Friday, February 28, 2014

The Music Business (Part 1)

This week, the place where I teach at hosted two guest lectures on different aspects of the music business. One lecturer, Jordan Tishler is studio owner in the Boston area and the other lecturer was Dr. Terry Chance, a Country and Western star from the 70's and 80's.

Students asked questions, mainly directed at how they could break into the music business themselves. There were to main themes that were very pronounced in both lectures:
1) Know the business inside and out
2) Be personable and unique.

I think this is absolutely the key to being successful in anything, especially music.

Dr. Chance explained that you have to be unique in order to be marketable in this day in age. Nobody wants to listen to the same music that has already been done. So the big question is how do you market yourself as unique? I think the bigger question is, how do you make yourself stand out?

Mr. Tishler explained that standing out really involves knowing your business and making sure you can make connections through networking. It's often the small connections that lead to bigger opportunities down the road.

In regards to knowing the business, I can't emphasize this enough. No matter what job you have or industry you work in, you MUST know:

  • How most people make money in the business
  • Who are the biggest players in the industry
  • Why are they the biggest players
  • How did they get there
  • Who are their competition
  • How does their products work
  • How do they distribute them to the masses
  • Why do customers keep buying their products?
When you begin to dive into these topics, then you find an overwhelming expansive knowledge base that can frustrate yet intrigue you. If you want to be an expert however, you must have a passion for the subject matter and want to contribute or help change the industry.

And not knowing everything is ok! Because the music industry is CONSTANTLY changing and evolving, its more of your job to know the history yet also keep up with the updates. We are always learning and none of us can know everything about our business. It's almost impossible, but knowing key concepts and important items can help other people see that you are unique and understand what's happening with the industry... Which makes you unique.

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