Kim Copeland's & Susan Tucker's Contribution to 'Changing Expectations & Realities'
Excerpt from Tag It's Songwriters in the New Millennium
Kim Copeland & Susan Tucker
Co-owners, Journey Publishing / Sage House Music, Authors
Reaching Songwriters: Using Technology
The MusicDish survey reinforces what we have discovered: that more writers are tuning to the Internet as a resource than buying songwriting magazines or attending workshops. The Internet is certainly more cost effective for us than traveling to each songwriting group, but more importantly, it reaches a different audience. It helps us reach people who would not otherwise connect with other songwriters or teachers.
Those who are already attending workshops and utilizing resources are happy for any opportunity to exchange creative energy in a workshop, critique session, or performance venue. But, if we can use this outlet to interest those who are not currently aware of available resources, then we may be able to inspire them to explore other outlets such as local workshops.
QUESTION #31: What has been your experience with Internet-based songwriter/music magazines and periodicals?
55% of songwriters surveyed indicated an adequate to very good experience with Internet-based magazines and periodicals. Only 20% of the surveyed songwriters indicated "no experience." When you subtract the 20% with no experience out of the total, those with positive experiences actually jumps up to close to 70%! As service providers who are using the Internet to reach songwriters, this is good news to us.
One way that we have found to reach songwriters who are not inclined to attend workshops is through the Internet. Since we started our e-zine, The Songwriter's Connection, we have answered hundreds of questions about the roles of PRO's, publishers, A&R reps, etc. We know we can't reach them all. We just focus on putting out information that will help those who are ready for it. The E-zine has proven to be a very effective tool for us. Each aspiring songwriter we reach who has the fire in his or her gut to learn and grow and succeed makes it worth the time and effort.
QUESTION #38: What has been your experience with songwriting-related chat rooms?
Chat rooms have not been a particularly hot item on the net for the purpose of songwriting. 50% claim "no experience" and of the remaining 50%, slightly more songwriters were disappointed with the experience than were happy with it. However, we believe that chat rooms are an underutilized opportunity to reach songwriters. Another idea that we are exploring, along with several other songwriting mentors, is on-line teaching via chat rooms. Our good friends Sara Light and Danny Arena from Craft Of Songwriting, came up with this idea of multiple teachers and lesson plans being taught at the same website, reaching potentially millions of songwriters who would not otherwise hear the information or connect with other songwriters via any other source.
QUESTION #46: Identify the areas where your songwriting career would benefit the most from.
As we mentioned at the beginning of our essay, we try very hard to teach songwriters about "living the life" of a songwriter in contrast with "getting the big break." So rather than speaking directly to the items these songwriters listed as where they need the most help, we try to take a more holistic approach. Songwriters would benefit from learning about and mastering all of the items listed under this question, but they also need a context within which to learn the specifics. Without a context, it will be difficult for aspiring songwriters to make informed choices about their aspirations. This is one of the songwriting community's challenges: Are we effectively providing context to those writers, especially in an environment of rapid change?
Reaching Songwriters: The Message
As technology allows us easier access to each other and information, we're sure there will be more opportunities to make a living in the music business than existed just a few years ago. For now, we try to encourage songwriters to look at the big picture and try to find a way to contribute, if music is the life they want; to look outside the box of a lucky break or one hit song and think more about long term survival. The road to success may include lots of detours they'd never imagine, but sometimes the detours are more fun than the paved road.
The most important message we give may not be the one about royalty breakdowns, publishing deals, or recording budgets. The message that inspires the next generation of great songwriters may just be that that everyone has a chance to make it, regardless of personality, talent, education, or work ethic. There are just as many lucky rich songwriters walking the streets of Music Row as there are talented rich ones.
For the complete contribution by Kim Copeland & Susan Tucker, download
"Songwriters in the New Millennium: Changing Expectations & Realities"
The authors of the report discuss songwriters' engagement with, perceptions and expectations of the music industry and the implications for organizations serving songwriters and the community.