I am studying for A levels in Music, Music Technology and Business Studies at the Bournemouth and Poole College of Further Education
From a young age I developed an interest in music and music technoloy which led to me playing in school and local bands. It is only within the past two years that I've become interested in the business side of music, and hope to combine my skills already gained in music with business studies so I can further develop my skills in a joint degree. I think the course (music Industry management) incorporates all of the subjects which I'm taking and is one of the only courses which involves all of my current A levels.
I am a keen performer and enjoy this side of the A level Music course. I recently performed in the Bournemouth Youth Jazz Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall and have been in the band for 2 years. I also manage a folk music group which play every week at my Father's Bar (Bar Zuka) and I think that we draw in the majority of customers. Additionally, I particiapate in the College Big Band and play in a saxophone ensemble.
My composition and arrangement skills are developing well and supported by a good working knowledge of Cubase and Sibelius. Academically, I feel that I am keeping up with the music history and that my essay writing skills are improving. I am also experienced in a number of compositional skills including Bach Chorales, Figured Bass and Serialism. I am currently undecided as to my final option for A2 Music but will probably select composition. I will however, continue with my saxophone studies and try to achieve a high grade of achievement before leaving College.
In my business studies course I cope well with balance sheets and particularly enjoy the marketing aspects of the course. Alongside studying five days a week, I'm regulary involved with Bar work, also helping out occasionaly with my Father's accounts using the skills which I've gained from lessons. On the weekend mornings I work 7am-12pm shifts at the Co-operative so am used to rising early. I beleive that exercise is key to a sucessful working lifestyle and in my spare time I keep fit by attending gym and boxing sessions three times a week.
I hope to do well enough in my A levels to obtain a place at university and feel that I have the drive and commitment to achieve success. I hope to achieve a working knowledge of the music business so that I can find employment in this area and would take every opportunity of work experience whenever possible. I hope that my musicianship would be of use in contributing to university life in whatever performance groups might be available.
Music Business Personal Statement: Why Most Musicians Do This Wrong
I remember back in College Management class having to write a business plan for a fictitious business. We were told to write a “Mission Statement” for the business and were given some extremely generic guidelines and excruciatingly boring examples to follow.
If you’ve read even a handful of mission statements, you know what I mean. Generally, they were written because someone told them it had to be done and it was necessary to incorporate the business or get some proper paperwork, make a board of Directors happy or just to check off a box on a list of “to dos” when creating a business. Mission statements are often so generic that you could think of a boatload of businesses they would describe.
I’ve seen the same thing happen with musicians. They are told to write a music business plan by manager, teacher, or mentor, and they write a very broad, bland statement. Some of the music mission statement examples I’ve seen talk generally about how the musician wants to “follow her dreams” or “have a full time career in music”. But there is nothing personal about it. They need a music business personal statement that is actually personal (stands to reason, right?). They need to reach down deep, be vulnerable, and really examine their motives for wanting to start a music business.
When these music mission statement examples were crafted, what did the writers have in mind? Did their mission statement really MEAN something to them? Did it really reflect what they wanted their career and future life to look like, who they saw as their audience, and why it was SO important to them to make their dreams a reality? Probably not.
That’s why instead of a mission statement, I prefer to write a “Statement of Purpose”. By using the word “purpose” it hopefully will be more personal, specific and motivating.
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Music Business Personal Statement of Purpose: How To Begin
Try asking yourself these questions that I gathered while reading some really good business statements of purpose from online entrepreneurs. I suggest you do a “mind dump” onto a blank piece of paper when answering these questions. Write down anything that comes to mind, no matter how silly it may seem. Don’t sensor yourself.
- Who are you as a brand? What do you stand for?
- What is unique about you that isn’t common in other musicians in your genre or niche.
- What exactly do you do or hope to do in your music business?
- Why do you do it? Your “why” is a key driving factor and chief motivator for everything else.
- What markets are you serving, and what benefits do you offer them?
- What exactly is your product and how will you deliver it to your audience?
- How would you feel if you couldn’t be a musician? What’s at stake if you don’t follow through?
- What would you like your life to look like in 1 year?
- What monetary goals do you have in your music business?
- What non-monetary goals do you have and why are they important to you?
Then Discuss, Digest, Cut, Polish, Review, Revise
Here’s where discussing this with friends and family or specific “super fans” can be really helpful. It’s often difficult for us to see ourselves clearly since we tend to “live in our own head”.Ask people close to you or fans who enjoy your music to answer some of the above questions and compare them to yours. If you see some similarities…that’s exciting. You are surely on the right track. You may also see some things you missed or hadn’t thought of. An outside perspective can be so valuable!
From this data, refine and re-write your music business personal statement of purpose so it is congruent with your need and desires and those of your audience. A clear focus and published objectives will make it so much easier to achieve your music career goals because it will chart a clear course for you to follow.
Re-evaluate if your music business personal statement of purpose is still valid and relevant every year. If it is, evaluate how you are measuring up to achieving the business and personal outcomes you desired when writing it. It may be that after a year your music career has been redirected and you’ll need to re-do this exercise and create a new statement. Or, even better, maybe you will have moved to a higher level and you can create a more aggressive strategy and statement of purpose.
If you take the time to do this exercise and review where you are bout every quarter, you WILL move to the next level. It’s just a matter of how soon.
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