Salute! An Exciting New Talent Competition





Salute website (desktop and mobile) open for music makers to enter the competition.

Salute production team together with respected curators listen, rate, and create Top 100 Songs.
Contestants and fans, listen, watch, share music, vote, rate songs and build playlists.

AUGUST 2017 – TOP 100
The top 100 tracks are assembled for a final public vote, conducted through the Salute app and website.

The top six songs, as voted for by the public, go through to the – The Salute Finals.

The 2017 Salute winner is announced and takes home a £50,000 cash prize. All other finalists take home £10,000 each



SALUTE is an alternative to the average UK talent show. We believe in the value and quality of UK music makers today and now is our chance to platform and reward you for your work on an unprecedented scale.

All genres of music, from all cultural backgrounds are welcome to our competition. We celebrate creativity so don’t hold back, we want to hear your most forward thinking and inspired work. If you have tracks that you have previously released via social media, Soundcloud or YouTube you are welcome to enter those tracks into the competition.

Tracks that has been previously released and are signed to a label or publisher are excluded.

Each Music Maker can submit up to 4 tracks into the competition, each track will be considered individually.



To enter the competition you need to submit a video of your music. The video can either be a live performance of your track that you’ve recorded on your phone or with a camera crew, or a pre-recorded audio track converted into mp4 video format.

If you’ve made a music video to showcase your music, even better! The music is the most important part for our curators, but the more effort you put into the video, the better chance you have to stand out with our audiences.

All videos submitted must be in mp4 video format and the maximum track length is 4 minutes.



Once you have your video/s ready, head over to the SALUTE website to submit your tracks. You can enter the competition as a solo songwriter or as a group of writers. Click the links below to begin the registration process.

At this stage you will be prompted to select how many tracks you wish to upload and enter into the competition. The cost of entry is £20 per track (maximum of four tracks).

Once the payment has processed you will be prompted to upload your videos (depending on your internet provider this may take a while).



Once the upload is complete, the final process is to tell us about the track and yourself.

You’ll be asked to:

  • give the track a name
  • tag any genre influences
  • write a short description of the track
  • upload a photo of yourself
  • add a thumbnail image for each video that you have uploaded

After that, you are good to go!

On completion of upload our team will review your entries to ensure they meet the Terms & Conditions, don’t worry, this won’t take long! You will then receive an email confirming you are a SALUTE MUSIC MAKER!



SALUTE is open to Music Makers (song and music writers) and their collaborators.


Who can enter

  • 16+ year or age
  • UK resident
  • Solo writers or group writers
  • Only unsigned (record label, music publisher or any third party) music can enter the competition
  • Previously published music videos on the web, including social channels and streaming sites (YouTube, SoundCloud, Facebook etc.) can be entered into the competition
  • Member of PRS and/or BASCA can enter the competition
  • £20 per entry


  • Max of 4 tracks (EP) per entrant
  • Max 4 minute song length
  • Song and music will be judged on melody, composition, creativity, lyrics (if applicable), with less significance being placed on performance and production of video
  • Each submission must be in MP4 video format (not audio)
  • Electronic video submission through our website

For full details see our Terms and Conditions

Central Florida’s Best: Celebrate With Us!

Celebrate With Us!

Since opening for business last year, we’ve grown to a membership of more than 500 talented musicians and industry professionals. As a fast and simple solution to gig challenges, we’re celebrating with a special event. Save the date for June 28, 6-9:00 p.m. EST

Central Florida’s Best

Live Music
Complimentary Appetizers Free Drink or Cocktail
Door Prizes
Great Networking, and more!

Wednesday, June 28
6-9:00 p.m. EST

Jazz Tastings
164 Lake Ave.
Maitland, FL 32751

It’s like a backstage pass to meet the most sought after musicians in the area.

Pro Musician’s List Networking Event





Karen Kai Alece Hodge and Rachelle Bivins launched Pro Musician’s List in early 2016. Both Jacksonville, Florida natives are accomplished entrepreneurs, currently residing in Central Florida.

Karen is a pop, soul, R&B, and jazz vocalist, writer, and band leader of Kai Alece & Company Dance Band. The artist’s latest release is a smooth jazz CD titled, REASON SEASON OR LIFETIME. Karen is a co-owner of Abyss Jazz Magazine.

Rachelle is the creator of Abyss Live, a Jacksonville, Florida entertainment live music night. She is also a co-owner of Abyss Jazz Magazine.

The Valveless Scale Exercise For Trumpet – By Roger Moisan

By Roger Moisan

The valve-less scale exercise.  

This is an advanced exercise for trumpet players to help develop embouchure strength, pitch surety and control.

  1. Play a strong low F to establish pitch.
  2. Remove the tuning slide and play the same note. Hold the instrument lightly and finger as if playing normally.
  3. Slowly, play up the F major scale trying to pitch and centre each note. This will be very difficult to start with especially the first 3 notes after the F. The G, A and Bb are outside the natural harmonics on the leadpipe.
  4. As the notes begin to sound more easily, play the F major scale up and down slowly. (Always finger the notes as if playing normally)
  5. Finally, replace the tuning slide and play the F major scale again slowly without the valves.

This exercise can be extended into other keys and also into playing melodies. I like to play ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ after the scale exercise.

Caution! This exercise is extremely tiring and should only be performed after a good warm up and rest for 5 minutes before continuing practising.

Never play this exercise in the ear shot of a fixer! They won’t understand and will think you can’t play.

Study online or in residence with

Roger Moisan

The Proms 2017 season is here!

What’s On

Ariana Grande’s Emotional ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ in Manchester

Benefit concert raises over $10 million for victims of terror attack

Ariana Grande closed out her One Love Manchester benefit concert with an emotional rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Ariana Grande closed out her One Love Manchester benefit concert with an emotional rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” a tribute to the 22 people killed in the terror attack in the British city less than two weeks ago.

Near the end of the song, Grande became overcome with emotion and had to stop the performance before the cheers of the crowd powered her toward the finale of The Wizard of Oz classic.

Grande was a fixture throughout the three-hour concert, performing alongside Cyrus, Coldplay, Black Eyed Peas, Mac Miller, Victoria Monet in addition to playing her own hits.

According to the Red Cross U.K., the benefit concert raised over $9 million. “Well, the fantastic news is we’ve already raised around 7 million pounds [$9 million],” chief executive Mike Adamson told the Associated Press. “And we expect to raise another one and half million pounds from ticket sales tonight and then further funding from the TV rights and merchandising. So, we’re really looking to appeal that’s going to move towards 10 million pounds.”

The all-star One Love Manchester concert’s second-to-last song featured many of the artists involved – Ariana Grande, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams and more – joining Grande onstage for “One Last Time,” with the artists clapping and cheering along to the My Everything song:

Music to Move the Masses: How Leaders Use Music

Politicians, motivational speakers and sports coaches all use music to energize, motivate and inspire their audiences. The Sync Project takes a look at some of the best examples of our time.

In the wake of the unprecedented events of the recent US election, it’s worth listening to the music that each of the two candidates used to inspire their audiences. Hillary Clinton’s team even released the Official Hillary 2016 Playlist, packed with millennial-appeal tracks like Demi Lovato and Jason Derulo’s Together to back up the “Stronger Together” message of her campaign. Contrast this with the music played by president-elect Trump at “Make America Great Again” rallies, with tracks like John Mellencamp’s R.O.C.K in the USA and Born on the Bayou by Creedence Clearwater Revival.


Politicians are not alone in this use of music to inspire and carry a message. Another great example of someone who uses this technique is American motivational speaker Tony Robbins. Before and during his live events — which consistently sell out to massive crowds — Robbins uses music to build energy, unleash emotion and draw the crowd together. Music is so much a part of Robbins’s shows that his website even has a list of tracks commonly used at his events. It features familiar songs like American Pie by Don Maclean (universally appreciated and likely used to bring the crowd together as one); Jump Around by House of Pain (perfect for when energy levels start to drop and you want everyone to, well, jump around); and Clocks by Coldplay (for those moments of euphoric epiphany that are the reason people go to see Robbins the first place.)

Robbins is in fact not the only one to have used Coldplay for motivational effect. During the European professional soccer season of 2008–2009, coach Pep Guardiola chose Coldplay’s track Viva La Vida to inspire the FC Barcelona team before games. With its upbeat pace and feeling of gathering momentum, the track appears to have been a smart choice as that season Barcelona won all six competitions they could possibly have played in — a feat that no team had ever pulled off before.

music therapy


It must have been a tricky gamble for Guardiola, because we all know that feeling of “oh no not again” when a song is overplayed. As Psychology Today points out in an article from 2012: “Predictability… can make songs you love seem mundane by reducing anticipation and creating a rut. Randomness in music has been linked to increases in dopamine.”

Guardiola thought was using the track as part of a self-reinforcing virtuous circle: the team listened to it, got psyched up, and went out and won the game — week after week after week. Rather than getting tired of the track, the players presumably came to associate it with winning, and with a pre-game feeling of “we can do this, we’ve done it before, now let’s go and do it again.”

Fortunately, there’s a bit of research to backup the intuitions shared by sport pros about the power of music. Studies have examined the support of music during sports and athletic training, all the way from warm-up, exercise and recovery, and shown it has real physiological benefit.

Scientists have studied runners and cyclists during their exercise routines and shown that movement to so-called “motivational” music helped runners have lower lactate levels. Cyclists completing high-intensity interval training showed felt less tired after giving it their all when music was used during the exercise. Sync Project launched it’s first study last year with Hintsa Performance to evaluate the effects of personalized music on high-intensity interval cycling.

Music therapy

The benefits also extend to warm-up routines where music raised heart rate and increased peak anaerobic power during their workout. It turns out music can even make you like exercise: a recent study showed when people listened to music or watched music videos when exercising with considerable effort they reported more enjoyment than without it. Research has also shown that music can help with recovery after strenuous exercise, by motivating listeners to move after their workout and reduce lactic acid buildup.

Some tracks seem to become forever associated with sporting prowess and success, such as the title tune from the 1981 historical drama “Chariots of Fire.” The film is about two British athletes competing in the 1924 Olympic Games — one of whom is running against all odds — but it’s the theme by Greek composer Vangelis for which the film became iconic. Vangelis in fact won an academy award for the film’s musical score, the title track of which has been associated with the glory of sporting achievements ever since. It was even used during the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, having seemingly made a leap into popular culture forever.

Written by Marko Ahtisaari, CEO and Co-founder Sync Project

Originally published at on November 23, 2016.

Sync With Others to Feel Closer

Music automatically moves us. Even if you are sitting absolutely still, your motor cortex is still active when you listen to music.

This special link between movement and sound is thought to have been around since music began. It has been proposed that through its capacity to synchronize movements of individuals, music made it possible for us to cooperate more efficiently and thereby survive as a species. Music can therefore be thought of as an inherently social phenomenon, and as something that exists to move us in synchrony, in order to help us bond.

This aspect of music perhaps explains why one of the most common ways of enjoying music is at a concert setting, or at a dance party where we are also able to move together. But what actually happens when we move together to music? Is the thought of bonding through dance just a theory or is there evidence to support that dancing truly makes us closer to one another?

A recently published study¹ revealed the surprising effects of merely moving together in synchrony.

In the study, 94 participants first learned four basic dance moves. Then, they were asked to dance together with three unfamiliar individuals. Each participant had their own headphones through which they heard music, as well as short instructions on which pre-learned dance moves they should execute. This use of individual headphones made it possible to look at the effects of synchronized movement independent of the effect of study participants all being exposed to the same sound stimuli. (As a side note, having people listen to music from headphones but still dance in the same space is called “silent disco”. And it seems to be getting quite popular at the moment!)

Study shows dancing in synchrony increased pain threshold ratings

Image Credit

The silent disco created in this study had three different conditions for dancing together: in the synchrony condition, all participants executed the same dance moves to the same music. With the partial synchrony condition, the participants danced the same movements to the same music, but at different times, meaning that no two individuals were doing the exact same move at any point. In the asynchronous condition, the participants danced completely different moves, meaning that each individual’s dance had a completely unique set of moves. In addition, in the asynchrony condition, the music pieces were not played at the same time for any participant.

Before and after the dancing session, the participants were asked to rate the amount of social closeness they felt towards the other participants they had danced with. In addition, as a more objective measure of bonding, the pain thresholds of the participants were measured before and after the silent disco.

Why did the scientists measure pain thresholds? Interestingly, elevation of the pain threshold may be used as an indicator of social bonding. According to the article, previous research has shown that synchronous activity with others like group exercise or synchronous rowing elevates pain thresholds; implying the group activities actually made it easier to deal with pain. It has been suggested that this happens because such activities activate the endogenous opioid system — triggering release of our body’s own painkillers. The release of these endogenous opioids has in turn been associated with feelings of closeness towards others.

Image Credit

According to the results of the study, dancing in synchrony with others increased pain thresholds, and also resulted in significantly higher ratings of closeness, than dancing in partial synchrony or asynchrony. In other words, moving together to the same music in synchrony made the participants feel closer to each other and also increased their tolerance for pain, possibly signaling an increased release of the body’s painkillers in the synchrony condition.

In summary, moving together with others to music can act as a quick icebreaker — making you feel closer to previously unknown people. As an added bonus, as well as a potential mechanism for increasing closeness, synchronous movement may also increase your pain threshold. This finding is an important addition to the body of literature showing that music listening can be used for pain management. Perhaps including a social aspect to enjoying music could increase its analgesic effects?



  1. Tarr, B., Launay, J., & Dunbar, R. I. (2016). Silent disco: dancing in synchrony leads to elevated pain thresholds and social closeness. Evolution and Human Behavior. DOI:/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2016.02.004

Originally published at

Introducing Sync Music Bot for Slack — Better Work Every Day with Music

At Slush 2016 in Helsinki we  announced Sync Music Bot for Slack. This first of a kind chatbot delivers daily sets of music to help you work, relax and exercise. You can install it at

The daily music sets are personalised to you and are based on a combination of millions of crowd-sourced health playlists and acoustic analysis. Over time, as more data becomes available from wearable sensors, the bot will learn from your physiology.

Over 100 slack teams globally have been testing the chatbot over the last month and we’re grateful for all of the feedback and suggestions we’ve received. As a result, the bot includes a lot of delightful details, like social features baked right into Slack, for easy sharing and reactions to music. Read more about the design of Sync Music Bot here.

We all know the feeling when a day starts well, when we are proactive and productive. Music plays an important role in motivation and focus. Today, we want to share Sync Music Bot with Slack teams all around the world who love music. This is the next step on our quest to unlock the personalized health effects of music.

PS: We love Slack!

Budding Music Journalists Wanted

Music Journalists Wanted

Do you have a great music story you want to share with the world?

Guest bloggers
Share your story with the world at FFM

Maybe you want to flex your journalistic muscles and get something off your chest?

Guest bloggers
Shout your message loud at FFM

At Freedom For Musicians, we are always looking for guest bloggers and contributors who would like to post on our website.

You will be fully acknowledged and can include your bio, links, vids, pics etc.

Get writing now and let the world see your words

Guest bloggers
Get your story out of your head and onto the web with FFM

To take part, simply send your stuff to:

For more about FFM, click here

A Time to Kill iTunes: What next?

Hell-tinged iTunes

A Time to Kill iTunes

“It’s like giving somebody a glass of hell in ice water.”

Okay, so the quote above isn’t actually a quote. Well, I said it on Twitter, but it’s not a famous quote. Nor does it technically make sense. But it is, of course, a play on a famous quote.¹

A decade ago, on stage at the (then-called) D conference, Steve Jobs was asked by Walt Mossberg about Apple’s decision to bring iTunes to Windows. “It’s like giving a glass of ice water to somebody in hell,” Jobs quipped.

It was and remains a great line. But times have also changed.

Today brought the news that Apple would soon be distributing iTunes through the Windows Store for the first time. This may not seem like a big deal — again, iTunes came to Windows over a decade ago — but it is a big deal in the context of the forthcoming Windows 10 S operating system, which will only be able to run apps distributed through the store. So, without this move, every iPhone user who buys one of the new Surface laptops wouldn’t be able to sync it with their machine.

Anyway, the jokes came fast and furious on Twitter after the news was announced. But what’s actually funny here is that the jokes are basically the exact opposite of the one Steve Jobs made. Whereas Jobs noted that many Windows users would write to Apple to tell them that their favorite software on Microsoft’s OS was iTunes, no one says that anymore. In fact, no sane macOS user, myself included, would dare say such a thing about iTunes. Because it has been awful for the better part of this past decade now.

In fact, at this point, it’s old hat to rag on iTunes. It has been so bad, for so long, that the joke is stale. And yet, somehow Apple doesn’t seem to be in on the joke. Because if they were, surely iTunes would no longer exist.

Yeah, yeah, I know such software has to exist for a huge number of users. Mainly those who still want to sync their music (and/or files) from their computer hard drives without using the cloud. It is 2017. And yet this is still a thing. And it is a thing for many people.

But there’s no reason that such software has to be iTunes. Apple could easily make a more svelte piece of software that handles the syncing tasks. And they should. Because iTunes is a bloated piece of junk.

Most of the time when I listen to music these days, I do it through my iPhone. This is true even if I happen to be using my computer. It’s just so much easier and better to play music through my device than through my desktop. Earlier this week, I found myself loading iTunes for the first time in a while to try to listen through my MacBook and it was a comedy of errors.

Pop-up alerts galore. Sign in screens. TOS updates. Then came the automatic downloads. iTunes decided I might want to download all six seasons of Lost in HD right then and there. And a bunch of other old shows. Like a terabyte of data. Even more beachballs.



Did I mention this POS (piece of software, of course) is still called “iTunes”? TV shows. Movies. Podcasts. Audiobooks. Apps. iTunes U. Ringtones. They’re all shoved into this one piece of software. “Tunes” are now a minority.

Of course, said tunes are still probably the most useful part of the app. After all, Apple Music is now a part of it as well. That’s the entire reason I tried to load iTunes. 30 minutes later I was still doing tasks and trying to figure out how to actually play music.²

Here’s what Apple obviously — obviously — should do:

  1. Create the aforementioned new syncing app for those old-school non-cloud users.
  2. Apple Music should be its own app. This would include streaming music, your music stored in the cloud, and anything you’ve downloaded.
  3. Then there should be a separate app for the iTunes Store (which should absolutely, positively be rebranded — again, “tunes” are a minority and the concept of buying individual “tunes” is quickly fading into time).
  4. The macOS App Store app should be expanded to include the iOS App Store (where you could find apps and “push” them to your iOS devices).
  5. Podcasts should be its own macOS app.
  6. iTunes U should be its own macOS app.
  7. Audiobooks go into iBooks.
  8. Movies/TV should be its own macOS app — on iOS (and Apple TV), this is now called “TV” which is fine I guess because it’s the delivery mechanism typically associated with such content. But something to interplay movies into the mix would be better, honestly. I could see something like “Hollywood” working to some extent (and plays nicely with Apple’s California themes), but it’s also probably too region-centric in an increasingly global world for such content…

In other words, this should all work exactly as it does on iOS. The Apple Music app on macOS would be the same as the “Music” app on iOS (which is also confusing given it has the same logo/branding as iTunes on macOS).

Again, this is all so obvious that I’m sort of dumbfounded it hasn’t happened yet. Instead, we’re left with this bloated piece of garbage humorously still called iTunes that people generally hate.

And now Windows Store users will get to hate it as well. Swell in hell.

If you have a music story you would like to publish with us, click here to find out how.