active on the pages of other music students and local musicians, and even attend their gigs occasionally. This way they will see you as more of a part of the community than simply competition.

3.    Upload Samples to SoundCloud

One of the biggest and often overlooked benefits to using SoundCloud is that nearly everybody browsing the site is there to listen to music. Unlike YouTube, where your music is likely to get lost in a sea of cat videos, SoundCloud is all about sound. While classical and jazz don’t have the largest user bases on the site, there are still many active members involved in these genres and many more interested in listening to them. A carefully maintained SoundCloud account can become your primary portfolio, a place to showcase your great performance talents.

4.    Bring it all Together on a Professional Website

Last but not least, make sure to consolidate your various Internet homes on a personal website. This website doesn’t have to be anything particularly fancy, but it would help to include a short bio, contact information and links to your other Web presences. If you want to go for a more professionally designed site, WebpageFX has a great page showing how much a website costs. You can always start out with your own WordPress website and then upgrade to a professional design as you work your way up.

There are many more useful tools out there on the Internet that you, the musician, can use to promote your music, but these four steps should help get you started.

Remembering Lyrics – A few helpful tips

Posted by on December 30, 2013 with 0 Comments

Is Remembering Lyrics Difficult For You? Here are a few powerful tips.

remembering lyrics-graphic

Remembering lyrics is a task that many singers worry about. Especially when there are a lot of songs to sing in an evening.

As we get older – our heads filled with the many things we have learned over the years – it can be an even greater challenge to keep hundreds of song lyrics at the tips of our  tongues. Continue Reading «Remembering Lyrics – A few…»

Major source of frustration for singers….a tense tongue muscle

Posted by on December 30, 2013 with 0 Comments

ImageHello fellow singers!  

Are you dealing with a tense tongue muscle?

Here is one of my very quick singing tips for you in the form of a video. If you have ever had trouble with a stiff, tight or “depressed” tongue, try this easy set of exercises to loosen it up. (See tense tongue muscle video here.) Continue Reading «Major source of frustration for…»

How to Find Places to Play Your Instrument

Posted by on November 8, 2013 with 0 Comments

How to Find Places to Play Your Instrument

If you are studying music performance, you know how important it is to play your instrument for an audience, especially on your own. It can be intimidating to find these opportunities when you don’t have a lot of experience, but it is not impossible. Here are some surefire ways to find that solo gig you’ve been searching for.

Cello Player

 

Set Yourself Up for Success

To find performance opportunities, you need to make sure you are doing everything you can to be findable and easy to get in touch with. If you haven’t already, now is the time to build up your presence online. At the minimum you should have a Facebook page, but a Twitter account isn’t a bad idea as long as you keep on top of it. Connect with other local musicians or venues where you’d like to play.

On these social accounts, be sure to advertise the fact that you are seeking performance opportunities. Mention that you could play for local businesses, weddings and other events.

Set up a website where you can share your music on a platform like SoundCloud or Bandcamp. You can do this for free or, if you have a little money to put into it, buy your own domain name and tie it in with your account. You can use this website like a portfolio of your work.

Next, make yourself some business cards. You can get them printed someplace like VistaPrint or buy a kit to print them yourself.  Be sure to give them out at any opportunity. The more people who know you are looking for gigs, the more people are keeping an ear open for opportunities.

 

Play for Your Community

Many small or even mid-sized businesses that serve the public would jump at a chance to have a musician playing at little or no cost. Check with local coffee shops or other small, casual restaurants to see if they ever feature live music or would consider it for an evening.

Remember that it doesn’t hurt to start small. Get creative and volunteer at a nursing home or rehab center like 12 Keys Rehab. Your act of goodwill could end up in the local newspaper, showing that you’re caring and not just out there to make money.  At the very least, playing well and being reliable improves your track record, and will lead to wider exposure and bigger opportunities.

You’ll be surprised at how good you feel playing for people who normally wouldn’t get to hear music. I’ll never forget the time I was playing at a nursing home, and a deaf woman put her hands on the marimba to feel the vibrations. When she started to smile, a huge wave of emotion hit me as I knew I brightened her day. To this day, it’s one of the highlights of my career.

Other good places to start looking for opportunities could include your local library, church or community center.  Look for advertisements asking for musicians for different events. If you’re really enterprising you can even contact them regarding upcoming events and ask if they need some live music. Look for festivals and street fairs in your area, find out if there will be live music playing, and learn how you can get involved.

Start Small 

Go into this to better yourself as a musician, not to try and make money. Sure it’s nice to get a little extra cash on the side, but you’ll have a much more enjoyable time if that’s not your main goal. The more you play in front of people, the easier it becomes, and you’ll find out you’re not nearly as nervous when it’s time for your huge recital or other serious event.

Most importantly, have fun. Don’t go so overboard on searching for the perfect gig where it becomes a chore. Be creative, and you can find some great places to play, giving you new fans and followers.

 


 

Scott Huntington is a writer, reporter, blogger, and percussionist, specializing in marimba. He currently lives in PA and with his wife and son. Follow Scott at @SMHuntington

Singing After Forty

Posted by on August 26, 2013 with 2 Comments
BARBARA LEWIS

Barbara Lewis

SINGING AFTER FORTY!

Hello to all readers!

I am so pleased to be writing to you here on the MusicLearningCommunity Blog.

My name is Barbara Lewis. I have been both a singer and a vocal coach for over 30 years. I am delighted to be associated with the Music Learning Community for whom I am now creating a series of videos that will teach adult singers –  (ie: those who are singing after 40 – although, I hope that younger singers will enjoy the series, too!) –  how to sing better. Level One of the series is called, Easy/Fun Singing!  (Coming soon.)  Continue Reading «Singing After Forty»

Filed Under: Adult Music Students, News

Teach Yourself Piano in Your Own Time

Posted by on August 22, 2013 with 0 Comments

So you have decided to learn piano. As do many adult learners, you may be considering some way to teach yourself piano instead of taking private lessons. Self-study is a truly viable option today. Various methods and materials designed for motivated learners are becoming more and more available through online and other resources, and they have never been better. This article presents a few ideas for your consideration while you select a method for self-study. Continue Reading «Teach Yourself Piano in Your…»

Filed Under: Adult Music Students, Piano

You are Never Too Old to Learn Music!

Posted by on May 29, 2013 with 0 Comments

You are Never Too Old to Learn Music!

You are Never Too Old to Learn MusicI am a 68 year old woman learning to play the piano. I took music lessons as a child and learned the musical alphabet. Now, 50 years later, I sat down at the piano and decided that I want to play this instrument. I found the Alfred’s basic Adult Piano Course and started learning on my own. Then I found MusicLearningCommunity.com. WOW. I was amazed that this comprehensive online learning program was available whenever I need it. This interactive program is chock full of hearing, seeing and doing interactive experiences that I find fun and exciting. Continue Reading «You are Never Too Old…»