Identify the three key components which make up the music industry.
1-2) Know and list the factors
which contributed to the success of those who have made a career in the music
Explain why there is a tremendous turnover of people in the Music Industry.|
from Last Lesson Page
Those in the industry who have succeeded did so by learning all they could
about their craft, honing their skills until near-perfection was reached.
Moreover, they learned all that they could about the inter-related positions and
functions in the industry to stay competitive, relevant and fresh.
For example, if a guitarist were to learn all that he could about his instrument including
studying those guitarists he admires, learn all the scales to practice, the
various tuning and stringing arrangements, as well as how to affect repairs and
maintenance, that would only be adequate. For him to take his craft to the next
level, he would have to know how sonically the guitar fit into the overall
musical family, from arrangement and orchestration modes, to textural
compatibility with other instruments. Taking his craft even further, he would
then study how the production and arranging of the various compositions he plays
were done, eventually taking on the task of conducting, producing and arranging
his own sessions. As one added step, he would go to his local library or
bookstore and read up on other facets of the business, including biographies of
industry personnel, and business practices relevant to his interests.
This method, which I label the Total Immersion Approach, is one
that everyone in the Music/Entertainment business, no matter their position,
should adopt. Each and every attempt at learning as much as possible about your
craft, skill, trade, or position - and everything even remotely associated
with it - increases your odds exponentially for success. If one were to read the
biographies of some of those artists, technicians and administrators mentioned above, one common trait they all would posses is
that they were extremely versatile in their approach to their respective fields.
Quincy Jones, for instance, was a celebrated jazz trumpet player in his teen years,
traveling around the
country with Ray Charles and his orchestra. He used this background to become an
arranger; artist & repertoire head at Mercury records; Emmy-winning composer;
motion picture composer/arranger; publisher; multiple Grammy-winning producer;
and media mogul, with TV magazine, and film productions to his credit. When rap
music began in the late 70's, Jones was one of the first of his generation of
musicians to recognize its link with the Jazz tradition he had spent a lifetime
in. After nearly 50 years, Jones is still considered a force in the music
industry due to his willingness to embrace new styles, new directions, new modes
of thinking, and new techniques. For this reason, many musicians today look to
Jones as a "godfather", one whose advice is held in high esteem. Jones learned
early to elevate his level of the game by learning all he could about as much as
the business as possible.
This Total Immersion Approach is not meant to imply that one needs to handle
EVERY function of the Music/Entertainment business, but rather to assert that
one should at least know what the other functions are and how they relate
to a given position, and most importantly, how they would affect someone's
career. Everyone reading this has heard horror stories of how a naive band or
artist was grossly exploited by their manager/agent/record company and left
penniless and their career in ruins. If that band or artist had had adequate
knowledge of how a manager/agent/record company is supposed to function, the
chances of their being used and abused in such a fashion would have decreased
significantly. Knowledge of the business is essential for adequate growth,
viability, and SUCCESS. This fact cannot be emphasized enough.
For those of you about to embark on a career in this wonderful world of
music, please take the time NOW to assess whether or not the capacity to
handle all the requirements listed above is in you. Please find out before you
have wasted a great deal of time, money, talent, patience, and tears. Please
reflect on the real reasons you want to become part of this business (fame?
fortune? art?) , and why this field - and no other - could meet that need.
Take time now to examine your strengths and weaknesses and ask yourself how
much are you willing to endure and for how long. Ask yourself would you be
willing to persevere until your goal is met, despite the criticisms, setbacks,
defeats, disappointments, and sometimes seemingly insurmountable odds that will
accompany your quest. Consider also whether this dream of a career and the
dedication it requires is worth the strain on family and social relationships it
most certainly will bring. If all of these factors have not deterred you and you
are now more dogged and determined than ever, knowing that "success" comes
before "work" only in the dictionary, then let me be the first to welcome you to
the first day of the rest of your career.