Category Archives: Music jobs

3 key risks to cultural education in the UK

Anna Gower

Music Education Consultant | Trinity College London | Musical Futures International

The government believes that cultural education forms an important part of a broad and balanced curriculum, and that children and young people should be provided with an engaging variety of cultural experiences throughout their time at school. Policy Paper, cultural education DFE, July 2013

This week I was asked what I thought were the main challenges in the UK facing those of us who support a holistic cultural and arts education within our schools and local communities.

The obvious answers would of course include cuts to local authority budgets and national funding, which are now affecting some of the biggest arts venues in London as well as community venueslibraries and museumsacross the UK.

Or the EBACC, which as this article from Deborah Annetts, chief executive of Incorporated Society of Musicians and founder of the Bacc for the Future campaign suggests, negates the potential impact of the recently announced £96m of funding, promised to support the most gifted students with access to arts education. Music for a few not for many.

But in answer to the question I chose the following:

  1. The risk of forgetting those at the very end of the journey to opening access to arts education-the students.

In the UK there are a huge range of organisations all wanting the same things. To find ways to open up access to the arts for all. Many of these focus on work with teachers and schools. However, the danger is that funding can quickly be eroded by getting people round a table to talk about the issues and reach agreement whilst actually making things happen takes much longer.

How can we ensure that initiatives and projects are needs-driven and learner-driven and that data is used not just to measure effectiveness, but to identify key areas where diminishing funding and support for arts education can have the maximum impact for those who need it most?

2) Communication.

It’s difficult to reach the people who can most easily affect change. Where are young people? They are in schools. Where are parents who are part of their local community? Many of them engage with schools.

Schools are a central and vital part of the local community and provide a huge opportunity to open up access to organisations trying to engage and work with local communities.

Yet we constantly hear of organisations trying to reach teachers and teachers trying to reach organisations and still a gulf that lies in finding the right language, the shared aims, the pressures of time and knowing how to reach the right people to make those conversations actually translate into practice.

It would be great to find ways to create more relationships that truly work in partnership and establish a balance that responds to local need and the sharing of expertise where it’s most needed. Without doing so then the challenge of communicating the right information to the right people in the right way remains a key barrier to making things happen.

3) Sustainability.

Many arts opportunities are often high quality, large-scale events and those who participate (or watch) never forget them. However many can be ‘one hit wonders’, expensive to run and once over, there is little evidence of or support for sustainability and impact over time.

The question of how to reach more people and to engage them for longer has long been a key focus for organisations looking for solutions to the challenges we face in the UK around arts and cultural education and opportunities in the current climate.

It’s great that there are structures in place that support collaboration and shared aims and values for arts and cultural education such as the Arts Council funded Bridge OrganisationsThe Music Education Council, the recently announced Youth Music National Alliance and the grass roots campaign to save East Sussex Music Service from threatened cuts.

But perhaps the greatest risk of all might be a failure of more arts organisations to find success in working together. If ever there was a time that this was needed, it’s now.

Promote Your Music Online for FREE


With more than 400 articles, FFM Magazine is packed full of great stories, music, videos and resources for the music enthusiast. Join our community for free or just browse. There is something for every musician at Freedom for Musicians.

At Freedom for Musicians, our philanthropic purpose is to serve and support musicians from any genre, style or culture by providing a free promotional service via FFM Magazine.

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How can I get more exposure as a musician?


At Freedom for Musicians, our philanthropic purpose is to serve and support musicians from any genre, style or culture by providing a free promotional service  and providing exposure via FFM Magazine.

Our services so far:

  • All our musicians have access to the website via the admin team.
  • A Musicians Directory
  • Live stream your performance at the FFM Live Lounge
  • Event promotion through our network of thousands of musicians worldwide.
  •  Members can advertise, for free, any musical product or service on the website. (Musicians Market Place)
  • Flex your journalistic muscles and publish your music blog on our website.
  • Become an International ambassador for your home country.
  •  Recording artists can access the marketplace through our own fully licensed independent (FFM Records Ltd) record label.
  •  An opportunity to be a Featured Artist.
  • The Freedom Orchestra. An orchestra established to bring together recent settlers in the UK either refugees or migrant musicians. (Coming soon)
  • Have your musical innovations promoted as ‘Featured Product’.
  • Promote your online lessons to a global audience.
  • Share and promote at our Facebook home.

If you would like us to promo your work, all you need to do is message me, Roger Moisan, with your links etc, and we will do the rest.

THERE IS ABSOLUTELY, AND WILL NEVER BE, ANY CHARGE FOR OUR SERVICES

You can join FFM by becoming a member of our Facebook Group

Message me personally through Linkedin

email – rogermoisan@yahoo.co.uk

Visit us at FFM Records



Freedom for Musicians Magazine – An Online Music Magazine With A Difference


With more than 400 articles, FFM Magazine is packed full of great stories, music, videos and resources for the music enthusiast. Join our community for free or just browse. There is something for every musician at Freedom for Musicians.

At Freedom for Musicians, our philanthropic purpose is to serve and support musicians from any genre, style or culture by providing a free promotional service via FFM Magazine.

 

Our services so far:

  • All our musicians have access to the website via the admin team.
  • A Musicians Directory
  • Live stream your performance at the FFM Live Lounge
  • Event promotion through our network of thousands of musicians worldwide.
  •  Members can advertise, for free, any musical product or service on the website. (Musicians Market Place)
  • Flex your journalistic muscles and publish your music blog on our website.
  • Become an International ambassador for your home country.
  •  Recording artists can access the marketplace through our own fully licensed independent (FFM Records Ltd) record label.
  •  An opportunity to be a Featured Artist.
  • Have your musical innovations promoted as ‘Featured Product’.
  • Promote your online lessons to a global audience.
  • Share and promote at our Facebook home.

If you would like us to promo your work, all you need to do is message me, Roger Moisan, with your links etc, and we will do the rest.

THERE IS ABSOLUTELY, AND WILL NEVER BE, ANY CHARGE FOR OUR SERVICES

You can join FFM by becoming a member of our Facebook Group

Message me personally through Linkedin

email – rogermoisan@yahoo.co.uk

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Band on the Run: Connecting neighborhoods through live music


Go to the profile of Topos

In this article we use machine learning to explore the ways that neighborhoods are connected by live music.

“Every day’s an endless stream
Of cigarettes and magazines.
And each town looks the same to me, the movies and the factories…”

Paul Simon

From Right Here to Everywhere

A musical scene can indelibly define a place. The specific culture of a neighborhood can give birth to a new sound. From New Orleans Jazz to DC Hardcore, Greenwich Village Folk to Queensbridge Hip Hop, musical scenes have been intertwined with the identity of geographic areas ranging from specific street intersections (Haight Ashbury) to entire metropolitan areas (Nashville).

Left: The Grateful Dead at the corner of Haight and Ashbury (credit: Herbie Greene) — Right: Medieval troubadours painted by Simone Martini c. 1315 A.D.

At the same time, since antiquity, music has travelled — from medieval troubadours, to the traveling opera companies of the mid-nineteenth century, through to the decades long cross-country meanderings of the Grateful Dead.

With the rise of the internet and streaming services, new music can reach millions of geographically distributed fans at once, allowing highly specific genres like Chicago Footwork to develop a passionate following in London and even find new expression in cities as far away as Hiroshima. Increasingly the internet itself is the metropolis where genres like Vaporwave and Seapunk are born.

Left: Chicago Footwork in Japan (credit: John Calvert), Right: Vaporwave-A genre born on the internet (credit: Reddit)

Yet, despite the simultaneous, everywhere nature of the internet and music streaming — or perhaps because of it — touring remains a vital (if troubled) facet of the music industry. Musicians continue to connect with fans in neighborhoods across the globe through live shows. In this article we explore the links between these geographically distributed fanbases and ask: how do touring musicians connect neighborhoods?

Since forming Topos last February, we’ve been fascinated by a simple question: what does distance mean in the 21st century? While in past articles we’ve explored holistic understandings of distance that leverage a wide range of heterogeneous data and technologies (first in New York City, then more broadly across the US), in this article, we focus narrowly on a single dataset and technological approach. In particular, we take the tour dates of musicians traveling across the US from 2008 to the present as the basis for a machine learning model that allows us to develop a tour-based distance metric relating neighborhoods across the US. We then use this metric to algorithmically generate venue and neighborhood suggestions for touring musicians.

Below: A sampling of touring patterns across the U.S.

The jet set: Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, Katy Perry
Home/away or on the tour bus: The Radioactive Chicken Head, Bob Schneider, Sam Evian
Hyper local: Andy Coe Band, Surprise Party, Just Another Folk Singer

A Model Built on Co-occurrence

Collaborative Filtering (CF) is one of the most widely used machine learning approaches for determining distance between entities. Once calculated, these distances are often used to power recommendations. From Spotify’s Discover Weekly to Amazon’s product recommendations, CF algorithms form an important part of many well known recommendation engines.

Neighborhoods that co-occur frequently on tour schedules become closely connected

The fuel for CF recommendations are datasets where candidate recommendable items co-occur. Amazon’s recommendations are fueled by the co-occurrence of items in users’ shopping carts; Spotify’s Discover Weekly is fueled by the co-occurrence of songs in user generated playlists and listening histories. In our case, the co-occurrence of venues and neighborhoods on the schedules of touring musicians provided the input for our CF-based similarity metric. We were able to construct these schedules by hooking into the setlist.fm API, an incredible resource that has data on concerts in the US dating back to 1850.

Exploration: Neighborhood Similarity

We start exploring our tour-based similarity metric by looking at three very different neighborhoods: Bushwick NYC, Downtown LA, and Maryvale, Phoenix

Neighborhood similarities visualized in three dimensional space

Bushwick, NYC

Acid Mothers Temple <<<->>> Acid Baby Jesus

Bushwick is most similar to other well known hipster neighborhoods across the US. It is perhaps telling that there is not one but two bands whose names start with the word “Acid” amongst the most popular acts in the list of similar neighborhoods.

Popular Musical Acts: Acid Mothers Temple, John Maus, Ty Segall, Widowspeak, Acid Baby Jesus

Downtown LA

The Trans Siberian Orchestra — a band that has only ever played arenas

Home to the 21,000-seat Staples Center, Downtown LA’s most similar neighborhoods are other centrally located neighborhoods surrounding big arenas like the Boston Garden and Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center. Popular acts in these neighborhoods tend to be top-of-the-charts musicians and — across the board — the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, a band famous for going directly to arenas without ever having played smaller clubs or opening for other bands.

Popular Musical Acts: Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Katy Perry,Justin Bieber, Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Maryvale, Phoenix

Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Mötley Crüe

Maryvale — famously one of first planned communities in the United States — is located on the edge of the city of Phoenix; its most similar neighborhoods tend be outside of major metropolitan city centers (Fair Park Dallas), or to form small municipalities in their own rights (Tinley Park IL, Englewood CO). Mainstream Country and Metal are generally the most popular genres, with a solid showing from 70s Classic Rock Bands (Journey, Boston, Styx).

Popular Musical Acts: Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Mötley Crüe, Slipknot, Journey

The Closest Connections

By allowing only the strongest links (>top .1 percentile) between neighborhoods to remain, we can observe some interesting neighborhood groupings. One striking aspect of these groups is their diversity: some are tightly connected geographically (Group 2) while others span the breadth of the country (Group 5); some have narrow genre preferences (Group 4) while others exhibit more eclectic tastes (Group 1).

Network diagram of neighborhood clusters

Group 1: Pacific Northwest

Separated by 182 Miles, this small cluster of two neighborhoods spans a wide range of genres. Within this stylistic diversity, the most frequent acts tend to be older, established medium-popularity performers

Top acts: Indigo Girls, The B‐52s, Brandi Carlile, Ziggy Marley, Aimee Mann

Group 2: Insider NYC

Separated by just 4 Miles, this small cluster is the tightest geographically. Group 2 is also the most ‘local’, with 16 of the top 20 (mainly alt/indie) performers based in NYC.

Top Acts: Widowspeak, Moon Hooch, Men and Whales, The Bottom Dollars, Sharon Van Etten

Group 3: Almost Country

Largely comprised of western neighborhoods (with Tinley Park IL as the sole exception), group 3 has a corresponding passion for country music; half of the top ten acts are mainstream country musicians (Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, Zac Brown Band, Rascal Flatts). As in the earlier exploration of Maryvale, Mainstream metal and 70’s classic rock are also favorites.

Top Acts: Brad Paisley, Slipknot, Luke Bryan, Mötley Crüe, Journey

Group 4: Central Downtown Areas

Connecting centrally located downtown areas, Group 4 is the most geographically dispersed. In contrast to this geographic diversity, Group 4 is tightly focused on a particular spectrum of sound — the pop-punk/emo/post-punk continuum (with some Comedic Metal — Steel Panther, Gwar — sprinkled in).

Top Acts: Steel Panther, Say Anything, All Time Low, The Used, Mayday Parade

Group 5: Arena Haloes

Centered around huge stadiums (NYC’s Madison Square Garden, The Boston Garden, Chicago’s United Center) the neighborhoods in Group 5 are visited by arena-filling superstars like Bon Jovi, Kanye West, and of course, Billy Joel whose monthly MSG residency (and accompanying helicopter commute) has become legendary.

Top Acts: Trans‐Siberian Orchestra, Bon Jovi, Roger Waters, Rihanna, Katy Perry

Recommendations

Similarity metrics are often constructed in order to power recommendation engines. And where Spotify might recommend an album or Netflix might suggest a movie, here we give examples of using our similarity metric to recommend venues and neighborhoods for touring musicians, focusing on locations where the musician rarely, if ever, performs. For each act, we also produce a list of similar musicians based on their touring schedules.

We then flip directions and focus on location, recommending musicians who have yet to perform but would be most likely to find an audience for a sampling of venues.



From Nodes to Edges

In this article, we’ve constructed a narrow, highly specific view of place, ignoring myriad factors that shape neighborhoods. While there is a small but statistically significant correlation between the similarity metric constructed here and the Topos Similarity Index (which increases for certain cities), these measures are largely orthogonal. The TSI is a holistic measure of similarity, encompassing everything from the form of the built environment to the ratio of big box stores to local retailers, while here we have worked with a single data source pertaining to one facet of culture.

Tour Based Similarity vs the Topos Similarity Index for Boston <> US. Pearson Correlation of .249, p <<.05

Yet even this narrow view reveals much about neighborhoods, from their form (the connected downtown neighborhoods surrounding large arenas) to their milieu (the hipster neighborhoods connected to Bushwick).

We believe this approach starts to demonstrate the potential of understanding location as a set of relationships rather than solely as a set of isolated points or regions to which metrics are ascribed. Many applications of Location Intelligence — from opening a new store to planning a trip, launching a political campaign to arranging a tour — are ultimately about relationships: Brand and customer, traveller and a foreign culture, politician and constituent, touring musician and fan. Understanding the manifold ways one place is similar to another provides rich context for expanding these relationships into new territories.


This post is part of an ongoing series capturing different insights we generate while developing our platform. We would love to hear your feedback. If you enjoyed this article please share and 👏 a few times so other people can see it too.



NME to close print edition after 66 years


Publisher of music magazine consulting about redundancies, while title will continue online.

The NME is to cease publication in print after 66 years, the weekly music title joining a growing list of once mighty magazine brands that now only exist online.

The NME.com website will continue, replacing the print edition’s cover star interview with a new weekly digital franchise, the Big Read.

The NME will continue to keep a sporadic presence in print with special issues such as its paid-for series NME Gold, to cater for music stars’ appetite for appearing in a printed product.

In 2015, the magazine stopped being a paid title after a decade of sales declines saw its circulation drop to just 15,000. It relaunched as an ad-funded, free title with a circulation of 300,000 in a last throw of the strategic dice for the print edition.

“Our move to free print has helped propel the brand to its biggest ever audience on NME.com,” said Paul Cheal, the UK group managing director, music, at NME publisher Time Inc UK. “We have also faced increasing production costs and a very tough print advertising market. It is in the digital space where effort and investment will focus to secure a strong future for this famous brand.”

Time is consulting with the NME’s 23 editorial and commercial staff about possible redundancies.

NME, which has been printed weekly since 1952, managed to make money as a brand overall through spin-off activities such as awards and events.

The first front cover of the magazine featured the Goons, Big Bill Broonzy and Ted Heath and cost sixpence. When the magazine went free in 2015 the cover price had risen to £2.60.

Early readers of the magazine included John Lennon, Malcolm McLaren and T Rex frontman Marc Bolan, while its writers have included Bob Geldof and Pretenders lead singer Chrissie Hynde. The film director, Michael Winner, was NME’s film critic in the 1950s and 60s.

NME’s sales peaked at almost 307,000 in 1964 when the magazine was a must-read for keeping up with the latest exploits of the Beatles and Rolling Stones.

The magazine hit what is regarded as its golden age in the 70s, becoming a cheerleader for punk and then a champion for the the new wave and indie acts that flourished in its wake, including Joy Division and the Smiths.

In the 90s, NME was at the forefront of Britpop, amping up the media-hyped rivalry between Blur and Oasis with its “heavyweight championship” cover in August 1995 when rival singles Country House and Roll With It were released.

The magazine – whose initials stand for New Musical Express – began to feel the pressure in the noughties as music listings went online and music discovery started moving to services such as Spotify. This was exacerbated by the wider issue of readers moving to digital media, resulting in the falling sales and ad revenue that have claimed many other magazine titles in the past decade.

“NME will also be exploring other opportunities to bring its best-in-class music journalism to market in print,” Time said.

The closure of the weekly comes a week after Time, which also publishes titles including Marie Claire and Country Life, was sold to private equity group Epiris in a £130m deal.

Epiris had been expected to sell or restructure a number of titles – the company said it wanted to bring “clarity and simplicity” to the magazine portfolio – with the print edition of NME known to have been loss-making for a number of years.

“Our global digital audience has almost doubled over the past two years,” said Keith Walker, the digital director of NME. “By making the digital platforms our core focus we can accelerate the amazing growth we’ve seen and reach more people than ever before on the devices they’re most naturally using.”

In October, Condé Nast, the publisher of Glamour magazine, shocked the market announcing that the UK’s 10th biggest magazine would stop printing monthly. Instead, it is focusing on a digital-first strategy with a print edition just twice a year.



Introducing – Soulfully Yours Music – Jacqueline Langston MEd


Jacqueline Lewis LangstonMSEd @Soulfully Yours Music… letthemusicplayon.

Posted by Soulfully Yours Music on Thursday, 13 April 2017

 

Jacqueline Langston MEd
Jacqueline Langston MEd

Soulfully speaking… it has been said that Music is the universal language and singing presents opportunities to bring family, friends and other cultures together to capture priceless moments

  • Local live sophisticated soulful sounds of  music/singing.

  • A little something extra to make your Themed Social Event or Wedding memorable.

  • Creative Atmosphere of Nostalgia- Romance and Sense of Occasion.

Soulfully Yours Music

Visit our Facebook page

 

Join the fastest growing and most dynamic International Musicians Community – FFM on Facebook

Join Freedom For Musicians at our Facebook Home

Freedom for musicians is an international cooperative for musicians to share and cross promote each other’s work. In our Facebook group you can promote your gigs, products and
services to an international audience. You can also feature on our website www.ffmrecords.com

What Freedom for Musicians can do for you:

By joining the Facebook group you are automatically a member of FFM.

You can have your music blog or articles published on the website.

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You can release your digital music via our own independent record label FFM Records.

Come and join FFM’s Facebook community and be part of the fastest growing and most dynamic international musicians network.

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Ready to Quit Your Day Job? – TOP 7 for Musicians






1) Ready to Quit Your Day Job and Be a Full-Time Musician?

Last week I answered questions during a Facebook Live broadcast. Here’s a segment where I covered knowing if you’re ready and how to deal with having a variety of creative passions.

2) Don’t Make This Self-Employment Mistake

Want to be your own boss? Great. But don’t get stuck in this common trap. In this video, I explain what this obstacle is and how to overcome it.

3) Seven Full-Time Musician Lessons from Dave Ruch

I’ve been following Dave for a couple years now. He’s a smart, savvy musician. In this article he shares seven things he wished he knew before he became a full-time musician.

4) 25 Quick and Easy Social Media Prompts to Post in a Pinch

This topic came up time and time again during the recent 30-Day Build Your Fan Base Challenge: What should I post every day so it doesn’t get old for me or my fans? Suzanne Paulinski has a nice checklist of ideas right here.

5) Apple Music to Surpass Spotify in the US

According to Bobby Owsinski’s Music 3.0 blog, Apple Music is growing at a higher new paid subscriber rate than Spotify is in the US. As a result, the service is on track to pass Spotify sometime during the summer of 2018.

6) The Most Powerful Way to Reach Your Fans

So many tools, so little time. What’s the most effective way to engage and interact with your fans? Want to know my top recommendation? This little gem, from my video archives, spells it out for you.

7) Attract More Fans — 4 Simple Steps

On this episode from my podcast archives, I present a simple four-step processyou can use to clarify who you are as an artist, identify your ideal fans, and reach them in a meaningful way.

Get TOP 7 music marketing links like these sent to your inbox every weekJust go here to sign up for free!

Thanks for all you do to create great music and share it with the world!

Bob

P.S. If you enjoyed this and want to express your gratitude … Purchase a book below, become a patron, subscribe to my YouTube channel, follow me on TwitterFacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn.

For More Inspiration …

Here are three more resources that will power up your creative juicesand help you thrive as an artist:

Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook
201 Self-Promotion Ideas for Songwriters, Musicians and Bands on a Budget

The Five-Minute Music Marketer
151 Easy Music Promotion Activities That Take 5 Minutes or Less

The 9 Irrefutable Laws of Music Marketing
How the Most Successful Acts Promote Themselves, Attract Fans, and Ensure Their Long-Term Success

Please visit https://www.patreon.com/bobbaker — where you can support the Empowered Artist Movement, my mission to educate, inspire and empower creative people around the world.



New kids on the block, Freedom for Musicians (FFM) all set to take on the big boys in 2018







With the release of their networking app for musicians and in house independent record label FFM Records, Freedom for Musicians are going to become a major player in 2018.

An international cooperative of musicians that is free from exploitation, FFM are a unique organisation that has the interests of its members at the heart of everything they do.

They provide a free marketing service to its members around the world as well as raising funds for music projects, supporting music related charities and creating a real sense of community for ordinary musicians worldwide.

Membership is completely free and simplicity itself. To join FFM, all you do is join the Facebook group and you have access to all their services.