The Music Genius: EMERGING THE NEXT MUSIC STAR!

Posted by on January 16, 2014 with 1 Comments

The music industry has changed beyond recognition in recent years. Here are 10 rules that used to be sacrosanct if you wanted to be a musician, but today you need to break every one of them if you want to be noticed.

1. Your music is your life blood:

Treasure it and never give it away freely. Whether you’re launching a new chocolate bar or washing powder, the best way to grab market share is to flood the market with free samples. If people like the product they’ll come back for more. Music is no different. Lots of bands offer a free track or two on their website, but those that offer a larger selection will really grab the attention.The Civil Wars offered a Live Album via NoiseTrade for anyone willing to swap an email address.This created a buzz that ultimately got their songs on primetime TV shows and earned them 2 Grammy’s. Radio sessions and internet sites like Daytrotter will help expand your fan base, and will start getting other organizations promoting ur music for mutual benefit.

2. The best musicians don’t struggle to be recognized!

We are fortunate to live in a world where there are a great number of fantastic musicians. If you’re not any good you’ll never get far, but if you’re great it doesn’t mean that everyone else will move aside and let you through to the front. Of course you may be spotted by a major artist who’ll pull you up and invite you onto their next album & tour – but don’t wait for that to happen! As well as being a great musician you also need to be an excellent marketer. You need to develop your fan base by engaging with them through websites, newsletters and every social media device that there is. At the same time you need to identify & engage with key people in the music industry. You want to make them think that they’ve discovered you – whether they are radio dj’s, venue managers, journalists or fellow musicians.

3. Get on the List.

12 songs every 2 years is simply no longer enough to make your career in music. A constant drip feeding of new songs will keep your name on the radar and provide content for your website. EPs are your best friend. Fans are more likely to buy your new EP at your show than the album you released last year. Produce 4 EPs and you can market a box set. This is what Larkin Poe did successfully with their All Seasons box set. A Christmas album is a must-have. Try to develop something original, or at least some interesting covers – avoid the same 10 songs that appear on every other Christmas record. One great seasonal song will give you an income for life! Record a live album and a stripped down acoustic album – or step it up and re-record your best songs with a philharmonic orchestral – like Brandi Carlile did!

4. If you don’t get signed your career is over.

Getting signed might be the worse thing you ever do. A tiny fraction of signed artists succeed – and those that do are always keen to renegotiate their contracts and regain control of their music. The music industry has become more niche based. If you sign with a major label and record an album with a top producer you might sell 20,000 copies, earning yourself $2 per copy. The label will take control of your music and say what you can and can’t do.  Alternatively you can self produce an album in the style that you want and sell 5,000 copies at shows, but earn $10 per copy. Do the math – what would you prefer? This doesn’t also mean having a management is less important.

5. Respect your Music.

The best way to get yourself noticed is to put out a great cover version of a classic song on to YouTube, and promote the link as much as you can. Word of mouth will then take over and if you hit viral gold, then you’ll have as many views as a Top 40 artist. It’s best to pick a song where your cover is slightly ironic, but not a parody. Like The Civil Wars playing ‘Billie Jean’ or D’bank, ‘Alpha & Omega’. Up and coming band, First Aid Kit, recorded a version of the Fleet Foxes, ‘Tiger Mountain peasant Song’ in 2008. 2.6 Million views later they have played with the Fleet Foxes and have an album release with an international headlining tour.

6. Dream BIG, Start small.

We live in a global town with the internet and you need to market your music on a global level. The music industry is so diverse
that you don’t know where your fans are. The second most important asset you have (after your music) is your email list.
Swap free downloads for email addresses and make sure that you sign everyone up to your newsletter at your shows. Use this
to keep in contact with your fan base and make sure that you tell your fans about every show and marketing opportunity. The downside is that your touring schedule is extensive and arduous. This is the less glamorous and most lonely side of the business, but one that will give you as many great experiences and inspiration for your music.

7. Your Income will Come.

Consequently you’re not going to sell a huge number of CDs.Unless, of course, you’re Adele who is STILL selling a copy of ’21′ every 6 seconds! Your CD sales will – if you are lucky – cover the costs of recording, duplication, artwork, distribution and the associated costs of running your website and general expenses. Touring 50 – 100 shows a year will give you some income but travel is an expensive business and your income will quickly be absorbed into the overheads of basic survival. Therefore you need to diversify to make any money. You need to turn yourself into a brand. If you are an artistic artist as well as a musical artist then you can use your talents to create a design for T-shirts, hoodies, bags, caps, buttons, pins and anything else you think you can customize and re-sell. It’s simple economics again. Buy a T-shirt for $6 – $8 and sell them on for $20 – $25 — your profit margin is far greater than for CDs. And you’ve got people promoting your music at the heart of your demographic. Say that you’ve got 5,000 fans – not an unreasonable number. You need each one to spend $20 per year (on average) on CDs & merchandising to gross $100k, which will give you a net income (pre tax) of about $ 50,000. It won’t make you rich but it is enough to enjoy the life of a musician. Of course this only works for a solo act – duo’s and bands have to have a corresponding multiple of fans. It’s tough but financially you’re better on your own. There is also no room for a manager or booking agent to take their cut. Like every other small business owner musicians need to wear lots of hats and it is a lot of work.

8. Develop your music talent.

Of course it is important to spend time developing your artistic endeavors but it is just as important to spend time developing your relationship with your fan base. It doesn’t mean that you need to tweet every bowel movement, but you need to keep in contact with people so that they feel that they are part of your journey. You need to treat them like friends rather than fans – then they’ll make sure that they go out of their way to support you. Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers are masters at this. Not only have they developed a very loyal fan base (17,000 on Facebook) but they carry their fans/friends with them and have even created their own “Field Day” – a weekend of exclusive performances & games.

9. Manage your work and your Image.

Copyright law is outdated and outmoded. Modern artists need to let their fans have a far greater control of their image. YouTube is like a visual radio station and you need to get as much exposure on it as possible. Encourage your fans to video and upload your performances. Their friends will see your performance and the next time you come to town they’ll want to come to your show. It is ridiculous to suggest that someone recording a performance on a mobile phone is going to act as a substitute for someone buying an album – it is far more likely to introduce your music to new fans, who will buy your albums. You need to listen to your fans and let them influence the style of music that you play. You are on stage for them, and because of them, and you shouldn’t forget it.

10. Become a brand.

Some artists can pull off the silent serious look, but you’re more likely to fade into obscurity if you take yourself overly seriously. However if you have fun then the chances are that your audience will have fun too. If your audience has fun then they’ll remember the night and will come back next time — with their friends! . None of this will make you particularly wealthy, but if you’ve become a musician to become rich then you’ve started down the wrong path – you’d be better off joining a bank!

|Written by: CYRIL OGWU
(Talent Manager)

The Importance of Music Theory

Posted by on December 30, 2013 with 1 Comments

The Importance of Music Theory

Musical students often view music theory as a chore, and some musicians wear their lack of music theory knowledge as a badge of honor. There is a reason that all music students generally take at least four semesters of basic music theory. It is because otherwise, we cannot communicate musical ideas to each other. While in school we learn how to read and write English, but when it comes to music, most of us only know how to read it and have little to no idea how it works. That is the point of music theory: to explain how music works. Continue Reading «The Importance of Music Theory»

Taking Care of Your Hands

Posted by on November 26, 2013 with 0 Comments

Take Care of Your Hands When You Practice

If you have started studying music, one of the most important things you need to start doing is taking care of your hands. No matter which instrument you have decided to study, each of them presents a challenge to your hands and your fingers.  Also, if you don’t take care of your hands properly, you’re going to limit yourself in terms of what you can learn and what you can do on your instrument. Continue Reading «Taking Care of Your Hands»

Landfill Harmonic: Turning Trash Into Tchaikovsky

Posted by on July 18, 2013 with 0 Comments

The Recycled Orchestra

Cola Landfill Harmonic

 

In Cateura, Paraguay, hundreds of gancheros, or recyclers, search through massive piles of rubbish dumped around the outskirts of their town every day. Amid tossed out washing machines, refrigerators, commercial insulation and more, they work tirelessly to locate scrap metal and plastic that can be traded in for enough money to feed their families. Meanwhile, the men, women and children of the impoverished landfill city must live among the garbage, facing the daily hardships presented by their environmental situation. Continue Reading «Landfill Harmonic: Turning Trash Into…»

You are Never Too Old to Learn Music!

Posted by on May 29, 2013 with 1 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…»

4 Other Subjects Which Can Use Music In Class

Posted by on May 28, 2013 with 0 Comments

 4 Other Subjects Which Can Use Music In Class  

By Matthew Pink

Music in music class is a given. But how can music be used creatively in other subjects in order to both enrich the subject in question and give a different perspective to music learning?


There is no point telling a music teacher of the benefits of educating students through music’s rich power. They are fully aware of, and totally on board with the capacity of music to pique interest, to inspire, to perplex and to energise learners.

Music in ClassIn order to make their class time more stimulating, music teachers can make use of the full spectrum of musical assets including recorded materials, sheet music, instruments, videos, and now the a wonderful smorgasbord of digitally interactive materials.

However, the potential of music to enable learning should not be confined only to pure-play music classes. Continue Reading «4 Other Subjects Which Can…»

Play By Ear by hEarItAbility

Posted by on March 26, 2013 with 0 Comments

“Play By Ear”

An opportunity for the classically minded!

www.hearitability.com

I love the “Lifetime Musician” approach of the MusicLearningComunity! I love the games that solidify concepts and give the needed practice for mastery! The emphasis on developing the ear is tremendous and extremely beneficial to students. I have been a subscriber for a few years now and am pleased to offer their website to my students!

I am a private piano teacher, teaching beginning to advanced students of all ages, and the author of the new hEarItAbility series. It is a passion of mine to unlock the sometimes hidden aural skills of students. I did not intuitively “play by ear” as a student and discovered later in life that it truly was a skill that I could develop. For students, I have seen such joy and success from “tapping” into this area – for those with natural ability and those without! Continue Reading «Play By Ear by hEarItAbility»

What are Piano Olympics?

Posted by on March 21, 2013 with 3 Comments

Originally Posted on April 29, 2012 by Leila Viss, 

The idea of Piano Olympics was “born” three years ago when I was organizing ALL the games I enjoy using to teach music theory. There never seems to be enough time to use these during the year so I thought why not put them to good use during the summer months.

Summary:

 Olympians…

1) earn tickets by winning…

  • indoor games
  • outdoor games

2) earn tickets by completing

  • various activities in class
  • assignments at home

3) earn gold, silver and bronze medals by

Continue Reading «What are Piano Olympics?»

Music is Fun

Posted by on March 21, 2013 with 0 Comments

MUSIC IS FUN!

I have a young student whose is name is Brielle. This is her first year, and she is using the Celebrate Piano beginning series. Ordinarily I assign the corresponding unit in the MusicLearningCommunity games for the unit that she is studying in her books, but Brielle enjoys the games so much that she has gone into the units that we have not yet covered in the lesson. Continue Reading «Music is Fun»

Filed Under: Contributors, Kudos

The Power of Positive Pedagogy

Posted by on October 24, 2012 with 0 Comments

The Power of Positive Pedagogy

By Mary Gae George

Positive Pedagogy revolves around the way we begin music study and the ways we fulfill the potential of each student in their study of music.

Give your students the tools for genuine, long-range success. Success is the greatest motivation. (Please read that statement several times!) The intrinsic rewards of music study are the most important, long-range benefits. They include the following:

  • Awakening students to the power of their own minds.
  • Involving them in the exciting syntax of the musical language to help them express what they are feeling.
  • Helping them develop powers of focus and attention to detail.

REWARDS: Your students become increasingly self-motivated, involved, and successful.
Continue Reading «The Power of Positive Pedagogy»