Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Working Parts (part1)

All successful musical acts have found  a way to do more than just perform songs on stage. There's Booking, Promotion, Legal concerns and Marketing Strategies....and that's just for starters. 

Most local bands ignore these pieces of the business, or they stumble along blindly hoping to stay 'small time' so as not to call attention to copyright infringement, or licensing violations. Their marketing strategies are usually non-existent, and their best promotion ideas involve an event invitation on FB and a flyer they'll hang up on the venue door. These acts are doomed to play local bars forever.....If this is you....welcome to the 99.9%

In this article I plan to list the jobs that are involved with a successful band. Sometimes, one person deals with several of these responsibilities...and some responsibilities are completely ignored.
I'll miss some I'm sure. PLEASE comment and I'll add yours as well.

Performer- Yeah, I know: this is obviously YOU....(you little bad ass.)

Sound Technician- That's the guy who gets your sound right. It may involve setting the microphones in the right positions to receive sound from your amps or instruments and deliver them to the PA speakers. This guy would also be the one who selects the right microphone, speakers, or equipment for the application at hand. Pushing sliders around and applying reverb and compression is only a small part of this persons job.....(when he's a professional anyway).

Electronics Repair Tech - When things go bad, as they inevitably do, this person has the ability to bring that which is dead, back to life. When a tube blows during a performance, this guy can have you up and running before the next set. Bad connection on your guitar's 5 way switch? Good as new in 5 minutes. Did you set your acoustic down with the cable plugged in and now there's a horrible 'popping sound' every time you move? Yeah. This is the guy that turns 'spilled beer and bad habits' into 'not a problem'.

The Working Parts (part2)

Business Manager- What are the short term goals that carry you to your longterm goal? How closely are you meeting them? What is the overall strategy regarding the branding of your band? What demographic will your band appeal to, and how can you best engage them? What cover songs should you perform live? Where will you spend the night when you play a gig out of town? The Business Manager has his mind on all of these things and is the person who sits down with the Booking Agent, Promoter, Marketing Specialist, Lawyer, and Poll Data Analyst. When he makes sure that all of you are on the same page and working toward the same goal, you have made a significant step forward. The most important person in your band is your Business Manager, so get a good one.

Booking Agent- "Finds you the gigs!" Yes, but again, it goes further than that. A good Booking Agent knows your strengths and weaknesses and will put you in the venues that can propel your career. It's not just about finding work....It's about finding the work that helps you find MORE work....which turns into making more money per gig and playing to larger, more anxious crowds.

Promoter- The Promoter, obviously promotes your shows for you. He'll know how to focus your promotional efforts on your target demographic. This is your money he's working with, so don't waste time with someone who is just good at a putting together a blog page for you and who MIGHT share your Event Invitation. < wink, wink......nudge, nudge>.



The Working Parts (part3)

Entertainment Lawyer- Keeps you out of legal trouble and keeps you from being manipulated by unsavory characters. This might include the contracts you sign with the promoters, booking agents, or the venues. This would also include the contract you would have used to hire your Business Manager in the first place.

Poll Data Analyst- This one might not seem very relevant but hear me out. All business that deal heavily with public opinion, use poll data. Polls are taken VERY often and they tend to show trends developing or fading. Now, I am NOT SAYING YOU SHOULD FOLLOW trends....However, you will. You might not do it on purpose....or you might LEAD a trend, but it is always good to know if a certain demographic is spending more money in that genre or style of performance than another. This is how you target your promotional material. It is also the key to developing/adjusting your marketing strategy to get the most out of your time.

"If I could find a white man who had the Negro sound and the Negro feel, I could make a billion dollars."- Sam Phillips

Knowing who would love the product and who had the money to spend on it made all the difference in the lives of Sam Phillips, Elvis Presley, and a two-bit carnival hustler named 'Colonel' Tom Parker. So, The Poll Data analyst is the guy that tells you who's spending the money, what they like, and how they communicate. He provides the info that the Marketing Specialist works from.

The Working Parts (part4)

Publicist- Sort of bridges the gap between the Marketing Specialist and the Promoter. This person gets the word out there about what you do and how you do it. You need publicity and although promoters get your shows heard about, and your Marketing Specialist focuses on inspiring a particular group to take action; the Publicist gets you publicity. Many times he uses your private life to call attention to your professional one. Publicists encourage those in the entertainment industry to do things that call attention to themselves....One type of publicist may encourage you to start a charitable foundation....and then be sure it is leaked to the media. Another type may encourage you to do a music video of your latest song completely nude or wear a dress made of meat. to the Grammy's red carpet. Good or bad....you've been talked about and that job is done.

Marketing Specialist- Works with poll data to focus your music toward the most appropriate audience. This way your efforts are more focused- making them more efficient and successful. This is where 'branding' comes in and is the hub from which much of the decisions regarding your band will come from. Just playing a large, varied setlist of songs means that when they describe you to a friend they will say..."He plays a lot of good songs of different styles and we had fun"

HOWEVER; If all you play are songs by Tom Petty and Johnny Cash, then the name of your band will likely be 'Petty Cash' and one of your gimmicks will be giving out 2 dollar bills to everyone in the front row, or the girl who gets up and dances to your favorite song, or as change when someone buys your merch or pays the cover. People who LOVE Johnny Cash and Tom Petty will be there and to them, your song selection has already passed inspection-without even playing a note. The crowd will be waiting anxiously for the next song they can sing along to or the next trivia question they can answer. You will make a connection that lasts and your next show will be even more successful.
Branding is important. and the Marketing Specialist will help you get it right.

Stylist- Who dresses the band? Yeah, I know, it's weird trying to dress a certain way. Your stage and beyond clothing choices should reflect the public's perception of your 'style'. You probably think that each member of the band should just dress in whatever makes them comfortable. BUT, if that was 'how it's done' then how would KISS, DEVO, The Ramone's, The Beatles, The Blues Brothers, Metallica, Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Stray Cats, etc. have communicated to you what type of music they played with a picture?

I know there are more (especially when it comes to putting together an album, for example), but I think this is a good start. How much time have you put into considering which member of your band is currently dealing with one or more of these responsibilities? Who is in your band BECAUSE they are good at one of these responsibilities?

Anyway.......Food for thought and discussion, I guess.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Pricing



Flex Program…………$29.99/weekly
·        30-minute private lessons
·        Personalized one-on-one professional guidance and instruction
·        Free after hours assistance

Express Program ……$99.99 /mo
·        Weekly 30-minute private lessons for one calendar month
·        Personalized one-on-one professional guidance and instruction
·        Save $20+ Compared to Flex Program!!!

Standard Program ……$179.99 /mo
·        Weekly 60-minute private lessons for one calendar month
·        Personalized one-on-one professional guidance and instruction
·        Best Value/ Benefit Package Anywhere!!!

Schedule your Free First Lesson NOW!

Rental Packages

Acoustic Package …...$10/week
(One acoustic guitar or ukelele + tuner) 

Electric Package …...$15/week
(One electric guitar, tuner, cable, and amp) 

Percussion Package ….....$10/week
(One snare, stand, drumsticks)

Keyboard Package ................$10/week
(Keyboard, Stand)

Schedule your Free First Lesson NOW!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Your story


"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear" - Unknown

One day your story will be written.  It will show how you rose from humble beginnings to become someone great. People reading it will be amazed at how much you were able to accomplish. You will inspire thousands with your story.

Music Medix wants to be the 'Music Teacher' chapter of your amazing life story. Through music instruction, we will teach you strong study habits and how to set objectives that lead you to realizing your long term goals. You will also learn perseverance, self-discipline, self-confidence, and social skills.

Yes, we make musicians; but with Music Medix, you will make yourself into so much more.


opportunity knocks

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Why Take Music Lessons?



If you have read this far, I am sure you already know the benefits that come from music lessons. But if you are interested in gaining insight from others...and maybe some useful tidbits...

Schedule Your free First lesson

 “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without,”-Confucius.

1. INCREASE YOUR IQ

*According to an article from The Telegraph online magazine, “New research suggests that regularly playing an instrument changes the shape and power of the brain and may be used in therapy to improve cognitive skills.”  There is continually more evidence that musicians have organizationally and functionally different brains compared to non-musicians, especially in the areas of the brain used in processing and playing music. Some studies show that playing an instrument can increase your IQ up to 7 points.

2. INCREASE THE CAPACITY OF YOUR MEMORY 

Research has shown that both listening to music and playing a musical instrument stimulate your brain and can increase your memory.  A study was done in which 22 children from age 3 to 4 years old were given either singing lessons or keyboard lessons.  A control group of 15 children received no music lessons at all. Both groups participated in the same preschool activities.  The results showed that preschoolers who had weekly keyboard lessons improved their spatial-temporal skills 34 percent more than the other children.  Not only that, but researchers said that the effect lasted long-term.

3.  INCREASE MATHEMATICAL ABILITY

Reading music requires counting notes and rhythms and can help your math skills.  Also, learning music theory includes many mathematical aspects.  Studies have shown that students who play instruments or study the arts are often better in math and achieve higher grades in school than students who don’t. 

4.  IMPROVE READING COMPREHENSION

According to a study published in the journal Psychology of Music, “Children exposed to a multi-year program of music involving training in increasingly complex rhythmic, tonal, and practical skills display superior cognitive performance in reading skills compared with their non-musically trained peers.”  It’s not surprising to hear results like that because music involves constant reading and comprehension.  When you see black and white notes on a page, you have to recognize what the note name is and translate it to a finger/slide position.  At the same time, you also have to read what rhythms the notes are arranged in and force your tongue to produce the correct pattern

5.  BUILD SELF CONFIDENCE

Overcoming musical challenges that you thought you’d never quite master can give you a great sense of pride.  When you first start learning how to play an instrument, it seems like just holding a note for a couple beats or hitting a high pitch is an amazing accomplishment.  Many small successes will eventually breed long term, innate self-confidence.

6.  REDUCE STRESS & BE HAPPY! 

Listening to and playing music can promote stimulation to areas of the brain that promote increased joy and decreased stress. During the past decade, the investigation correlation between music and the brain has proven that music can modulate activity in parts of the brain that are known to be crucially involved in emotion. The potential of music to modulate activity in these structures has important implications for the use of music in the treatment chronic stress.

7.  ENHANCE HAND-EYE COORDINATION

The art of playing an instrument requires a lot of hand-eye coordination.  By reading musical notes on a page, your brain subconsciously must convert that note into specific motor patterns while also adding breathing and rhythm to the mix.

8.  LEARN PERSEVERANCE & SELF DISCIPLINE

Learning to play an instrument takes time and effort, which teaches patience and perseverance. Musicians have to work through difficult sections of music multiple times in a row before they can play it correctly. Practicing often and working on the hard parts requires perseverance.  The best musicians in the world are masters of discipline.

9.  INCREASE COOPERATION

Cooperation is an important aspect of being successful in life.  Playing an instrument requires you to work with others to make music.  In band and orchestra settings you must learn how to cooperate with the people around you.  Also, in order for a group to make beautiful music, each player and section must learn how to listen to each other and play together.

10.  LEARN RESPONSIBILITY

Maintenance and care are very important in keeping an instrument in working condition.  Each instrument has different procedures to keep it functioning properly, but most instruments need cleaning and some form of oiling/greasing.  In addition to maintenance responsibilities, there are other aspects such as remembering music events (like rehearsals and performances) and making time to practice.

11.  LEARN CULTURAL HISTORY

Music reflects history and gives us insight on what it was like to live in the era and geography of its creation. Each piece of music has a unique history that is explored upon learning it.  The more diverse your musical knowledge is, the more informed you are about a variety of cultures, eras and geographic influences that shape the art form as we know it today.

12.  BOOST LISTENING SKILLS

Playing an instrument requires you to listen very carefully.  You have to learn to hear when you’re playing a wrong note in order to correct yourself.  Tuning your instrument means hearing if the pitch you’re playing is high (sharp) or low (flat).  When playing in an ensemble, you have to listen for the melody and play softer if you’re the supporting part (accompaniment).  Training listening skills teaches us how to be reflective and thoughtful.

13.  ENHANCE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM

Air is one of the key components in making music.  In order to play music correctly when playing an instrument (or sing music with your voice), you’ll need to take huge breaths and learn how to expel the air properly to make the desired sound.  Breathing exercises are highly recommended for musicians, and they can strengthen your respiratory system.

14.  MAKE LIFELONG FRIENDS

When you become a musician or a vocalist, you become a part of a bigger community. Not only is it fun to play music that you enjoy, but it feels wonderful to join together with others to create a unified sound.  Friendships and relationships are strengthened through common interests and artists typically find that their most meaningful (and longest lasting) relationships are found through those they meet through the sharing their art form. 

link*This was found at the "14 Reasons Everyone Should Take Music Lessons" article by the Metropolitan School of the Arts in Alexandria, Virginia