DIY MUSIC MARKETING & PROMOTION
A panel event on DIY Music Promotion for the Musician’s Union directly lead to me starting teaching – someone from Access to Music was in the audience, and shortly thereafter I met the boss of the Norwich college, who asked me to do a talk for his students. That lead to a mentoring post, and thereafter, to qualifying as a tutor.
Also, when you write a weekly singles review column for four years, you learn a lot about how much – or little – effort bands and PRs put into promoting their art. I’ve kept every interesting bit of promotional tat I was sent by musicians or PR people, because I firmly believe you can teach students how to promote their music cheaply and creatively; that the whole process need not be an expensive, tedious bore.
In the end, after writing nearly 300,000 words about music and reading thrimpty thousand press releases, I came to the conclusion that it was all about honour. Honour for the art you’ve created, doing your art justice, and giving it the best possible push into a world that is already drowning in the stuff. It’s also vital to acknowledge the part confidence plays in this process – that you have to make students proud of their work, before you can focus their minds on promoting it.
Since doing those talks for the M.U. I’ve taught marketing as a term-long unit, mentored young musicians who needed help with their campaigns/press releases and delivered masterclasses and workshops for Access to Music. Students never fail to come up with fantastic, ambitious and – crucially – dirt cheap ways to get people interested in what they’re doing.