I have to admit I was surprised by streaming. I’m a full-time private online music instructor, not a performer; I have no desire to quit my day job and tour, not that I could. I guess I’m unlike many musicians in that regard. I’m not overly fond of promoting my albums; I don’t. Some of my websites have links to my albums, mostly because I didn’t want to have a blank space on my website. I’m not embarrassed by the music I create; I enjoy creating it. However, as far as I can tell, there is nothing uniform with it. Let me explain.
If you plan a professional music career, you’ll usually establish an “artist” identity. You’ll pick some existing style or create one, so your fans understand what you are about. It’s not like an artist hasn’t changed their identity, but most don’t switch to a new genre every week. I think this would make it hard to maintain a fan base. I love composing and recording; I like creating things; I don’t creatively name my pieces; I title them 1, 2, 3, and so on. Does that mean I don’t like them? That’s not the case; I’m just not good at naming. When I compose, I rarely start with an idea or emotion. I see what evolves. I work in themes, a composition where I have to do this, that, or the next thing. Where I explore a theoretical concept or instrument, that’s one of the reasons you’ll never hear anything of mine on the radio. I’m not consistent with any of the music I compose. Also, this is not my day job, and compared to those who are touring singers and songwriters, my compositions are lacking. I have no delusions of grandeur. Perhaps what I write isn’t as bad as I think?
I was amazed. In my mind, there are millions of recordings in the world; I don’t advertise my albums, I’m proud of what I record, but I’m realistic in understanding I need a lot of improvement. I also mix and master my recordings, and I have much to learn in that respect. I don’t believe my recordings are horrible; they are not the quality I want them to be yet. I accept I have a lot to learn and work on. So how is it that people are finding my albums? I honestly didn’t think anyone would, but they are. My albums do pretty well for not being promoted; people just stumble onto them. I’m not saying my music gets streamed millions of times monthly; that is not the case. It’s nice to know it’s being listened to as much as it is. So I admit I was wrong when discussing streaming with my students. How was I wrong? In my prognosis.
I’ll be more exact; I thought nobody would hear your music if you submitted your recordings and never promoted them. So I softened expectations slightly. It’s true if students submit their music thinking they’ll get thousands of streams daily, they’ll most likely be disappointed. However, I’m much more optimistic that their music will get listened to; everyone can have an audience, no matter how small. I didn’t expect I would.
So now I keep my mouth shut about the subject and say let’s see how it does. If you go into distributing your music with a preconceived idea of how much will get sold, it’s easy to be disappointed. As for my approach, I make recordings because I love doing so; it’s not about pleasing my audience, although I’m happy I have one. My recordings are pretty different from one another, so I’m not concerned about a consistent artist image. So if there’s hope for someone like me, have fun submitting your music and seeing how it does. Thanks for reading; I’m just a music teacher having fun; catch ya on the next one.