Monthly Archives: December 2016

Music Education Can Save Lives!

We all know the importance of music education. It’s no surprise to anyone that taking music lessons has been proven to help in a child’s developmental process.

Music lessons aid in the development of speech and reading skills. Children who study music will find an increase in their school grades. They have more confidence, discipline, focus, memory, and better social skills.

Music can save lives for children who don’t find themselves fitting in academically in school, and haven’t found their passion or drive yet. If a child struggles to find their passion, they often end up in less than ideal situations, (in trouble). Children need to find things they are good at an early age. “Some children need to move to think”, (Dr. Ken Robinson). They can’t be strapped to a desk all day long. They may learn better through visual examples, audio examples or they might learn better though kinesthetic learning. Some students learn better by doing. Finding a music instructor that understands this is imperative.

We have had many students over the years who come to us, and don’t know what they like, or what they’re good at, and they’re not doing well in school. They have never taken music lessons before, and their parents are desperate to find something their child will take an interest in. Often, when we do find an instrument the student feels a connection with, we see a total change in their personality. If provided the chance, music does help direct students in the right direction. It’s not just about learning songs or technique on the instrument. Music helps put a whole new focus into that student’s life that was missing before. We notice a change in their whole being. Their focus completely changes. There is a complete breakthrough!! The student is more positive, proactive, confident, and we notice an increase in their school grades (and their interest in school). They are more concerned and focused about their future, and often, the friends they hang around with, if negative, changes as well.

“Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.”
“You are who you hang around with.”

I used to hate hearing this when growing up, but now looking back, and after years of teaching and watching students grow, it’s amazing how true this statement is. A great instructor can be this positive role model… this friend.

It is absolutely critical that a child begins to find what they are good at, at a young age. Don’t rely on the school system to help find your child’s passion. You, the parent, must play a role in this process and development. If your son or daughter shows an interest in music, spots, art, movies… feed that passion!! Buy them movies, magazines on that topic, take them to the library so they can find books about what they love, or bring them to a live show. Find someone in that field that can coach and inspire them to take it further.

Lastly, for your child to believe that they’re inadequate, not worthy, not smart or will never succeed just because their school grades are low, is a huge mistake!!

There are numerous successful business owners who had C averages or lower in school, that are now running very successfully businesses, on an international and global level, that have those A+ students with bachelors, masters, and PhD’s working for them.

Digital Music Marketing Strategy

If you’ve been online long enough, I am sure you’ve come across, or heard, of the website Tunecore.

Essentially, it is the cost-effective way for an independent artist to get their music EVERYWHERE and I mean that so much I had to yell it. We’re talking everywhere from Pandora to Google play.

I see plenty of people using the site with very little success once they acquire the service. The reason is that I feel they get overwhelmed by how many wheels turned once they pressed submit.

Let’s explore things a little deeper so you don’t find yourself in water too deep.

About Tunecore

Tunecore is the perfect place for independent artists who are trying to have their music in front of as many people as possible. They will distribute your music for an annual fee to all of the popular music outlets including Spotify, iTunes, and Google Music.

There are other places like Cd Baby that does the same but what makes them unique is their payment structure. You pay the nominal cost and you keep all sales that you make. This means that after a few album sales, you are profiting from your music not including your cost for creating it of course.

They also offer a publishing service in which they will collect on your behalf and even attempt to have your music placed with others like film and television.

You’d want to check their website for all fees that they charge but they are definitely not that expensive. Especially when you consider how much work it takes to communicate to all of the channels that they deal with.

Focus Will Keep You From Spreading Yourself Thin

When I explain a place like Tunecore, I always have individuals submitting music and pretty much waiting for their money to roll in. That is not how things work.

Consider the music being available at a store but you still need traffic to the store so that you can make money. You see, the good part about distribution is also the worst part.

Your music is in so many places that you have now formed a mall.

The tracks are in so many stores that one of two things end up happening. Either you sell a little over a lot of places to make good money or you go completely overlooked.

The best way to gain great results is to understand each store separately. This means knowing how popular the store is, how often it pays, as well as how much it pays the artist.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Marketing Efforts

Now that we have the basics down, let’s talk about how to make the most money from your music. As of this writing, there are two places to focus your music efforts on and that’s iTunes along with Google Music.

These two pretty much are the way to go because of their charts and the fact that they are associated with smart phones. Apple for iTunes and Google Music for Android. By getting sales in these two places, you will gain more sales because of the popularity.

Of course, the other avenues will generate sales too but as far as driving traffic to a particular place, I would focus on these two powerhouses.

Now that goes for single and album purchases. As far as streaming, for individuals who have their music publishing set up which you should, I would have to go with Spotify. They also chart plays so the more plays you get, the better the odds of gaining a new fan as they tend to play what’s popular by others a bit more.

You are also able to get paid from the streams as well as sales because fans are able to make in app purchases.

One great technique that works very well is to create your songs in different mediums. A lyric video on YouTube as well as an official video can get you paid through YouTube’s Partner Program.

You can submit the lyrics to an article directory, something no one seems to do but it works, because this is a way to share a song with poem websites and other music sites. I’ve had sales just because individuals like the lyrics.

One last way that seems to get plenty of attention are videos that are animated. Though I haven’t given this a try myself yet, I have seen many independent bands go this route and they get plenty of views because it’s downright different and the most important thing to do to be successful is to stand out, right?

If making a living with your music is your goal, you really need to understand your rights and how they help to make you money.

When I say that I mean backend royalties, sync fees, mechanical royalties, and everything in between. Tunecore helps to simply the process of distribution and music publishing and I would suggest it to anyone who may be in need of those two aspects within their business.

How to Configure Your Strong DC

Did you happen to want to use Strong DC and did not know how to configure it so that you can download anything? Here are the steps necessary to your future so much easier.

1. Open Strong DC

2. File> Settings. (The “Settings” menu and added rapidly (up) in the form of icons representing a slate blue with one hand and a pencil / pen)

Opens a window where we see a menu on the left and right panel for settings.

3. General: The Nick, we write the following: [COUNTRY] [CITY] [ISP] USER / NAME, where PSI is the Internet provider (RDS, UPC, Romtelecom, etc.).
Here’s an example: [EN] [B] [RDS] John

There is no need to fill in the fields “Email” or “Description”

4. Downloads:
– Disadvantaged download directory: select the file / folder that will save downloads
– Unfinished download directly: select the file / folder that will save unfinished downloads.

5. Sharing: In this category you will need to share some files from your personal computer, files that can be downloaded by other users. For example: movies, music, software (not installed, kits). Hubs usually take into account the amount of share files look.
Also sharing category, we have:

– Upload slots: there must necessarily pass a no. more than 5 if you leave 0 (zero) will not be allowed to stay on your hubs that come. It’s about how many upload connections allow to be carried simultaneously on your computer to other users of DC, how much you can download the different files simultaneously. If you have a weak connection, upload traffic and consequently affects the speed at which you download files.

6. Hubs. To connect hubs must add that is where you will find addresses of users who download. For this follow these steps:
– View> Favorites hubs (or simply press Ctrl+F1)
– Opens a new window where you can add favorite addresses by clicking the New button.

To connect to a hub so I double click it. Each hub (network individual user) has its rules which have to respect not to be kicked out from the hub. To load automatically, with the DC hub or hubs that preferred you type “/ fav” (without quotes) in the menu dialogues hub respectively.

What is the Music Manager’s Role in Today’s “DIY” Era?

Do It Yourself.

For many independent artists, the D.I.Y option is chosen either by design (because they are perfectly happy and capable of doing things without a manager or label) or by default (because they are unable to attract the attention of a manager or label). Either way, artists have lots of help getting things under way.

In this D.I.Y era, dozens of fan relationship management resources like Reverbnation and FanBridge, among others, are marketed to artists as tools that enable them to engage with fans in a more direct and meaningful way. Sites like GigMaven and Sonicbids enable artists to pitch directly to venues and book their own tours. Resources like Sellaband, Pledge Music, Kickstarter and others enable artists to raise money for recordings, videos, tours, and more. Music libraries and licensing agents (like those found at Music Library Report) offer assistance with music placements in Film & TV productions. Digital distributors like Orchard, CD Baby, Tunecore, IODA and others offer musicians a means to distribute their music directly to fans via iTunes, etc. Social media networks (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, etc) make it possible for artists to handle publicity duties themselves.

So, with all these resources available to artists, what exactly is the artist manager’s role in today’s D.I.Y era? With fewer artists interested in record deals today, a managers’ role has evolved away from choosing which labels/agents/publishers/attorneys to work with, towards finding ways to best help artists increase their fan base and generate more income.

The manager’s role in the D.I.Y age is less that of an advocate and cheerleader, and more that of an analyst and advisor. The division of labor in the artist/manager relationship is for artists to concentrate on writing and recording songs, rehearsing and performing live shows, and growing and engaging their fan base; while managers analyze data and make strategic recommendations based on the information gathered.

Using resources (often in combination) such as Band Metrics, RockDex, Big Champagne, Next Big Sound, Band Camp and others, artist managers analyze data to help figure out things like:

• which of the artists’ products sell the most (downloads, physical products, custom items, tickets, subscriptions, etc), and which sell the least and perhaps should be discontinued

• what new products can be added and which new revenue streams can be exploited

• which pay models work the best (fixed price, pay-what-you-want, donations, bundles, etc)

• which campaigns are the most effective (virtual street teams, newsletters, videos, chats, vlogs, blogs, etc) and which ones generate the most feedback and results

• which calls-to-action are the most effective (e.g., sign up to the mailing list for a free download, pre-order a limited edition, autographed CD, etc)

• what trends or patterns are developing, and how to best take advantage of them

• which platforms/widgets are most useful and relevant for a particular artist (review demos and sign up for trials to find the best fit)

• which songs, videos, images, t-shirt designs, etc, resonate with fans the most

• who the artists’ “super fans” are, and how to leverage that relationship to generate more sales

• which questions to include in polls to figure out what the artists’ fans want

• which ways do fans most wish to engage and interact with the artist

• what actionable information can be extracted from comments and feedback from fans and listeners

• where are fans clustered and what are the best ways to route a tour

• what does the data reveal that will result in an increase in sales and income

• what are the true costs of the artist’s operations (i.e., what is being earned vs. what is being spent)

• And much more.

While artists can perform many of these tasks themselves (and indeed many do), doing all this alone along with writing, rehearsing, recording, performing music, touring, and interacting with fans will leave them very little time to do much else, and will often cause them to burn out and/or get discouraged when things (as they very often do) don’t go as planned. The managers’ role is to do much of the “dry” analytical work that helps to chart a course for the artist to take, while leaving the artist to create and perform music and engage with the fans.

As an artist manager, however, it is important to keep in mind that there is more to the “business” side of music than what these resources alone offer, and while all these resources, widgets and apps help to reveal a strategy; they are not in and of themselves THE strategy. It is up to the manager to have a deep understanding of how things work in the music business, and along with access to the best available resources, to formulate the appropriate strategy for the artist to follow.

A manager’s role today must be to contribute more to the artist’s career and financial bottom line than the artist can do alone or with the help of fans, friends, and family members. Without such a contribution, the managers’ role will fade into insignificance while artists do it all themselves (even if they don’t necessarily do it all alone).

iTunes – Music Online – Radio & Podcasts

Tuning in Online

Radio on the Internet works pretty much like radio in the real world, except that – what with the Net being global and there being no online equivalent to radio stations fighting over frequency bands – the choice is almost infinite. You’re limited neither by your geographical area nor your next-door neighbour’s four-storey gazebo.

You can listen to a fair selection of radio stations within iTunes, but this is only a tiny fraction of what’s available elsewhere on the Net. And then there are “Podcasts”: shows saved as MP3 files so they can be transferred to an iPod or kept for later.

Internet Radio

Radio in iTunes

Radio in iTunes is extremely simple. Connect to the Internet, click the Radio icon in the Source List and browse through the list of genres and stations. For each station you’ll see a bitrate – this is important as you will only enjoy a glitch-free listening experience if you select stations which stream at a bitrate that is slower than your Internet connection.

When you’ve found a station you like the look of, double-click it, wait a few seconds, and the stream should begin. You can create shortcuts to your favourites by dragging them into a playlist.

New stations are frequently made available online. To update your list select Radio in the Source List and then hit the Refresh button in the top right corner of the iTunes window.

More Internet radio…

iTunes only scratches the surface of online radio. Search Google or browse a directory such as About, and you’ll find links to thousands more stations. Most of these stations are accessed via a website. All you need to tune in, if you don’t have them already, are the right media players: RealPlayer and Windows Media Player are both suitable.

…and on to the iPod

There are two main limitations with online radio, apart from the imperfect sound quality. One is that, though some online radio stations offer programmes “on demand”, you generally have to be in the right place at the right time to listen to them. Second, you can’t access online radio on your iPod. However, there are programs available specifically for getting around these limitations by recording radio onto your hard drive as MP3 files. RadioLover (Mac) and HiDownload (PC), for example, allow you to set up schedules for recording the same show each day or week, record multiple streams simultaneously, and even break streams into individual MP3 files, ready to be imported into iTunes. But beware that, depending on you country, the station you’re listening to, and what you do with the download, recording from a radio stream may be illegal.

Podcasts

Unlike most online radio, which is “streamed” across the Net in real time, Podcasts are made available as files (usually MP3s) that can be downloaded and transferred toy our iPod or other digital music player. Podcasts are usually free and often consist of spoken content – current affairs, poetry, cookery, etc. There are many musical Podcasts, too though there’s a grey area surrounding the distribution of copyrighted music in this way.

It’s usually possible to download an individual “show” directly from the website of whoever produced it, but it’s far easier to use iTunes to subscribe to Podcasts that you’re interested in. Click Podcasts in the Source list and then click the Podcast Directory link to browse and subscribe to Podcasts via the iTunes Music Store. iTunes the automatically downloads the last dew programmes from each Podcast you’ve subscribed to and places them in a special playlist, ready for transfer to your Pod. That way you have fresh news stories, debates, poems, music or whatever each day – ideal for the morning journey to work. To control how all this happens look under the Podcasts and iPod tabs of iTunes Preferences.