For the first time in many months I have been able to stop ‘doing’ and take time to review my business as a musician. In this line of work there is a lot of doing: performing, rehearsing, composing, preparing, teaching… and taking time to analyse what is being done is often at the bottom of the ‘to do’ list. Considering the what, how and why of all these activities is a necessity for a more productive and organised business and could also reveal where the time for reflection can be found.
The first part of the reflection process was to list all my current jobs and roles and then break these down into the different activities associated with them. One example of this is the percussion and drum teaching I have at various schools, colleges and community centres in term-time. Splitting the work into the constants: travel, lesson duration, syllabus, school calendar… and the variables: preparation of materials, speed of progress, special projects or events… revealed some areas that could be completed using a common approach and others that needed an individual plan.
Another of the elements in the portfolio of musical roles I undertake is composing. I looked at the many works I have written, approximately one thousand pieces of music, and it became clear that these works needed some detailed cataloguing and classifying if I was to effectively promote the music. This is a considerable undertaking and not one to be achieved over a weekend.
The way to organise has started to become clear as I divided the music into a number of categories and sub-categories. When I have a number of related works I then prepare them for publication in the most appropriate format, mostly aiming for a digital download configuration, and use Facebook Pages to compile and promote the music.
Some examples of the half dozen Pages I have created can be found at Recital Music Online https://www.facebook.com/Recital-Music-Online-950258038427944/ Percussion Music Online https://www.facebook.com/Percussion-Music-Online-900289986712159/ and Rhythm Quartets Series https://www.facebook.com/Rhythm-Quartets-Series-1216767075015524/
To create and place items on the Pages has been quick and easy for text, images and links to other sites coupled with the ease that Facebook links with other social media makes this an ideal starting point for my composition promotion. I am glad I have been able to take a break from doing and got back to thinking as I will use time more efficiently in the coming months. Just need to find when the next review will take place, at 2, 3, 4 or 6 month intervals? Some review of the reviewing will be needed next year.
© Peter R. Birkby 2016