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Tags: entrepreneur

Being a Successful Entrepreneur — Don't Dilute Your Product in Order To Make Money

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Some musicians feel that they must dumb-down their music in order to be “successful.” I once had a conversation with Maria Schneider in which she made an interesting observation: many musicians who are focused solely on making money underestimate their audiences.  She commented that some musicians seem to think that if they write or present [...]

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Guest Bloggers: Quartetutopia by Nicholas Kitchen

0 Tony Woodcock

[Nick Kitchen is the founding first violinist of the Borromeo Quartet, ensemble in residence at NEC. In addition to receiving the Artist Diploma from NEC, the quartet has gone on to win the 2007 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Lincoln Center's … Continue reading

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Do Your Own Thing, Then Figure Out How To Get Paid For It

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I once was invited to be part of a panel discussion at the International Trombone Association’s annual convention. The subject was orchestra opportunities for trombonists. When I arrived at the venue, I looked at the sessions and concerts that had gone on in previous days, and I saw that a sackbut quartet had given a [...]

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YouTube Symphony–Year Two Coming

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Here’s an article that appeared in the Entertainment section of the Los Angeles Times last week. The author says she is cynical and that is apparent, but I’m even more cynical about the article itself.  It’s definitely representative of “old school” thinking.  See if you agree. Culture Monster All the Arts, All the Time The

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Baltimore and Alsop Might Be On To Something

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In my February 1, 2010 blog I wrote about the Baltimore Symphony’s plans for a  fantasy camp, (my words) for adults, and how the amateur musicians would be working with the pros of the orchestra.  It is the brainchild of Marin Alsop and apparently it has legs.  Two hundred fifty amateur musicians, now called “Rusty

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More on Your Brand—Know Your Image

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For a professional musician this is important.  Your image lives within the minds of the market, and not within your wishful thinking. You can try to put forth the image that you want, but your audience (in the broadest sense of the word—co-workers, contractors, conductors, producers, etc.), actually creates that image. Image, Identity and Positioning—What’s

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What is a Brand and is Yours a Good One?

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What is the first thing you think of when the company Coca-Cola is mentioned—how about Apple or Mercedes? These are all strong brands that have distinct images associated with them. As a musician you also have a brand. You, Inc. means something to those who want to hire you. Let’s think about that in business

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Musicians Business Challenge—A Highly Competitive and Large Talent Pool

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OK, so we all agree that it’s tough out there in the real world. Nobody argues with that, but we don’t let it get in our way. Successful people in music are drawn to the music itself. It may sound corny but music and performance can be very addictive. The music profession calls us, and

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Musician’s Business Challenge—Reduced Resources

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We read about orchestra financial pressures all the time. Musicians demand a decent wage and when communities and boards have difficulty supporting them, an impasse results. Of the 51 ICSOM orchestras , there are ten with minimum scales over $100,000. Not surprisingly these orchestras are in large metropolitan cities like New York, Boston, Chicago and

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The Musicians Business Challenge—Changing Demand

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Ask any musician ten years older than you how business is, and he will probably say, “It’s OK, but it was much better ten years ago.” If that same person asks the identical question to another musician ten years older than he is, he will probably get the same answer.  “It’s OK, but it was

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The Musician’s Business Challenge

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Over the next couple of weeks I’ll put on a businessman’s hat and look at a young musician’s career from that perspective.  What are the challenges facing this person as he or she steps into the profession?  One might say a musician’s challenge is to utilize and evolve the skills obtained in school in order

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Save Your Love—Don’t Give it Away

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In the music world there will always be someone who is willing to do something more cheaply than you.  Students are typically in this category.  Look at the music scene around any music school.  Students will be playing for their dinner, or coffee if it’s a coffee house or for the door.  Musicians are eager

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Don’t dilute your product in order to make money

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Here is a little followup to my last post about starving artists.  In talking to Maria further, she made another interesting observation.  In her opinion, a mistake that many artists make in trying to figure out how to make money, is to underestimate their audience.   She commented that some musicians seem to think that if

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Starving Artists

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The two-time grammy winning jazz composer Maria Schneider is a friend, and in conversations we have had she expressed  an interesting take on the stereotypical starving artist.  She theorizes that part of the reason record companies are able to make huge profits while the artists often make so little, is because many musicians have the

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Welcome

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So this week Polyphonic.org kicks off a daily blog feature, and I begin my maiden voyage into organized cyber writing.  I’ll be joined by two Polyphonic Senior Editors—Ann Drinan and Robert Levine, but from time to time we will also have guest bloggers.  We’ll try to have something new up each day, and since Polyphonic

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