MAY 2012 Musical Whittling
There are a many music organizations that provide learning, networking and performance opportunities. If one is a songwriter, musician or singer with any degree of ambition and serious intent to career success, one must seize the various opportunities that these music organizations offer.
Of course there are also the somewhat pricey conferences and expos of big organizations, and many of these are also solid professional experiences. Listening to the pros give great advice on how to, where to and why can be very enlightening. Making key introductions to industry leaders and cementing working relationships with peers and potential collaborators can also be an important part of these major events.
But outside of these pricey retreats, conferences, fairs and expos, there exists this whole plethora of learning opportunities being presented on almost a weekly basis by any number of organizations catering to music makers who are building their careers.
Our COSMO organization stages such events on a regular basis such as the one this past April15th at the Guitar Merchant in Canoga Park. That event featured producer, Joe Solo, who dispensed some great information on the recording, mixing, studio process and how to get the most out of your recording efforts. Those attending brought their material to play live or spin and got some great tips on what recording elements could be added to enhance the tracks. Joe played before and after examples from previous sessions to emphasize how productive the experience could be. I was impressed by the quality of those who attended and how invested they were in their music. These events have been available for a small $10.00 donation, an amount that will definitely not break the bank but helps defray the expenses. (go to www.JoeSolo.com ) (see photo above of attendees)
Coming in late summer (date pending), COSMO will present all you singer/performers the opportunity to spend an evening in a master workshop with vocal and performance coach Elisabeth Howard. Liz is one of the truly great vocal coaches here inLos Angeles. She has presented her techniques throughout the world to other professional vocal coaches and music teachers in the major cities ofItalyandFrance, and with regular invitations to present her specialty around the world. She is a former president of NATS, National Association of Teachers of Singing, and has many amazing career highlights. She is a graduate of Juilliard Conservatory and recently toured as a panelist of Julliard graduates to introduce students to the opportunities of higher education geared toward being a professional in the performing arts.
I have witnessed first-hand the dynamic improvements of singers who have attended just this one workshop. For this event, thanks to our COSMO sponsors, we have again kept the costs to $10.00. Let me suggest that whether or not you feel inclined or have interest in performing, just auditing this event will build your knowledge and confidence and pump you up with a heavy helping of enjoyment and renewed positivity. We may have to limit the size of this event so respond early through our website.
This summer COSMO will present a hands-on intensive workshop on the business/marketing side of the singer/songwriter as the proprietor of a commercial small business selling a musical product. This will be a practical analysis of what one does with what one has produced and wants to sell. It all comes down to marketing and sales, and you need to know how to utilize the many Internet and software tools that exist. You need to develop a business plan for how to effectively sell your music in order to maintain an active creative career independent of a day-job. You need to know the steps, time-line, priorities and mechanics of indie commerce that starts from your desk top and accesses a world-wide marketplace. FYI you represent the largest group of small businesses in the country – really!
In ending my thoughts here in this latest Musical Whittling, let me share with you some of my observations of the past several months. This field of endeavor we call the music industry is populated with truly creative artists. I have seen the personal side of these independent artists coming together to learn and to play and I have seen that there is a lot of compassion and good will that we all extend to each other. It’s a tight community and I love it when one of us breaks out to become a main-stage headliner.
I guess the point to be made is that pursuing a career rather than just a gig is worthy of making the effort to go to these events and worthy of going to the expense of gasoline and enrollment fees to grow and learn from the experience. If the musical mission you are on has value to you, you will make the commitment to excel and succeed.