Volunteer and boost your music career


If there’s a music conference in your area, volunteer. If you don’t want to volunteer offer band tee shirts or cds for hospitality bags. This is applicable for ANY sort of conference. Think doctors conferences, healing conferences, musicial merchandisers conferences. Arts organizations hold booking conferences each year. Talent buyers from schools “shop” these conferences for talent to perform in classrooms and as special events.

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Musicians and the New Economy- Ideas to increase income


“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor.” Henry David Thoreau

Having been an occupant of this music world, both as a performer and as a music business person, I’ve seen the music climate change many times. When the economy is healthy, fans flock to bars and restaurants to see new music. They eat, drink, purchase merchandise and support the live music scene. When the economy tanks, fans, understandably, turn fearful. Instead of spending at bars and restaurants and ticketed events, they hold onto discretionary money, impacting the entertainment, food and beverage industries.

Funds for music are often the first items to be subtracted from business budgets in tough economic times. Musicians are well adept at figure out side hustles and alternate sources of income when lean times become part of their economic picture. Side hustles usually include jobs in the bar or restaurant industry.  But these businesses are suffering during this downturn as well, leaving many musicians scrambling for other occupations.

If music is the way you make your living, and the economy is playing havoc with your finances, consider devoting time to self investment. Self investment is not self improvement, although it’s often an added bonus. Invest time in discovering skills that are linked to or lay totally outside your musical gifts. During a relocation and job change three years ago, I found my business floundering. As a former songwriter, I missed the ability to communicate with words to a wider audience than my daily journal. I started writing meditations, which led to the idea of music education booklets targeted at practicing musicians. Three years after my job change,  I self released Fifty Ways to Tour Without Getting in the Van, a 20 page booklet with 50 frugal marketing ideas for bands. Little did I know, the gas crisis would hit during the summer tour season of 2008, making getting in the van to travel to shows costly and many times impractical. People were looking for alternative ways to expose their music to wider audiences-which assured me of selling copies of my booklets. So now in addition to being a music publicist and booking agent, I can add writer to my resume.

As a musician, you’re adept at mulling things over. Think about alternate sources of income during this apocolyptic economy. If you’re besot by the lack of shows, turn your attention to performing for schools, churches or other civic organizations.  Offer to teach a class on songwriting at your local library. Look into providing music for weddings and small events. Play for a intimate group of friends. Write about your music experiences, review cds for publications or start your own publication or e-newsletter about managing as a musician during an economic downturn.

The Scottish geologist and writer Hugh Miller said, “Problems are opportunies with thorns on them.” Make the most of this economic uncertainty by uncovering your hidden talents and how to use them.

Thanks to Trent at The Simple Dollar and Jason at Frugal Dad for inspiring this post.

 

 

How to submit a cd for review


Make a list of review outlets- magazines that publish cd reviews and submit and follow up. Call the magazine and ask about a reviewer for your genre of music first. They may refer you to a freelance writer instead of a staff person. Make contact first before you submit to a magazine or review outlet. Recognize these people are inundated with submissions and a correct and timely process of inquiry, submission and follow up is essential. Be very careful. Don’t constantly ask these people for a review. If they deem your music worthy of review, they’ll get in touch with you. It’s best to submit, make sure the package is received and then let it go.

Music and Brightening the Lives of Others


The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others’ burdens, easing other’s loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas. -W.C. Jones

Music is a balm. Music uplifts and makes us smile and gives us hope. The creation of it, the listening, the sharing of musical ideas with our band mates, and performance for the public are such spiritual experiences. Giving away our musical gifts is indeed a blessed and wonderful thing.

The music industry often differs with the above opinion. The industry focuses on sales, draw, tickets, charts, reviews and critiques. In an industry often viewed as a “shallow money trench, where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs…” (as Hunter S. Thompson pointed out), we can make ourselves valuable by simply being nice. And is that such an effort? We can spend time training ourselves to use our words as blessings, to do our best in every circumstance, avoid the temptation to take things personally and not buying into assumptions and gossip.

We can make our world warmer and more accepting when we learn to routinely give. When entering a venue or performance situation, give the door person a smile, make sure your handshake is firm and kind. If there is someone setting up the stage or the dressing room be sure you thank them for their attention. Be kind to bartenders and tip well at the end of the night even if you are tight on funds. Those who work in bars often appreciate the gift of a t shirt or cd. They’ll remember you next time. Gift your band mates with positive energy instead of negative grumpiness. Be sure everything you are doing, every contact you make, every statement coming out of your mouth is positive and uplifting. This is a monumental task in the music business, but practiced on a daily basis one that will gift you over and over; for as you bless those around you with kindness, kindness will bounce back to you. You are what you constantly believe and what you constantly think and say. The universe simply returns to you what you repeatedly plant in it. Sow gifts of caring and understanding, particularly during this season of giving, particularly in the music world, and you’ll receive the same.


Alunatunes's Weblog

*Be nice to your road crew. Most techs, crew chiefs, loaders and support personnel would change places with you, the performer, in a heart beat. Treat them with kindness, courtesy and respect. In each one is a dream deferred.

Support crew are essential to touring artists. Drivers, loaders, sound and light engineers, merchandisers, all create a conducive environment for the performer. Always treat your techs and crew with caring kindness. If they’re grumpy it’s because while you were sleeping, they were fighting traffic or loading in your amps.  Techs and crew deserve respect. We could not rock without them.

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Alunatunes's Weblog

“I have learned not to worry about
love; but to honor its
coming with all my heart.”

-Alice Walker

A recent Sunday offered an opportunity for me to reconnect with an old business friend. In Musicworld, I’m uncertain if any business relationship can be held apart from developing a friendship. After all, when an agreement is entered into to share in the manifestation of an artist’s hopes and dreams, the understanding and compassionate and empathetic heart of friendship has to exist between agent and artist.

My music friend and former booking client, Aaron, moved from Nashville to a small college enclave about an hour from Richmond over the summer. His wife, Jules, was back from an extended stay in China as part of her doctorate studies. I was attending a show in the town and used the trip to reconnect with Aaron and Jules as well as meet my new…

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Musical Success is not a ladder…..


Our wonderful founder and lead instructor, Kathi Kerr

 

 

It’s hard to have success when the place you plant your feet everyday changes. Don’t let it get you down. Make it a point every day to find new places for your feet. One new contact a day is a must.

In music world, there is no ladder of success. It’s more like a climbing wall where footholds and finger holds disappear or reappear in other spots.

One can do everything right, make fabulous art and still not achieve their particular standard of success.  It’s worth devoting a chunk of think time to exactly what success is to you. Is it the cover of the Rolling Stone? Or is it using your talent and the revenue it generates to sustain yourself? It’s an important question to ponder as you embark on a path in music.

Typically an accountant, lawyer, technology person can attend classes, get a diploma and launch into the world of work and sustain themselves. There is no classroom to achieve success here in music world. A lot of success is based on luck and timing, with talent taking a far back seat to those two magic charms in the universe.

This isn’t to say you should not work daily on an upward trajectory. Make new contacts every day to replace the footholds and finger-holds that have closed, moved or switched to karaoke or hired a DJ.  Sometimes proceeding forward means a lateral move, or taking a few steps back. Recognize this as momentum and stay the course.

-Tammy Brackett/ Moonstruck Promotions

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