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Category: Running a Successful Business–You, Inc.

It’s A Pitch

0 Michael Drapkin

This post first appeared in Symposium, the journal of the College Music Society.  It is reprinted here with permission. I’ve had two careers in my lifetime: as a symphony orchestra clarinetist and as a technology executive. One of the advantages these dual careers have given me has been the ability to apply my business experiences

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When Musicians Need Lawyers

0 Stephen Danyew

Polyphonic.org Editor-in-Chief Ramon Ricker recently contributed to International Musician, the official journal of the American Federation of Musicians with an article titled “When Musicians Need Lawyers.”  In the article, Dr. Ricker covers important topics regarding situations when musicians should consult with an attorney and how musicians can find the right lawyer for them.  To read

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Making Room for Leadership

0 Katie Wyatt

I was in Washington DC last week, waiting for the cherry blossoms to bloom. Spring has inspired me to write again, thinking about rebirth and opportunities for change. I recently lost a strong teacher in the el Sistema program in Durham, NC that I run, called KidZNotes. She was from Venezuela, had the authentic experience of growing up

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When’s it OK to ask musicians to work for free?

0 Robert Levine

For sure it’s not when the person asking has raised $1.2 million for her new album but doesn’t want to pay back-up musicians on the road. Fortunately for all concerned, she (very grudgingly) changed her mind after considerable public outcry. Many AFM locals had a prohibition in their bylaws about members working for free, at

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Tax Time-1099s and W2s

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Let’s assume that anyone reading this knows that the sum total of all the money an individual earns is called the gross. It is reported by your employer to the Federal Government in the form of a wage and tax statement called a W-2, and a copy is sent to you each January for the [...]

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Tax Time–Musical Instruments and Depreciation

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Musical Instruments When a musician buys an instrument or equipment that has a useful life of longer than one year, he or she can depreciate it over the tax life of the item—usually seven years. This has the effect of spreading out the deduction over time. An alternate course would be to expense the purchase [...]

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Tax Time – Musician's Office in Home

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Office in Home In our homes or apartments, musicians all have a room in which they practice or teach, but for that room to be considered a home office and deducted on our taxes, it must meet certain requirements established by the IRS. For example, that part of your home must be used regularly and [...]

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Act Like a Business

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You, Inc. is a business, so you need to act like one. You should look as professional as possible. This includes everything from business cards to websites. I was just out of college and someone recommended me to do a little arrangement of a pop song. Not only did I have to arrange it for [...]

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