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The Benefits & Value of Music Education

Education If your talented child has dreams of musical stardom, learning about their craft is no doubt top of mind. Parents can take extra pride in the fact that children aren’t just honing their talent when they study and perform music.

Education

Music education has non-musical benefits to their schoolwork, personal life, and mental health that shouldn’t be overlooked.

The Mozart Effect

The ‘Mozart effect’ was first discovered by scientists at the University of California, in a small study that asked college-aged individuals to listen to Mozart for 10 minutes, while other subjects listened to repetitive relaxation audio or nothing at all.

They found that those who listened to Mozart showed significantly increased spatial reasoning skills, but the effect was temporary and wore off after 10-15 minutes.

Music education: playing an instrument

There are very few things that stimulate the brain the way music does, and research has shown that playing an instrument can change the shape and structure of the brain and improve cognitive skills.

Speaking with the Guardian newspaper, Neuropsychologist Catherine Loveday of the University of Westminster said: “Music probably does something unique. It stimulates the brain in a very powerful way, because of our emotional connection with it.”

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Benefits of music education

Though music plays a pivotal role in young lives every day, the 21 June marks the 38th annual celebration ofWorld Music Day, a festival designed to elevate the importance of music as an art form and to invite all musicians from around the world to join in on a metaphorical international stage.

As we do, let’s also turn our attention to some of the all-important — and often surprising — roles which music education can play, some of which can go far in an aspiring music career.

#1 Better vocabulary and articulation

Being able to speak eloquently and articulate ideas prepares children to do effective work and be taken seriously. Music education is linked to an improvement in both verbal sequencing and the ability to use articulate speech.

#2 Higher self-esteem

Auditions, recitals, performances, and especially solos require self-confidence, an area where some kids struggle. Musical training has been shown to improve self-esteem, which can make children feel more comfortable and natural when they’re performing. It is also correlated with improved mental health.

#3 Makes better planners

Managing a schedule and to-do list is an important part of becoming a successful performer. Music education sets children up for success in this area, as studying music has been correlated with an improvement in planning ability.

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Learning an instrument

Did you know that Einstein played the violin? He said, “Life without playing music is inconceivable to me. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music… I get most joy in life out of music.”

No matter your age, it’s never too late to learn something new.

According to a Cambridge University study, musicians also continue being creative even when they’re not playing their instruments. Researchers found that performers picture music in terms of its shape, and using brain-imaging equipment shows that music activates diverse parts of the brain which, in turn, activates innovative thinking.

#4 Boosts IQ

Lutz Jäncke, a psychologist at the University of Zurich, told the Telegraph, “Learning to play a musical instrument has definite benefits and can increase IQ by seven points, in both children and adults. We found that even in people over the age of 65 after four or five months of playing an instrument for an hour a week there were strong changes in the brain.”

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Managing Your Own Music Career

Career As a singer or musician, you have to be many things. Until you gain enough recognition – and make enough money – to hire a team or sign to a label, it’s all up to you. We understand this. It’s why our advice pages are packed with practical information on the various elements involved in making it as an artist, as well as articles about the creative aspects of music.

Career

Managing your music career, at first at least, will not be a choice. You’ll have to do it. And the better you are at it, the more your music will spread and become known. It might be the very best thing you could do for your career. Many big names have done it.

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What is music management? 

Music management has often been portrayed on TV and in the movies in a less than positive light. It’s true that the quality of management can vary hugely. There have been high profile stories of controlling managers like Elvis Presley’s Colonel Parker. And comic takes on amateurish attempts to manage, like Murray’s famous ‘band meetings’ in Flight of the Conchords.

To begin managing your own music career, you’ll need to know what’s involved. And the specifics will depend on the rung you’re on, on the musical ladder. But an overview of tasks you’ll need to do is:

  • Liaising with event promoters, publicity agents and talent-booking agencies
  • Generate, find and book paid and high profile gigs
  • Negotiate contracts, fees and ensure you’re paid
  • Come up with a career strategy including which songs to record and release
  • Develop a brand, including graphics, logos and the artist or band’s look
  • Deal with the media
  • Identify and contact influencers – big promoters and broadcasters and record companies
  • Run and manage PR campaigns (including social media)
  • Promote and market yourself
  • Organise backup singers, dancers and musicians as required
  • Plan and arrange tour logistics

How to start a career in the music industry

You may have read the list of tasks a music manager carries out and realise that you do some of these already. And many of the points – like tour arrangements – may not yet be relevant to you. But as you grow, these will become important too. The good news is, with the advent of social media and streaming, self-management as a musician became easier than ever.

Any manager taking on a new artist would want to get a really good understanding of their branding. And if you’re doing the job yourself it’s no different. You must consider factors such as which genre you fit into it, who your audience is, what kind of image you want to project and what name you’ll record and release under.

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How to be your own music manager

You no longer need the backing of a record label to get a following, although it does help. Neither will you have to spend a fortune on the services of others when you’re starting out. But you do need to accept that with these benefits, come expectations. Because musicians can manage themselves these days, everyone is doing it. So if you sit back and do nothing, you’ll be overtaken by another budding artist who is working hard to pick up gigs and promote themselves.

Music visionary and entrepreneur Dave Kusek of New Artist Model says:

“Today, artists need to be musical entrepreneurs. They need to develop their image and brand and know how to raise money and market their art. Often, if they don’t do it––it won’t get done. Artists have to realize that times have changed and they are responsible for their own success.”

Bookers will not be surprised that you’re managing your own career. Don’t feel awkward about asking for gigs and discussing money and contracts. You have to think with a business head, but never be harsh or mean. Those who are positive and nice do better in the industry. That doesn’t mean you can’t be firm. It’s about doing it in a way that’s professional and reasonable, but that leaves people wanting to work with you again.

How can I start a music career with no money?

Very easily. On a basic level, all you need is a smartphone. With this, you can record and edit videos of yourself singing. You can research, book gigs and contact people. You can build a website for free and you can start a social media marketing campaign. If you have access to a laptop it will make life much easier though. The kind of multi-tasking and organisation that’s needed in management, is much harder on a bigger screen with a full keyboard.

The caveat to getting started with no money is that you must be ready for a music career. This advice is only relevant to those who have really worked on their craft, formed their sound and know who they are as an artist or band. It’s no good being an ace manager if you don’t have an act that’s sellable.