Chamber Music America Jazz Grant Workshop

chamber-music-america

As musicians we spend as much time as possible working with our craft but can struggle with the business side of our careers. I  think of business as the complete chain of events that brings the music out of our imaginations into the world. Money is fuel, but is only one piece of the equation. Bringing music to life requires the skills and attention of many smart people; musicians, presenters, managers, agents, marketers, labels, publishers and fundraisers. Composers and performers are musical CEOs, managing each step and partnership along the way.

Organizations like Chamber Music America (CMA) are making a huge contribution to classical, jazz, and world music by providing grants and the business education that musicians need. On January 24, 2013, Jeanette Vuocolo, Program Director for CMA Jazz led a well-attended workshop at The Blue Whale jazz club in downtown Los Angeles. Ms. Vuocolo’s presentation focused on the New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble grant application process and featured panelists, Bennie Maupin and Remy La Boeuf.

The New Jazz Works grant, which is made possible by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, provides funding and music business guidance to professional US jazz ensembles of 2-10 musicians in three phases:

1.  CORE: Creation and Performance

The creation of a new work, the work’s world premiere, and one additional performance. Both performances must take place within the United States. This phase must be completed within eighteen months.

2. Continued Life

The second phase supports additional concerts, touring, open rehearsals, master classes, clinics, school and community visits, residencies, conference showcasing, promotion, self-presenting and recording. Activities can take place in the US or abroad.

3. Better Business

Phase three supports the ensemble leader, funding business related activities; attending conferences, meeting prospective presenters, taking classes, and working with mentors and consultants.

Both musician-panelists described what they have learned. Besides the opportunity to compose and perform a new extended work, they found that the application process itself was educational, helping them to articulate their goals and musical vision. Both Mr. Maupin and Mr. La Boeuf described the many new opportunities and business relationships that have emerged from their involvement with CMA. The program also encourages musicians to give back to their communities, mentoring others and sharing their experiences in panels and conferences.

For more information and application materials please visit: http://www.chamber-music.org/

Thinking Different(ly): Creative Music in the Digital Economy

On January 15, 2013 I gave a presentation to alumni of The Royal College of Music in Stockholm Sweden. The topic was music careers in today’s economy – musical entrepreneurship and developing multiple income streams. Here are the slides featuring case studies of several entrepreneurial musicians and a basic overview of the principles music publishing and licensing.

RCM: Business books and resources

A list of business-related books referenced in my recent seminar at The Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Sweden:

  • ReworkJason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

RCM: Creativity, problem solving, and skill building resources

A list of creativity, problem-solving, skill-building and teaching/coaching resources. referenced in my recent seminar at The Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Sweden:

  • SwitchChip Heath and Dan Heath

RCM: Music industry books

A list of music industry related books referenced in my recent seminar at The Royal College of Music – Stockholm, Sweden:

Following the Money – Alternative music revenue streams for musicians

A bucket under every drip…

Drops in a Bucket
Photo courtesy of Smabs Sputzer

I recently had the opportunity to research and write a piece for Berklee Today magazine exploring lesser known revenue streams for composers and musicians.

In today’s music industry, tapping every revenue source is key, particularly for independent artists. Thinking like an entrepreneur and getting ahead of the curve with new technologies can create exciting opportunities for distributing and promoting music.

This piece starts with the basics of copyright and the role of rights organizations and jumps into library music and the potential shifts that will be created with the adoption of HTML 5 as the new web standard.

I was was very fortunate to receive input from artist Neara Russell, music publishing administrator Patricia Blair, composer Joel Goodman, and the good folks at ASCAP and SoundExchange. Special thanks as always to my editor Mark Small at Berklee Today!

You can read the full article here:

Follow the Money

 

How Social Media Impacts Brand Marketing

Today Nielsen  released graphs illustrating where consumers are getting trusted recommendations. Their charts clearly illustrate the importance of peer recommendations and clear communication and interaction from company web sites. You can view the full post here.

Preferred consumer sourcesWhere are your customers getting information about your products and services?

What are their most trusted sources?

Are your communications reaching your audience?

Is it easy for them to join the conversation and spread the word about your company?

Who Are the Most Valuable Digital Consumers?

Today Nielsen released a potent infographic that visually illustrates current trends in social, local, and mobile media usage.

Nielsen Digital Consumer InfographicWho are you trying to reach with your communications?

How do they use digital technology?

What do you want to tell them?

Social Media for Nonprofits – UCLA

SM4NP LogoOn August 22nd, in conjunction with my work with the Los Angeles nonprofit, Project Return Peer Support Network, I had the good fortune to participate in the all-day Social Media for Nonprofits conference at UCLA. I have been to many music, tv/film, and tech conferences over the years and this was exceptional on many levels.

The event was packed with great presentations, case studies, tools, tips, and wonderful people committed to using technology for social good. Co-producer Darian Rodriguez Heyman did a masterful job as MC, bridging the non-stop presentations with helpful, targeted summaries. His closing remarks tied everything together and he seemed to have as much energy and focus at the end of the day as he did at 9 a.m.

Great Presentations

Presenters included: J.D. Lasica, founder of Socialbrite, Evan Bailyn, Founder of First Page Sage and Good Media Company, Holly Ross, Executive Director of NTEN, Bryan Breckenridge, Head of Nonprofit Solutions, Linked In, Charles Porch, Consumer Marketing, Facebook, Matt Mahan, VP of Social Impact, Causes, Brian Fujito, CEO Razoo, Dave Boyce, CEO Fundly, Joel Bartlett, Director of Marketing, PETA, and a panel discussion featuring, Geoff Livingston, Filiberto Gonzalez and Nedra Weinreich. Each presentation was available online within minutes . You can find the day’s robust tweet stream but searching on hashtag, #sm4np.

Takeaways: Big Ideas, Targeted Tools & Granular Data

No social media event would be complete without continual reference to Big Ideas like “Engagement” and “Authenticity”. The social media world is rapidly maturing and each day these high concept terms are demonstrated concretely, with results that are making a huge positive impact on the world.

Tools and opportunities multiply at a dizzying rate. I am continually inspired and amazed by the evolution of social media communication technologies. Just a few of the things I will be digging into include Netvibes RSS dashboard, Tech Soup (software and hardware for nonprofits), and video slideshow sites, Animoto and Stupeflix which make digital storytelling simpler than ever.

Metrics and data tracking were discussed at length, particularly in relation to fundraising. The importance of tracking metrics can’t be over-emphasized. At one point Darian Rodriguez Heyman mentioned a nonprofit that saw an immediate 30% increase in donations when they changed the color of their ‘Donate’ button from grey to red! I am sure neuroscientists can explain this phenomena, but the important thing is that robust data is available to everyone. Experiment and find what works for your organization.

All said, this was an inspiring and educational day and I made many new friends. Pay attention to Social Media for Nonprofits and check them out when they hit your town.

Were you at Monday’s event? Was it helpful for your organization?