If anyone had told me that at 44 I’d be back at University, I’d have called them mad. Yet here I am, living in the U.S. and entering my second year at Full Sail University studying for a degree in Music Business. How did I get here? Let me explain.
Having been the Artistic Director of Jazz Festival Brasil for 4 years, I was faced with various degrees of chaos, from legal issues and translating contracts, to organizing and planning all aspects of the festival, to promotion and marketing on numerous platforms; and I loved every minute of it! It was fascinating to me, and a huge learning curve. I wanted to know more about this side of our industry, and the best place to do that is in the U.S., which is one of the few countries in the world that takes the business of music seriously enough to have degree courses dedicated to it.
When I got my first degree in the UK, we never once touched on any aspect of business at all. We studied music, music and more music, and it prepared you to be versatile and ready for anything – except running a business and making a profit. In today’s ever changing world, musicians need to be on the ball with all aspects of their careers; from copyright law to budgeting and finance, from planning tours to marketing and social media. I think many of the younger musicians, particularly in the US, have an edge in this respect, but some of us older musicians seem to constantly be playing catch-up.
So, here I am. Living in Florida with my family and having a great time (except for Trump supporters and hurricanes!).
I’ve been completely absent from this blog for a long time, mostly because I couldn’t think of anything interesting to write, and then a friend recently pointed out the obvious to me; write about my experiences living in the US and being a (much) older student again. This post is the first in a (not so) new chapter of my life. What happens after I finish the course is still unclear, which is both exciting and worrying at the same time, but thankfully I have an adventurous family who are open to new discoveries.