In order to make your dream of a successful music career a reality, you need more than talent. Talent fuels the engine of success, but it's not the whole vehicle! In order to get where you want to go, you need the wheels of ambition, a frame and support structure for your dream, the knowledge and experience to handle the ride, and a direction and route. Want to be in control of your future? This book helps put you in the driver's seat. This is a guide for serious performers looking to advance their careers. Although geared primarily toward classical artists, this guide contains information useful to all musicians interested in career advancement.
As the director of the Career Services Center at New England Conservatory of Music, one of the world's top music schools, I've advised hundreds of talented students, alumni, and faculty. In addition, I've worked with scores of professional musicians at national arts conferences and workshops. I've counseled classical, jazz, world, and some pop musicians on a range of issues. Clients have sought advice on CD and website projects, building audiences, contract issues, starting a concert series, finding or changing artist management, concert programming, commissioning new works, finding grants, supplementing their performance careers with other work. I've advised musicians whose long-term goals were to be presidents of music schools, those who wanted to start their own music schools, people who wanted to study and work in Europe or raise money to buy a new instrument.
Although every musician's situation is unique, there are some themes that I've found constant. Many of the musicians I meet have never discussed their career issues with a knowledgeable professional. Even established artists often find it difficult to get practical information on how to deal with the “business” side of the music industry. Many musicians get little or no guidance on how to manage their careers, promote themselves, or on how to move from dreaming to planning to doing. Most musicians pick up music business skills and information in a hit-or-miss fashion. And unfortunately, many mu-