It was the mid 1970s when I first got the bug to become a musician. I was already in my teens and so the early development of learning an instrument had already past. I wanted to be a musician but wasn’t very good at any instrument except my voice. So I became a “singer”.
I had my role models which I saw as being bigger than life such as Barry Manilow, Billy Joel, the bands Kansas, Yes, Styx, Boston and the list goes on. I wanted to be there at that level and honestly had no clue how to do it. Maybe nobody does I guess.
But as chance would have it I got involved in Opera and classical music which is a completely different thing. I went from trying to write songs and learn to be a “Piano Man” and Keyboards player to focusing on learning operatic roles and poetry of songs in foreign languages.
So even though I realized that recording could be an important part of my career as a classical singer it wasn’t anything like recording in the popular music genres where it is pretty much what you focus on doing besides getting gigs here and there.
The problem is that nobody around me was considering the importance of recording as a classical singer, because in classical music especially in the 80s was done by the very best in the business, not be young singers to build their name as an artist. That was wrong thinking.
The first two rules of building a music business around your talent is to perform as often as possible and make recordings for the purpose of publishing recordings for sale.
Building a business as a musician is much like building a CV, Curriculum Vitae, for an academic. You want to keep track of everything you do in your CV, or in the musician’s case, a resume. You should have a place to keep track of what you have done from the beginning of your career. This can include solos for church, singing in All-State, doing competitions that you have done well in, people who you have studied with, and any place that you perform.
What this does is show your productivity. In the beginning it doesn’t matter what you do because everyone begins somewhere and it is important that your resume gets added to at regular intervals.
Writers write articles, books, and create blog posts, builders build houses and buildings, so the medium for developing a profile artistically is doing recordings and creating a discography for your work and to make it findable online today.
To pull from my experience…my wife and I did quite a few recitals together and people really liked them. My idea was to have these performances ready to go and offer them to “producers” so we could do more recitals. Admittedly we didn’t work hard enough at finding “gigs” for ourselves. But the one thing that could have enhanced this project would have been to get these recitals professionally recorded and have something to show for what we did. This way we could send the CDs as examples of the programs we were offering, plus also having the ability to earn some income from selling them. We never did that. We never gave our work the chance to be heard by recording companies or anyone for that matter.
So, being a really good musician is not enough to become a success in music. It doesn’t do you much good unless folks know about you and can see you in the marketplace on a regular basis.
The other great thing about recording is that it forces you to work on your music in a very detailed way, making you better and better and getting really good at what you are doing.
Do not wait for someone else to make you great. The number one thing you can do to be in control of your musical destiny is to look at yourself as an artist in your own right.
I spent my career thinking that the place I sang is what gave validity to my name. “Timothy Simpson” Leading Tenor at the Opera in Karlsruhe. You hear this all of the time in music. So and so is a “Metropolitan Opera” artist. Yes it helps your credibility to have worked in “higher places”. But it shouldn’t be how you define yourself as a musician.
This is advice I have given to several younger singers who have made a career with their music by being their own brand and I know several others who have done the same thing. Sometimes they may have had to alter their format in music, but that is less important than begin able to be a professional musician in your life and if you build it that way you can always continue to build on it.
I’m telling you this, being a musician isn’t about being a rabbit but about being a turtle. It isn’t how fast you get started but rather how long you run the race. Everything happens for a reason, but for sure if you stop because your career isn’t going like you expect it to then there is no chance to become a respected artist at any level.
In music, like most professions, is about who you know, what you do, where you do it, and how you do it. Networking and getting to know people in the profession in all the different areas is very important. Building your own audience of people who like your music and you as an artist is vital. Fans are extremely important to your career. Take care of them and value them as much as a young bride does diamonds.
People ask if there are things I would do differently knowing what I know now I always say the same thing…become an “Artist” in your own right. Recording CDs, performing for various events, paid or unpaid, shaking hands and being kind to people regardless of what they can do for you are all ways to build your music business.
Here is the truth. Everyone is looking for someone to inspire them, to make them feel good, to believe in, and someone they can refer to in their conversations with others. Every audition is mediated by people who are looking for the answer to their casting challenges. The most important part of an audition isn’t whether you get hired or not, it is whether they would want to hire you in the future. You are actually doing 2 auditions at once. One for the gig you are auditioning for and the second is to leave a positive impression with the mediators. Never forget that. You may never actually know what kind of impression you made, but do everything you can to put your best foot forward no matter what.
- How do you build a business with your music?
- Be prolific.
- Record everything.
- Build a resume.
- Grow your audience.
- Grow your network of people you know.
- Plan your career a year at a time.
One of the missions of Musiterania™ is to help you do all of these things using Musiterania™ as a basis for you that will be there before, during, and after your career.
When you are young you can’t see the value of the people you meet along the way, but the older you get you begin to understand that that person you were sitting next to in choir became a musical star in Norway is something that you hold on to later in your life.
Musiterania™ is designed to be the home base for everything you do in your music “business” and wants to help you be financially stable over time as well.
Become an associate right now for free by registering on this website right here>>>>>Associates.
No matter what you do, Musiterania™ is here for you in a spirit of Coperor!