Thoughts from JAZZFM91’s 2016 Music Business Seminar

Last week, on somewhat of a whim, I found myself seated in the audience for this year’s first session of the JAZZFM91 Music Business Seminar, aptly titled “Finding Your Niche: How To Make A Living as a Musician in the 21st Century.”

I thought about doing a summary post similar to what I did last year (click here to find out what I took away from last year’s seminar), but there’s something else that I think is a lot more important, that was underpinning the whole seminar this time around.

There is a fundamental tenacity to survival in the music business. It comes from saying yes to opportunities you didn’t expect; it comes from writing hundreds of grants to get only hundreds of dollars; it comes from using your money wisely (and doing your taxes properly!), from finding every avenue available to make money off your music, from asking for things regardless of whether you will get them. It comes from showing up – not everywhere, I’ve discovered, although that will help you exponentially – but in the right place at the right time, rubbing elbows with the right people. I would be lying if I said this had nothing to do with luck – of course it does! But if you aren’t visible on the scene, you can’t make these opportunities happen.

On a personal note, and for my own plans: I know that by virtue of being busy, I’ll never make it out to all of the things I want to see. I also know that seeing emerging artists is just as important to me as making it out to more established venues to hear the pros play. And I know that I would like to participate in music that is creatively satisfying, and to align myself with people that do that sort of thing. (“Creative” not necessarily meaning one genre or another, just something an artist is pouring their heart and soul into.)

So what does that translate into, action wise? It means I’ll keep saying yes to projects that I believe in. It means I’ll keep making my music. It means I’ll keep doing whatever work is necessary to stay in the scene, stay present, stay relevant. And it means that I am looking forward to seeing where this unpredictable and often emotional ride takes me.

For more specific, practical advice (taxes, anyone?), as well as some quotes to live by (thinking of the always inspiring Jane Bunnett!), check out my Twitter feed, as well as those of the day’s social media ambassadors (both excellent musicians in their own right), Aijia Waithe and Natasha Roldan. I’ve heard rumours of another seminar coming up in the next few months, and they’re great networking opportunities; hopefully, I will see some of you there!

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~ by crymmusic on February 26, 2016.

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