December 31, 2012

Top 10 Posts of 2012

Thanks for reading, asking questions, coming to panels, tweeting, facebooking, and all the other things you did to support the site and make 2012 amazing (and a special thanks to our amazing team of writers: Lauren, Katie, Anna, and Nate!). It was our biggest year yet and I'm so glad that something that started out with the simple intention of trying to help people learn more about music careers at a time when music education budgets are always threatening to be cut, has grown into something this impactful. I love that we are able to meet some amazing people, answer your questions, and even help you find your dream internship. That's what this is all about and it's been so much fun doing it. Please stay tuned for what will hopefully be an even bigger and better 2013 and, as always, let us know if there's anything we can do to help you. In the mean time, here's the posts you helped make popular in 2012.

Music Industry Careers for Shy People
This post was recently featured in the ASCAP newsletter and is based on a question submitted by a reader who loves music but was afraid she may be too shy for a career connected to the limelight. So, we looked at what jobs introverts may might to avoid, which may suit them, and some additional tips to help.

How to Write Your First Resume
Resumes are pretty important documents but writing one can be tough and intimidating. So, this post is a step-by-step guide to helping you manage the process and figure out what to include.

What to Wear to a Music Industry Conference
Music industry conferences are great place for learning and networking, but it can be nerve-wracking to figure out what to wear that make you look less like a newbie and more like you belong (not to mention to do so on the budget of an unpaid intern!).  This post was based on a question submitted by a reader and it turned out to a bit controversial (check out the comments). The goal was to help you figure out what types of clothing are common so you can feel confident in making a choice that suits your style of personality but won't make you stand out in a bad way. But, give it a read and tell us what you think. Did we get the point across, or is it trying to turn you into a corporate drone (I hope not, that wouldn't be very rockstar-like).

Music Industry Lessons From The Lorax
Who doesn't love the classic Dr. Suess story of a boy who changed the world for the better? The music industry has been in a state of change for more than decade now and we're still in the midst of a digital revolution for which the end can't be foretold. For better or worse, that has had a big impact on the industry and the way it operates. As the next generation of music industry leaders, it's up to us to make sure the music industry of the future is a successful and flourishing place that offers great music and there are lessons we can learn from the the story of the lorax. Be passionate, learn about and from the past, and have the courage to challenge the status quo because "unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not."

First Day of Internship: What to Bring
The first day of a new internship is scary enough as it is without stressing over what to bring with you. So you don't need to worry about that anymore because we've taken care of it for you with this list.

Non-Music Clubs and Activities that Can Help Your Music Career
This post was recently featured on The GRAMMY Foundation's Facebook and takes a look at the activities you can puruse that may not seem so obvious but can still help your music career.

GRAMMY Camp Alumni Perform with Keith Urban
Some of the amazing alumni of GRAMMY Camp performed live with Keith Urban at this year's American Country Awards and they did a great job. Find out how you can get or support similar opportunities by attending, helping, or donating to GRAMMY Camp

Internship Bootcamp at the Recording Academy
Only a few weeks ago, Lauren and I visited The Recording Academy's Philadelphia GRAMMY U Chapter to talk their members about internships and answer their questions. We had a great time and really enjoyed meeting everyone. Thanks to The Recording Academy for having us on the panel!

Intern FAQ: Will an Internship Get Me a Job?
This is really the most important question isn't it? After all, it's the real goal of all those internships. So, will it actually get you a job. Give it a click and find out.

Should You Turn Down a Job Offer?
The economy still isn't in great shape and you're sick of (or afraid of ending up) living with your parents. You got a job offer but it isn't what you had in mind and you're considering turning it down. But that little voice inside your head (oh, maybe that's just your parents yelling?) is telling you'd be crazy to turn down a job offer. Well, is that true? What do you think?

December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Thank you for your support during another great year. It's been an amazing year of Twitter chats, panels, great guest posts, lots of internship listings, and (most importantly) meeting and talking with all of you. Hope you have a happy, peaceful, safe, and all around amazing holiday season!

As always, let us know if there is anything we can do to help you!

December 20, 2012

What if Santa Saw Your Facebook?

With technology getting better and better ever year, it must make Santa's life a lot easier when it comes to managing toy production. In fact, he has a show on local radio stations where he told a little girl who asked for an iPad that he uses one to keep his life organized. This might all seem like a bit of an odd and out place discussion, but it's inspired by an interesting dream I had that got me thinking. In my dream, I was watching a news report detailing how Santa was using social media to make his naughty and nice lists easier to compile. Rather than sending elves out to do research or use his magical abilities, Santa explained how he could really tell a lot about someone based on what they share online. He didn't need magic to see what people were doing anymore because they were willing to put it online for anyone to see.

So, what if Santa really could see and judged you solely on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.? Would your profiles put you on the naughty or nice list?

This might all sound fictional and maybe Santa won't judge, but there are plenty of people who will: employers, professional contacts, college admissions officers, etc. These people will likely make it a point to Google you and will judge you and put you on their own naughty or nice list based on what they find. You may not be so upset to miss out on some toys from Chris Kringle, but you probably won't want to miss out on opportunities that will help you reach your goals. So Google yourself, take a look at what you come across, and do a review of your social media profiles and get rid of anything that might cast doubt over which list you belong on because these days Santa isn't the only one who knows if you've been bad or good.

December 18, 2012

Should You Hire an Intern?: Do You Have Time to Teach Them

Internships are an essential tool for networking, gaining real world experience, and learning about what you want (or don't want) to do. Today, it seems though that internships are the only career opportunity that isn't about as rare as college student without a Facebook. That's great news for those who are looking for the perfect internship, but it does make you wonder how many of these programs are actually worth it. Just because you have a company, does it mean you should have an intern? Maybe not, but how can you determine whether creating an internship program is a great idea or a waste of time?

So here's part one of a new series designed to help employers evaluate their business and their goals to determine whether or not they should get an intern (or two...or ten...) starting with an important but often overlooked issue: do you have time to teach them?

Do you have time to teach them?
It may seem like a great idea to get some interns to help lighten your work load or offset the fact that your budget is hurting too much to afford an employee, but it's not really (and it may even be illegal, but more on that later).

Sure, there are plenty of benefits to having interns, but it can't always be about you. Interns are there to learn and you should be willing, able, and patient enough to teach them. It might mean explaining one task at a time or even hosting special orientation programs and workshops, but either way it will take time and you have to be okay with the fact that an intern won't walk in the door knowing how to do everything (or maybe even anything). There's also a fairly good chance they will make mistakes, or jam the printer and leave it simply because they didn't realize, or forget to re-order office supplies, or accidentally hang up on a really important client who is kind of unhappy with you to begin with, or cause some other issue that you're going to need to fix. That's part of the process though and if you aren't willing to be at least a little bit patient, understanding, and willing to teach and communicate, then interns might not be for you.

December 17, 2012

Recommended Reading: Welcome to the Jungle

 One of the most frustrating things about the music industry is how hard it can be to find a "real" job.
You know, the kind mom and dad would approve of with cubicles and benefits and normal hours. They're pretty hard to come by. But, for a big portion of the music industry the reliability that comes with a steady job isn't even an option because, with some exceptions, that just isn't a reality for most composers, designers, engineers, producers, studio musicians, etc. That kind of world can be hard to deal with and even harder to succeed in. That is precisely why I wanted to share Welcome to the Jungle  and the freelance advice it offers with you.

This site, and accompanying book, Welcome to the Jungle: A Success Manual for Music and Audio Freelancers, is actually written by Jim Klein, a professor where I studied music industry, but his experience speaks for itself. Klein has had several different roles in the music industry over his career and he's been freelancing as an engineer, musician, producer, songwriter, and composer since the early 80's. He served as Chief Engineer for a major studio, written several Hot 100 singles, and written jingles for Coke, Pillsbury, Canon, ATT, and more. His scores have been featured on the Olympics, Oprah, and The Today Show, among others and he won Daytime Emmy Awards for his work on ABC's All My Children. Now, he is taking that experience and telling you, through his book and site, about what it takes to succeed as a freelancer.

Welcome to the Jungle  deals with the issues and concerns faced by freelancers in a tough market- everything from the problem of parents not understanding to the reality of dealing with the uncertainties of being a freelancer and what clients will expect from you. So, if you're interested in pursuing one of those "uncertain" career paths (and honestly isn't any music career) check it out. It's got some great information, real-world insights, and a few stories you'll probably be able to empathize with- and I'm sure there's more of it to come.

December 13, 2012

Digital Marketing and Content Internship at SoundCtrl

 SoundCtrl is a blog and community aimed at creating an open dialogue and exchange of music and technology culture and is NYC’s premiere event platform for the convergence of music and digital media. They are currently seeking a part-time intern willing to dedicate at least 6 hours a day, 2 or 3 days per week during the semester in our office in New York City. A SoundCtrl internship offers students a unique hands-on experience in music and technology convergence.  The company:
What we do:
  • Identify emerging trends in the production, promotion, distribution, and consumption of music.
  • Highlight and support individuals, groups, and organizations using digital media in innovative ways.
  • Encourage collaboration and promote the convergence of the music and online industries to enable people to connect both on and offline.
  • Through panels, talks and case study presentations, we aim to provide thought leadership, innovation, and inspiration.
Our attendees and partners:
  • Each event or platform showcases top innovating music:tech companies, artists, and music industry executives and icons.
  • We are able to connect brands with music industry tastemakers and technology influences, positioning them as leaders in the digital space and aligning them with others who are passionate about the advancement of digital music.
Keep reading to find out how to apply for this opportunity.

December 10, 2012

GRAMMY Camp Alumni Perform with Keith Urban at the American Country Awards

If you watched the American Country Awards tonight, then you were lucky enough to catch an amazing performance by Keith Urban and some incredibly talented young musicians who attended GRAMMY Camp (including two I'm lucky enough to have gotten to know as a counselor at camp). GRAMMY Camp is an important program run by The GRAMMY Foundation that gives students interested in pursuing a career in music the opportunity to spend part of their summer working with some top-notch music industry professionals and other talented music students. It is without a doubt one of the most invaluable music industry educational programs available today because it gives students the chance to study music careers they aren't usually exposed to a traditional music program including songwriting, marketing and management, electronic music production, and more. Fortunately, it's also something you can get involved with. Check out these links to find out how to apply, donate, or get involved.

Find out more about GRAMMY Camp .

Donate to help fund educational programs.

Apply to attend GRAMMY Camp.

Find out how to get involved.

December 06, 2012

55th Annual GRAMMY Awards® Nominations

The Recording Academy announced the nominations for February's 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards last night at a live concert featuring performances from several of the nights nominees. This year's nomination process included over 17,000 submissions from records released during the Oct. 1, 2011 – Sept. 30, 2012 eligibility period. The final ballots will be mailed to The Recording Academy's voting members on December 19 and are due back by Jan 16, 2013. To find out more about joining The Recording Academy, check out GRAMMY U

The awards represent a long standing tradition of honoring accomplishments of fellow musicians, but it wouldn't be the same without the similar long standing tradition of analyzing the nominations and forecasting who the big prize will go to. So, tell us what you think. Who would you vote for, what nominees do you love, and who do you think is missing? 

FUN., Jay-Z, Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons, Frank Ocean, and Kanye West stand out with six nominations each with Chick Corea, Miguel, and The Black Keys not far behind with five. Here's a look at the "Big Four" nominations for this year: 

Album Of The Year:
El Camino — The Black Keys
Some Nights — FUN.
Babel — Mumford & Sons
Channel Orange — Frank Ocean
Blunderbuss — Jack White

Record Of The Year:
"Lonely Boy" — The Black Keys
"Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" — Kelly Clarkson
"We Are Young" — FUN. Featuring Janelle Monáe
"Somebody That I Used To Know" — Gotye Featuring Kimbra
"Thinkin Bout You" — Frank Ocean
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" — Taylor Swift

Best New Artist:
Alabama Shakes
Hunter Hayes
The Lumineers
Frank Ocean

Song Of The Year:
"The A Team" — Ed Sheeran, songwriter (Ed Sheeran)
"Adorn" — Miguel Pimentel, songwriter (Miguel)
"Call Me Maybe" — Tavish Crowe, Carly Rae Jepsen & Josh Ramsay, songwriters (Carly Rae Jepsen)
"Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" — Jörgen Elofsson, David Gamson, Greg Kurstin & Ali Tamposi,
songwriters (Kelly Clarkson)
"We Are Young" — Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost & Nate Ruess, songwriters (FUN. Featuring
Janelle Monáe)

December 04, 2012

Intern FAQ: Will an Internship Get Me a Job?

This is an especially common question because ultimately that's everyone's real goal: to get a job. So will an internship get you there? Maybe, but probably not. Getting a job directly from an internship requires luck, good timing, hard work, and patience. It tends to be a matter of being in the right time at the right place when the company happens to be hiring (usually to replace someone who was promoted or left) and you've put in the work to prove yourself. Sounds difficult? Well the alternative isn't easy either. Everyone tells you how hard the industry is to break into and I'm sure you're sick of hearing it because it is probably all anyone has ever said when you told them you planned to work in the music industry. It's kinda hard to miss that memo when your teachers, parents, aunts, cousins, friends, guidance counselors, etc. regularly tell you you're crazy and should pick something more practical. (That would be boring wouldn't it?) The thing is you can hear it a million times and still not be prepared for how difficult it really is. There is no one path, you have to forge your own like an explorer clearing the wilderness (excuse the cheesy analogy). You probably won't get past the application stage unless you know someone or have an incredibly impressive résumé. And the salary you'll be offered will be far lower than you were expecting. It may be lower than you can afford and it gets worse if you don't already live within commuting distance of the major city you're hoping to work in (unless maybe you want to work in Nashville since the cost of living is considerably better than that of New York and LA). You may apply for 100 different positions only to hear anything back from one or two of them.

What's this have to do with the question? Well an internship probably won't directly land you a job unless you're really lucky. And a really great intern. But it will make the frustrating process of finding a job a bit easier. It will give you people who can pass on leads. It will give you a name to write down when it asks if you found the job through a current employee (which will help get your application reviewed by more than computer software). It will give you a solid résumé that's worth them picking up the phone and giving you a shot. It will give you things to talk about when you're in your interview praying for things to go right so you can finally get the heck out of your parents' house and tell everyone you've finally made it. It will help you build a reputation and a list of references. It will prove that you love the industry and that you know what you're doing better than the guy who just thought it'd be cool to work with rock stars. And when the odds aren't in your favor, you've had more than your fair share of rejections, and your friends have decent salaries that are making you reconsider everything, the experiences an internship gives you will help you remember what you're fighting so hard for in the first place. Internships will make it a lot easier to cultivate the unique combination of knowledge, passion, connections, luck, and relentlessness it takes to get a job in the music industry and when you do, it will all be worth it.

December 03, 2012

Internship Bootcamp with The Recording Academy Tomorrow Night

Join us for a panel discussion about internships in the music industry: how to find one, secure it, and succeed at it. Ask questions, tell stories, and learn from successful interns, employers, and career coaches who will tell you “if I knew then what I know now." Guest panelists include Katie Reilly and Lauren Mack from, and Kyle Nix from Radio One.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


The Recording Academy Philadelphia Chapter Office

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