I work with musicians who want to be more in their career. Who feel like they are not living the life and career they thought they’d have when they started out.
Truth is the opportunities that are out there are the same as when we were all young (I’m 54 now). I was eager to get out and tour. I started training at 15 with a vocal coach from The Royal Academy of Music. By 19 I had auditioned for EVERYONE! Suitable or not. Rock or classical, jazz, function band, west end show. You name it I auditioned. I didn’t care or think about brand, or whether I looked right or sounded right I just wanted to sing!
So after four years of trying and failing – (I remember a rock band sitting me down after the audition and saying very sweetly “I just don’t think you’re right for this are you”)….it was the kindest let down ever and it helped me at sweet 16 to understand that I needed to think about WHAT I was auditioning for and whether I had the right type of voice for it!
I had been trained by a young graduate of The Royal Academy, a classical soprano. I didn’t know whether that was good or bad. My parents, thought it would be best to give me a classical training. She opened my voice up to realise I had those super notes. Above a top C. About a super A roughly. I had no idea what that was, or whether it was good or not, again, just wanted to sing.
I played piano and just loved to listen to jazz.
One week we were all watching TV and my Dad (a trumpet player) said ‘you should sing with those’ and pointed at the telly. As a guest on The Two Ronnies were The Swingle Singers. Sitting in a montage in black and ‘doo be doo beeing’ a bach fugue. Hmm, well that would be cool I thought. They are on TV so must be good!
The following year there was an advert in The Stage for The Swingle Singers. High Soprano wanted. Well, I knew I had high notes and I loved jazz as Dad brought us up listening to big band music. So I applied. After having to learn some horrendously hard arrangements that took me around 3 weeks at 19, I went for it. To my shock I got the job!
My voice fitted. My style fitted and I got along with everyone so…..a tour to spain some dates in the UK. Whoop!
Some 3 months later I got the sack. The group had at the time, omitted to tell me that as part of their repertoire I would be singing classical contemporary music and some ‘church music’ which at the time was foreign to me. No idea what that was and it didn’t come easily to me. Crazy now when I think of it and all the concerts I’ve done and how easy ‘classical church music’ is to read compared to heavy arrangements with multiple time changes and harmonically advanced a capella arrangements!
But it proves that in this business, you don’t know what you don’t know!
And the sooner you realise that and start looking around for ways to perform more, for ways to market what you do and learn how to pitch that to potential bookers the better.
No point being brilliant in your bedroom! Even if you’re established and know you have many skills to offer. There’s still room to learn about marketing and sales. A dirty word for most musicians. Some musicians repel marketing as they see it as ignoring their art and that people who ‘market’ themselves are pushy, annoying and not great at what they actually do.
I believe that musicians can learn the business skills as well as anyone and can apply them in a way that fits with their brand. Not be pushy, or annoying. But create content that speaks to their fans, that inspires others and generates income for them at the same time.
We have a responsibility to learn all we can about our life as a musician and not wait around for someone else to make that happen for us. Nothing happens until you make it happen!
I work with musicians one to one and as part of my online Academy to help them understand how to position themselves in the industry and create programmes, memberships or courses encompassing ALL their musical knowledge that give them time and money to pursue those solo dreams! If you want to know what I can do for your career let’s chat and I’ll tell you what I have to offer.