Embarrassing Musical Moments – Up On the Roof!

By Roger Moisan

The nature of music making means that there are many opportunities for making a complete fool of yourself in front of a lot of people. One particular event that stands out in my mind is the end of year concert at Hailsham Community College, Sussex, England in July 1998.

As the visiting brass teacher and band director, I was due to conduct the College band at the opening of the concert which was a showcase of the year’s musical achievements and annual prize giving ceremony. In attendance at this year’s celebration were the usual school dignitaries, guests and the Mayor as well as many hundreds of parents and children.

As a busy peripatetic teacher, I had been rushing around all day from school to school and had hardly anytime for myself. Having arrived in Hailsham with plenty of time, checked in with the band and Director of Music, I still had fifteen spare, precious minutes for a long needed trip to the toilet! So, off I go to the staff room, on the top floor, locate the men’s room at the far end, find a clean cubicle and breathe a sigh of relief. Not one minute into my activity, I hear the terminal ‘clunk’ of a door being locked. The toilet door! After a few moments of disbelief, I begin calling out “Hello, hello, I’m in here!” To no avail. I am locked in the toilet on the top floor of a remote part of a huge Community College five minutes before curtain up.

The over zealous caretaker had decided to get a head start on his evening’s shutting down routine and I was on the inside, trapped.

A small window was my only option and route of escape, so after prizing it open, I managed to squeeze my six foot frame through the unfeasibly small orifice only to find myself on the roof of the main hall some fifty feet above ground level. A quick scout around found a skylight looking directly down and into the concert hall where my band and the audience were waiting patiently for the arrival of the conductor. Me! Over the PA, I heard the chilling words, “Please welcome our brass teacher and band director, Roger Moisan” Audience applaud and I do not walk on to the stage because I am on the roof!

Panic kicked in and I decided I had to get down some how, so after a bit of roof hopping from level to level, I managed to get low enough to be able to slide down and drop on to a dumpster, leg it around the front of the building, into the hall, pick up my baton and start the band. We played well and all seemed ok until my chat with the mayor after the show. “Roger, do you realise you have what seems to be a tyre track mark all the way up your trousers and jacket?” It was the summer and my concert attire was a beige Chino suit (it was the 90s) and those in the know are aware that schools use non-setting, thick black paint to prevent the most athletic kids from climbing onto the roof. I had performed, with my back to the crowd, looking like a victim from a Road Runner cartoon!

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Much love and happy music making,

Roger Moisan.

Musical Success

If you’re reading this article for answers, I don’t have any. I’m simply writing about goals I’ve had musically and how they were achieved. The definition of success has several iterations. The one I like the most is “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” Using this, success can be whatever your heart desires at any level. This makes sense to me.

Many times, when we set goals, we go big. I’ve done this so often it’s not even funny. The main problem I have with this is when I try and take on the world, I set myself up for failure, as there are too many components that need to be achieved for success. By breaking the big picture down into smaller goals, the mark for success is easier to accomplish. I’m not saying the task itself will be easy, but better than taking on the whole. This approach can be useful in life as well.

When I first started playing guitar, the only goal I had was to play on stage. At the age of 14 my aspirations were not about getting better as a musician, I didn’t have the mental capacity to think that way. It was to follow in the footsteps of my guitar heroes. In 1987, at the age of 19, I achieved this goal, playing in a cover band. I’m 49 now and still remember it vividly.

First off, I was terrified. Playing in front of people?! Not the place for an introvert. However, the music started and I got lost in what I was playing. I had never dealt with stage monitors or doing sound checks. I was amazed at how “quiet” it was on stage compared to being in front of the blasting PA. We did a very heavy cover of BTO’s “Taking Care of Business.” There weren’t many people at the show, maybe 20-30. However, I remember the drinks on the tables near the stage shaking, like an earthquake. That was one of the coolest things I had ever seen. However, even though I had achieved my goal of playing on stage, it didn’t feel right.

Fast forward a few decades to the age of 47. My first gig with an original band. I wasn’t an introvert anymore having gotten used to lecturing all over the country in my previous career. However, I was jumping up and down, trying to subdue the anxiety and butterflies in my stomach. Even though I had been on stage before, it was not at this high a level. I was lucky that I considered my bandmates friends and there was comfort in that knowledge. They were all seasoned professional musicians having played their instruments even longer than I. We hit the stage and played without a problem. In fact, the owner of the club approached us after and was amazed to find out we had only been together for two weeks. He said we played as if we’d been together for years.

I did feel a measure of success from that show. Actually, every time we play, even at practice, there is success. However, my dream/goal wasn’t truly realized until this past June. We were playing a benefit concert for ovarian cancer. My mom had died from this disease and I had decided to use the first guitar I ever owned for the show. It was surreal playing my 1984 Aria Pro II ZZ Deluxe that I bought when I was 16. I got off stage and my heart was pounding, my head was in a fog, I had to walk it off. I was nearly crying from the emotion running through my system. That was the moment I had dreamed about when I was 14. Many in attendance told me they saw something special happen on stage that night, truly inspirational.

I still have musical goals. I want to get better as a musician, not just a guitarist. I’d like to get back in the studio to record a full-length album; play on a big stage with a famous act; and so on. All of these goals need to be broken up into simple components to become achievable. It will happen in time with proper planning and support.

Success is a state of mind. To me it’s not about the money or being adored by millions, we’re not, yet. One of my biggest successes is realizing every time I pick up the guitar and play, I’m doing something very rare in this world. Not many people can do what we musicians do. When I put down the guitar after practice or a gig, etc. and realize I’m doing something very unique and fulfilling – that is success.

-Scott Duncan – MU Columnist

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Just Landed: Gibson 2018 Acoustic Guitars

Gibson Montana 2018

Gibson Montana 2018 Acoustic Guitars are crafted in Bozeman Montana, USA. Gibson uses a blend of traditional techniques and modern machinery to build acoustic guitars to an incredibly high standard.

Some of popular music’s greatest hits were written on a Gibson Montana acoustic guitar. For artists like John Lennon, Bob Dylan and others, the Gibson J-45 acoustic is a staple on every recording session.

We are proud to announce at that we have the new 2018 Gibson Montana range available at Gear4music. From the classic Gibson Hummingbird, Vintage Cherry Sunburst to the iconic Gibson J-45 Standard, Vintage Sunburst, you can rely on Gear4music to find the brand new Gibson Montana acoustic guitar for you.

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Aria Elan – Hotter

Aria Elan’s peace, one love and social justice lyrics are delivered with her signature smooth vocals. Set to a head bopping beat, the music makes you jump up and dance. Please subscribe to Aria Elan’s YouTube channel. You will receive a FREE download of one of Aria’s song when you subscribe to ariaelan.com

A graduate of College of Charleston and Southwestern University School of Law, she worked as an entertainment attorney, founded Isis Management, representing musicians, producers, and artists, including James Brown, Phred Mosbey, Musical Director for Earth, Wind, and Fire, musical group Bel Biv Devoe; the great South African singer, Miriam “Mama Africa” Makeba, Salaelo Maredi, acclaimed South African director, actor & playwright, and many others.
Ms. Elan later founded Sisi Records, releasing a collection of works, including Motown Legend Sylvia Moy’s hit “Love’s Inside” on the “Universal Love” album. Moy wrote and produced Stevie Wonder’s “My Cherie Amor.”

In 1990 she wrote musical “Amandla Ka Mandela,” which was staged at Henry Street Settlement Theatre in Manhattan, New York, which was followed by her historical fiction book “Missionary.”

Singer/Songwriter: Soul singer Aria Elan dropped debut album “Smile” November 1, 2013. Aria has entertained Veterans and active duty troops at various military bases.

She has spoken and performed for the US Navy, U.S. Air Force, women’s conferences, Veteran’s Organizations, and has received certificates of appreciation from the California Youth Authority, College of Charleston, County of Maui, NAACP, Ventura Self Help Clinic, Watts Legal Aid and numerous others.

As a motivational speaker, Aria Elan presents humorous, poignant and memorable stories about Aria’s ABCs of SUCCESS that resonate with people.  Aria performs her “ode to positive thinking” song “Smile” at all speaking engagements.

FFM – An Online Music Magazine With A Difference

Since its launch in February 2017, FFM is rapidly becoming the ‘goto’ place for ordinary musicians worldwide. FFM is the only online music magazine where members can post their music blogs, share their music videos, advertise their products and services and promote themselves or band to a global audience for FREE!

We even have our own independent record label (FFM Records) where musicians can release, digitally, a single which can be stored in itunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc.

Anyone can be a part of FFM by joining the Facebook group or simply dropping us a line in the contacts box below.

Freedom For Musicians, by musicians, for musicians and free from exploitation.

Introducing Rupert Cheek – FFM Ambassador for the United Kingdom


Rupert Cheek

Rupert Cheek: FFM Ambassador for the UK

Personal profile

I am a musician. Having graduated with a BMus in 2002 I went on to postgraduate study (composition for TV & Film) and performed as part of an international arts event (London, Edinburgh, Berlin) through a connection as University. I have worked as a pianist in primary education, been a drummer in various bands, and accompanied singers and songwriters. I’m also a part time composer and working on a music theatre / musical / opera project in my spare time.

Company profile

My name is Rupert Cheek and I live in London, UK. I studied music for many years; including piano from the age of 5 – 22. I graduated with a BMus and studied TV/Film composition as a post graduate. I loved playing drums in bands and accompanying singers on the piano. I’m organising an arts festival in London to raise money for London’s Air Ambulance and Nordoff Robbins.

Cheeky Promo Arts Festival

I’m very curious and I love asking questions, listening, learning and sharing what I’ve learnt. I relish helping people (musicians, entrepreneurs / startups, businesses) to connect online. I have been an active user of Facebook since 2007, Twitter since 2009 and LinkedIn.

I maintain and develop Cheeky Promo, the music community I established in January 2013. Cheeky Promo is a music promoter based in the UK, working predominantly online to help musicians in any way we can. Particular highlights have included connecting with, meeting, promoting and hearing 2 blind classical pianists from Buenos Aires perform in London, meeting former Freakpower member Ashley Slater and promoting his band Kitten And The Hip. If you’d like some help to promote your music, startup or business, please email rupert@cheekypromo.com

Additional info

@CheekyPromo – 50K followers / Instagram – 4K followers / Google+ community – 4500+ members / Google+ page – 200 followers Facebook page – 2450+ Likes / Facebook group – 540 members / Pinterest – 4600 followers / SoundCloud – 1640 followers Tumblr – 785 followers / Flickr group – 75 members & 1500 images / LinkedIn page – 213 followers / LinkedIn group – 474 members 24k @rupertcheek / 17k connections on LinkedIn / 12k @pianotalent / 9k @CheekyStartups

Visit Cheeky Promo here

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Click ‘Place Ad’ and fill out the form. Your ad will be approved in minutes.

Alternatively, email your details and stuff to us at rogermoisan@yahoo.co.uk and we will do it for you.

FFM Records
FFM Records

A Time Like This: A Hip Hop Lament For America

A Hip Hop lament, critique, and call to action. Maybe there’s a reason we were made for a time like this.
Micah Bournes “A Time Like This”

When I was younger, I wished I could have participated in the world-changing demonstrations of the American civil rights movement. Bittersweetly, my wish has been granted. Recent events have revealed that institutional racism and racial wounds in the U.S. are deep and festering.

With increased awareness of police brutality due to technology, with incarceration rates of Black Americans being grossly disproportionate, with the political power swing in our latest election, the nation is more divided than it has been in recent years. I realized, whatever I am doing now is exactly what I would’ve done back in the 60’s. “A Time Like This” was birthed out of frustration, righteous anger, and a conviction that ugliness should be countered with beauty, we should fight evil with poetry. Tired stereotypes must be undone with creativity.

The title, “A Time Like This,” is from the story of Queen Esther, a courageous woman in Jewish history. She lived in a time of great injustice. Genocide was about to be committed against her people and she had the choice to hide her racial identity, or risk her life by challenging her husband; the very King who ordered the genocide. Esther’s uncle Mordecai wisely suggested that there may be divine purpose for her existing among such injustice; “who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this.” Heeding his advice, Queen Esther was able to save her people from extinction.

I believe it is no accident that I am here, in America, 2017. This album will explore what that reason could be via hip hop and poetry. There is purpose in this madness and I am thankful to all who will partner with me in fulfilling that purpose. There’s a reason we were made for a time like this


How to Secure Funding for Musicians and Record Labels

Securing funding and investment is a great way to get independent record labels and music projects off the ground, and cover the many costs that come with producing music, touring and running a successful label as a business. We are often asked about ways to get funding for musicians and labels, so here’s a guide to the basics and some of the best potential sources.

Funding for musicians & record labels


Getting outside funding for your music isn’t easy, so it’s important to take time to research your options, decide what’s best for you, and don’t rush into any major decisions too quickly.

Before we get into the types of funding available to independent label owners and artists, here are some key things to consider.


The basics of securing music funding


Finding a trustworthy funding source

First and foremost, you’ll need to find where your funding will come from. Make sure your source is reliable.

A bad investment or loan source can cause all sorts of problems down the line, so watch out for extortionate interest rates or investors looking to take more control of your company than you would be comfortable with. Do your research; don’t just take the money and hope for the best.



Know how to approach

Different sources of funding and investment will require different approaches, but the best place to start is by writing a record label business plan. You’ll need to know the aims, finances and forecasts for your business inside out, and writing a clear plan is a great way to get it all down on paper, whether you’re seeking investment right now or not.

Also, when you apply for funding, make sure to check every single detail of your application. Follow any application guidelines to the letter, check for spelling and grammar and get someone else to proofread it. You don’t want to blow your chances over an avoidable mistake.



Decide how much you need

It’s always wise to work out a watertight budget before you start looking for investment. That way you can decide how much you need, rather than how much you want.

Generally, there’s no such thing as a no-strings-attached investment, so taking too much money could be unwise, especially if it comes to paying it back. In contrast, taking too little cash could be a bad move, leaving you out-of-pocket before you get the chance to make a return. Think very carefully about how much funding you’ll need.



Spend it wisely

This should really go without saying, but plan exactly what you’re going to spend every penny of your funding on beforehand. Don’t splash it all on Dom Perignon and Gucci threads! Make a sensible and realistic plan for your cash flow.



Types of funding for musicians & labels


Start-up loans

Start-up loans are one of the most common ways in which new businesses get the funding they need to grow and develop. You can approach major banks for a business loan, but you’ll need to make sure your business plan, credit score and research is all up to scratch to stand a realistic chance of securing a loan. Also, label owners based in the UK can get help accessing start-up loans with the Professional Record Label in a Box package.

Don’t rely on high-interest lenders. It may seem like an easy way to get some quick cash, but you could end up owing much more than you can afford.



Arts grants

Arts grants are a great option for creative professionals looking for a bulk cash sum to get their project off the ground, especially as you usually won’t have to pay anything back. These grants aren’t available to just anyone and they can be incredibly competitive, so you’ll need to prove you deserve the money and demonstrate how you’ll use it.


There are a few ways to apply for arts grants. If you’re based in the UK, you can apply for grants from Arts Council England, PRS and other sources.

For artist and labels in the USA, opportunities for grants are available from New Music USA, National Endowment for the Arts and more.

Musicians and labels in Australia can apply for grants via organisations including Australia Council for the Arts and APRA AMCOS.



United Kingdom

Help Musicians UK

PRS Foundation

Arts Council England

Musicians Union

North America

New Music USA

National Endowment for the Arts

Grant Space


Australia Council




Music and arts grants are not just limited to these examples. There are other funding opportunities out there for artists and label across the world, and with a little internet research, you may find more schemes to apply for.



Private investors & sponsors

If your music is making an impact across the local, national or even international music scene, you might just attract the interest of private investors or sponsors. This type of investment can offer a much-needed cash injection, new promotional opportunities and more.

Sponsors and endorsement can come from a variety of sources, from music brands, to soft drink, sports and alcohol companies. Rather than just sitting back and waiting for sponsorship, you could approach the brands that you think are a good fit for your artists or label.

It’s important to remember that large music companies and brands receive hundreds of sponsorships pitches a week from labels, bands and musicians, so you’ll need to stand out from the crowd. Focus your pitch on what you can do for the sponsor, rather than what they can do for you.




If your artists have a large and loyal following, but you’re low on cash, a music crowdfunding campaign offers a great way to get the capital you need. Maybe one of your artists want to produce a new album, but doesn’t have the funds required for studio time? Or perhaps you want to take a band on tour, but don’t have the gas money to get you there?

If you’ve got an army of die-hard fans, why not go directly to them for the money you need to produce new music or put on live shows? Crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Patreon provide an simple way to receive payments directly from your fans.

You could also consider using Pledge Music, a crowdfunding platform set up specifically to help musicians and bands fund their projects. 



Raise the cash yourself

If you want to stay in complete control of your own cash flow, raising the money you need to grow your label yourself is the best option. They are plenty of potential revenue streams for independent labels and artists to tap into, including sales, streaming and performance royalties, tickets sales and merchandising.


There are plenty of funding opportunities out there for musicians and record labels, but getting hold of the investment you need requires careful planning. Take your time, do your research and don’t rush into any big decisions lightly.


Do you have any questions about securing funding for your music project? Let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best to help!