A Little Soul for Christmas!

A Little Soul for Christmas!

NOW BOOKING!  Juan & Lisa Winans – Christmas 2018 and 2019!

Hailing from the legendary Gospel music family, The Winans, Juan Winans is a Grammy nominated singer/songwriter, who began his career as part of Word Records’ Gospel group Winans Phase 2. He has written and produced for a myriad of Gospel, Pop and R&B artists; from Mary Mary and Lalah Hathaway to Smokie Norful and Michael Bolton.

After signing her first record deal at the age of 18 with Christian music icon, Toby Mac, Lisa Kimmey went on to record six albums, win 2 Dove Awards, a Grammy Award nomination and multiple #1 songs with her sisters in the contemporary Christian music group Out of Eden. She’s shared her incredible gift and passion for music on stages around the world and has collaborated with a long list of artists as a writer and producer.

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Together, this husband-wife duo is set to blaze a new path of Gospel and R&B music, starting with the release of their new Christmas EP, “A Little Soul for Christmas.”

“Christmas can be so busy, that we forget to rest, we forget to enjoy it,” said Lisa, sharing thoughts about the theme of the album’s first single, “Rest.” I hope our EP reminds people of the reason we celebrate and helps the listener to pause and take a second to both reflect, be thankful, and have fun!”

Juan and Lisa Winans, who are worship leaders at their home church in Virginia, are also available for other church events, retreats, and conferences throughout 2019. For booking information, please contact Gloria Green Entertainment at ggreen@gloriagreenentertainment.com or call 615-502-2201. 

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Going Beyond the LIKE to the SHARE!

Going Beyond the LIKE to the SHARE!

About a year ago I was having lunch with friends catching up on lots of things. I don’t really remember how the topic of TV programming came up, but one of my friends was complaining about the cancellation of one of her favorite television shows — Last Man Standing. I told her that happened to be one of my favorite comedy shows as well, but I admitted to her that I would often forget to watch it when it was on.

One of the curses of living in the central time zone is that the evening shows begin at 7 p.m. And even though I’ve been in this time zone for decades, I still don’t think about plopping down in front of the TV that early in the evening; especially on a Friday night.

One of the other friends sitting with us said, matter of factly, as if she’d been given the inside track, “They cancelled it because of his politics. They didn’t like that he was an outspoken Republican” My other friend agreed with her, saying that’s what she heard too. I dare not to ask where they exactly heard this, but instead asked them a fair question. “So, when’s the last time either of you watched it?”

There was a long pause, so I filled the blank during the temporary silence. “Seldom will a network cancel a show that’s making them money.” I then reminded them that the lead character’s politics had always played a role in the show from the start. It was what made the show — Tim always praising the politics of Ronald Reagan and most other Republican presidents and policies, while frequently taking a jab at the Clintons, Obama, and Democrats as a whole. Additionally, the family’s dynamic of having some “liberal” kids and some “conservative” ones, with a wife who tried to stay in the middle, was a large part of what made the chemistry of the show work. It was part of what made it funny. So I definitely wasn’t convinced that the network would pull the show simply for politics; no matter who was in the White House.

After the silence lifted, it turned out that neither one of my friends had even watched the previous season, and admitted they were not regular weekly watchers of the show prior to that. Like me, life came first, and without a DVR, I couldn’t even say that I recorded it to watch later. And neither did they. I told them that many people are too quick to blame politics or religion whenever their “favorite” show gets cancelled, as a lot of Christians and churches did when Touched by an Angel got cancelled, without looking at the data, the ratings, and other factors that may have contributed to it, as was the case for Touched by an Angel. If everyone who liked the idea of that type of family show being on air actually regularly watched the show, it would have last even longer on air than the many years that it did.

Recently, Last Man Standing returned to network TV on Fox, who announced their pick up of the show almost exactly a year after the cast learned that ABC was cancelling it. Once again, it’s airing on Friday nights in the same time slot. So of course I forgot it was on the first night it aired, and only watched the end. When the second show aired, I remembered it was on about 10 minutes into it, and tuned in. I texted one of those same friends, asking if she’d been watching the show now that it’s back on. I expected the answer I got…”No,” but wanted to ask anyway. “I thought you were so upset when it got cancelled last year?” She said she was more upset when she thought they’d cancelled it because of his political views.

Sure, I messed with her a little, but also reminded her that if people don’t watch it, it’ll be gone again. The entertainment industry is a business. And businesses are about making money. That made me also think about the recent response on Facebook and Twitter when it was announced that Toys ‘R Us would be closing. Hundreds, it not thousands, of people went online to share their stories about shopping at the store, getting their favorite doll or board game there; or just loving the commercials and the song with the giraffe. People had fond memories, but when poised with a similar question by someone online, most of these same people who grew up visiting the store, admitted to now doing most, if not all of their shopping online.

You can’t get mad about a store being closed or a show being cancelled, if you’re not willing to support it before that decision is made. Whether it’s a small retail store or an independent coffee shop in your community; a favorite TV show or radio program; or even an online shop, public support is essential to that person, that organization, or that company’s success. Support comes from watching, listening, or reading; as well as visiting, buying, and the all important part — sharing (word of mouth) about that business or entrepreneurial effort.

Several friends and acquaintances of mine, and some people at church, have commented to me over the years that they enjoy my writing. They like the way I write. I used to do a lot more creative writing — poetry, short stories, even plays — before I moved to Nashville and got involved in the music industry.  After shifting from music to academia several years ago, I started writing again. Over the past six years, I started three different blogs. The most recent one, Grieve With Me, I started earlier this year as a means of working through the grieving process I found myself still in over a decade after the passing of my mom and dad less than three years apart. I also had observed some of my close friends as they were going through their own process.

Several years before that, I launched my primary blog, Catching Raindrops in Water Buckets, That’s the blog most of my friends were referring to when they commented on my postings. As the closing sentiments of my blog page suggests, my desire for this blog is to inspire, encourage, and share suggestions, tips, and new discoveries of ways to live life to the fullest, even when the pantry, bank account, gas tank, and perhaps even your physical and mental reserves are close to empty!

I have enjoyed writing and sharing, and appreciate the kind words when people tell me they learned something or relate to something I’ve written. It inspires me to keep writing. What’s curious to me, however, is that many of these same people; some of whom say they read the blog “pretty regularly,” are not subscribers to the actual blog.

Subscribing to someone’s blog is a commitment that goes beyond reading it when you remember to check for updates. It’s being alerted to those updates. And more importantly for the blogger, it’s a way of building a community of followers, which help to provide the means for continuing the work and time that goes in to blogging.

Imagine how a blogger’s community would grow if everyone who liked a post, were to also share it with their followers. Or the people who say they read it, actually became a blog subscriber, and maybe told other people about it — the growth from word-of-mouth to friends, family, and co-workers.

An entrepreneur with an Etsy site cannot grow their business if the majority of the people who land on the page, only looked around; complimenting them on the workmanship of their crafts, but never purchasing anything, or telling other people about it. 

I blog because I enjoy writing. I enjoy sharing information with people. I enjoy knowing that something I said, something I shared, or something I suggested actually helped someone. It’s a passion of mine that I don’t think will ever go away.

Like the comedy Last Man Standing, Toys ‘R Us is getting a second chance. It’s heading back to a retail outlet next year, under a different name. I wonder how many of the same people who complained about its closing, will remember their disappointment, and come out and support it once it returns?

 

Motivated to Do Better. Inspired to Do More.

Motivated to Do Better. Inspired to Do More.

As I mentioned previously, last weekend I spent my Saturday at a Creative Writing conference. You know something has impacted you when you can’t stop thinking about it, or what you learned from it. I’ve had many moments this past week, in between my prepping, teaching, and grading commitments of my teaching job, where I would think about something that I learned; something that was shared during the event.

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I have to say that of the five years that I’ve been attending this conference, this year’s keynote speaker was one of the best I’ve heard. Some might think that’s not a fair statement to say. But in fairness, I’m speaking of my own take-away, in terms of what was shared, how it was delivered, and the impact it had on me personally.

Ruta Sepetys, the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee, sat at my table during lunch prior to her keynote address. I didn’t know how to say her name, and felt better when she jokingly talked about the fact that most people have difficulty pronouncing it. She was pleasant, and we hit it off from the start. Then I found out that Ruta used to work in the music industry. Maybe that was part of the reason for my instant connection with her.

To borrow a little from her bio, Ruta is an internationally acclaimed author of historical fiction. She is published in over fifty countries and thirty-six languages. Historical fiction isn’t really something I’d ever considered writing. I wouldn’t say I’m too lazy to do the appropriate research, but I will say that I find research, in general, a difficult challenge for me; hard to focus on. Add history to the mix, and you’ve lost me a bit.

IMG_7568Sepetys is considered a “crossover” novelist, a term I’d never heard before applied to writers, but it’s because her books are read by both students and adults.

Even before she spoke, I felt like I was going to want to take home one of her novels. They had all three on site. Between Shades of Gray and Out of the Easy are both New York Times bestsellers. Her latest novel, Salt to the Sea, is a #1 New York Times bestseller and winner of the Carnegie Medal. 

I settled on the one whose description spoke to me the most — Out of the Easy.

But back to the other part. Ruta spent 20 years in the music industry working as an artist manager. Yes, that caught my attention. How did this former music industry executive go from managing artists to successfully writing fiction; especially historical fiction? I was also curious as to how she managed to write her first two novels while still working full-time; keeping her “day job.”

Her story is too long and interestingly detailed to try to include even close to everything about it here. And after hearing her speak, and the motivational encouragement I got from it, I certainly regret not taping the session.

I will say this. Her books are tied into her heritage, her family’s history, and Lithuania. If you’re curious, start by researching the history of Lithuania, and what happened to the people there during WWII. She writes about her family’s history in her novel Between Shades of Gray. I haven’t read it yet, but after hearing what she shared, I think it’s something I would spend the time doing. On her website she describes some of her inspiration to write it like this:

During a trip to Lithuania I visited my father’s cousin and learned that after my father fled from Lithuania, some of our extended family members were deported to Siberia. I was shocked, but learned that my family’s history was not unique. There are millions of people whose lives were taken or affected during the Soviet occupation. Yet very few people know the story. I wanted to write a novel to honor the people of the Baltics and also to illustrate the power of love and patriotism.

Also curious to me was the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff near the end of WWII. They never taught that to us when I was in school. This is what Ruta had to say about why she thinks the story is unknown to so many, which ties into her current novel, Salt to Sea:

When the ship sank, the Nazis tried to conceal the story (and the fact that they were losing the war.) The Soviet submarine commander who torpedoed the Gustloff was dishonorably discharged shortly after, so the Russians weren’t drawing attention to the story. And after the war, Germany didn’t publicize the sinking as they felt it was inappropriate to speak of their losses during the war considering the atrocities committed by the Nazis.

Her presentation was very inspirational. Whether she was sharing her process on researching history, how she creates characters, or sharing words of encouragement about how she started writing, and came into doing it full-time (she gave up the day job to focus solely on writing), I left the conference motivated and ready to lock myself into a room for 12 hours at a time, and just write.

Of course, that didn’t happened. The reality of teaching, grading, working towards tenure, and lots of other non-classroom academia requirements, hit me first thing that next Monday morning!

But how did she do it? 

One of the courses I teach is Artist Management. So I know how time consuming that work is. But she somehow managed to carve out the time to follow her other passion. She got the research completed. She got the writing done. She landed an agent, a publishing deal, all while she kept on building her management company.

That… That is part of what inspired me most about being in the audience that afternoon. It’s not an impossible task. It’s not a “that’s for someone else; I could never do that.” If she could do it, and do it well, then what was holding me back?

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I have to say it’s been a while since I’ve felt so determined to complete what I’ve started. 

 

The Black Box Assignment

The Black Box Assignment

I recently attended a Creative Writing conference at MTSU. This was the fifth year for me to attend; something I look forward to each Fall. This year’s theme was The Writing Life, because “being a writer is a full life experience.” The table centerpiece was a tree of inspiration, both inspirational quotes and writing prompts designed to encourage the creativity of writing.

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I’m still trying to digest everything I took in today, and decide what I’m going to do with it. One session I attended, which was called Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone, stands out in my mind. During the session we were asked to visualize something in the room or in our homes, and then to use 10 different adjectives to describe what we had chosen. The leader, an accomplished writer and poet, didn’t tell us what we’d be doing with it until after we’d selected both the object and the adjectives. Then she told us to write a poem using all 10 of the adjectives, and that the poem had to be about a loved one.

No problem, right?

Of course, it’s challenging enough to write under the pressure of time; especially an unrealistic time frame positioned in the middle of an already short session, and surrounded by a group of strangers. But for me the pressure added to the excitement of accomplishing something on the spot, rather than spending a lot of time rethinking and second guessing everything.

We set off to just writing.

I think that was the point. Getting out of our comfort zone starting first with not doing things the way we always have; not using the same words and phrases and other habitual behavior that we can easily get caught up in.

But had I known where she was going when she asked us to select an item, I’m certain I would have chosen something else. Yet, as I sat and just allowed myself to write, free flowing thoughts, using the prompts I already had listed, it felt good being creatively forced to utilize words and descriptions I would likely have never incorporated into a poem. At least not this type of poem.

When the time was up…I had created something. It wasn’t the best something, but it my something.

My writing. My creation.

To be honest, it wasn’t until I got to the end that I realized where my mind, and those prompts had taken me. And as I read back over it, both a smile and a tear appeared, as emotions I wasn’t expecting took over.

I don’t know why I raised my hand in agreement to read mine out loud. But that was another hurdle I was okay with having jumped over in this process.

I’m sure I’ll be tweaking it more over the days, while it’s still at the forefront of my mind. But for now, it is what it is.

And I’m okay with that.

The Black Box

A large black box.

That’s what they see.

Flat. Electric.

Just sitting there.

Until the power comes on.

Then it comes to life.

Informing.  Confronting.  Engaging.

It talks. It tells. It asks questions;

some questions you’d rather not hear.

It steals. Yes it steals, time.

Teasing you for the moment,

and in the next moment, hours have passed.

For me, it’s comforting; a connection.

Plopping down on the soft cushions,

watching the old shows you used to know.

The music; a theme song.

The characters we laughed at together.

Inspirational.

Sometimes sad.

Because of you.

Because of time.

No longer sharing what was once our time;

together

Your time, alone.

Forever gone.

fullsizeoutput_4292Here I am with author Kamilah Aisha Moon, holding one of her book of poetry, Starshine & Clay.

An American Family: Meet the Fergens

An American Family: Meet the Fergens

Kansas Calkhoven Fergen should never have been born! She isn’t even suppose to be here today. 

At least not as far as what the doctors told her parents, James and Janice Calkhoven. After marrying in 1980, Jim and Jan started trying to have children a year into their marriage. After remaining unsuccessful, the Calkhoven sought out several doctors to determine why they could not conceive. Numerous doctors, tests, and several years later, they were told that Jan had several medical factors that put the likelihood of them being able to have biological children at less than ten percent.

But as much as God has given those in the medical field great knowledge, skills, and intellect; the one thing God has not given to anyone is the ability to block His will and plan for our lives. And so just a year after they’d been told they would not likely be able to get pregnant or carry full-term if they did, Kansas Calkhoven was born on April 14, 1985.

Remarkably, two years later, her sister Jamie was born, followed by Kasondra two years after that; and then Kelsie, followed by Jasmyn. Over the course of seven years, the Calkhovens had given birth to five daughters. Nine years later, a sixth one, Jamaica, arrived!

As young girls, Kansas, along with four of her sisters, started singing together, performing live shows throughout South Dakota where they grew up. When they became teenagers, they decided to make their group official, and TruEmotion, a Christian vocal group, began performing around the country. In 2007, the group was signed to the William Morris Agency’s Christian Music department.

Today, all of the sisters, except Jamaica, who is still in high school, are married and have children.

Kansas met her now husband, Danny Fergen, in 2006. Danny, who is a twin to David, grew up with three brothers, and no sisters. He and his brothers started singing together with their grandmother as young children in nursing homes and at church. By high school, they had all learned how to play instruments, formed a worship band, and began leading worship at youth events, retreats, festivals, fairs, and at their own church.

Kansas and Danny Fergen married in June, 2007.

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Before they got married, Danny and Kansas had shared with each other their desire to start a family with both biological and adopted children. So shortly after they married, they began the adoption process, thinking that it would be years before a child was placed with them. Instead, just one year later, the Fergens welcomed their first son, nine-month old Coyer, into their family.  Eleven months after Coyer joined the family, Kansas gave birth to their first biological son, Kedren. Three years later, Danny and Kansas added their biological daughter Baylic, and three years after that, they adopted an infant boy, Daeston, from North Carolina. 

Part of their family story, like so many others, also includes disappointment and loss. Danny and Kansas experienced a failed adoption, and had to deal with the emotional trauma of returning a child to its birth mother. Later they experienced the physical trauma of losing another child in a miscarriage. But neither of those experiences kept them from continuing to do what they felt God had not only called them to do, but equipped them to do. While their other adoptions had been with infants, God lead them to an eight-year-old Ethiopian boy, Oaklin, from Minnesota, whose adopted parents could no longer care for him.

IMG_5973It would be less than a year later that Kansas and Danny would find out that they were expecting their sixth child (third biological one), born in February, 2018, who they named Attwood.

Feeling lead by God, and encouraged by family and friends, Kansas and Danny began publicly sharing their family’s story several years ago, launching a family website and various social media platforms. In 2017 they were nominated by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) Angels in Adoption Program. The CCAI is a non-profit organization that works to raise awareness about the needs of children without families, and to remove policy barriers that hinder children from knowing the love and support a family provides. The Angels in Adoption program provides members of Congress the opportunity to honor an individual, couple, or organization from their district that have made an extraordinary contribution on behalf of children in need of homes. Past recipients of this award include Korie and Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty, Katherine Heigl, singer/songwriter Josh Kelley, PEOPLE Magazine, Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, First Lady Laura Bush, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Kristin Chenoweth, Rhea Perlman, Bruce Willis, Al Roker, Muhammad Ali, Patti LaBelle, Jane Seymour, and Henry Winkler.

As part of their nomination, the Fergens traveled to Washington D.C. last fall and participated in a three-day event designed to train them in using their personal experience to affect change on behalf of children in need of homes, and to celebrate their hard work and dedication to the issue.

Danny works full-time outside the home as the Technical Director of Central Church in Sioux Falls, where he also leads worship. Kansas works full-time in the home, running a daycare, being a fitness coach, and homeschooling her children. In addition, Kansas launched a lifestyle brand focused on helping moms choose a lifestyle of fitness, nutrition, healthy cooking & eating, and spiritual growth as a woman, a wife, and a mom.

Both Danny and Kansas have started speaking at churches, conferences, retreats, and other events, sharing their God-story and the specific work He’s called each of them to. During their personal appearances, the two talk about going through the adoption process, growing a blended family, raising Christian kids, homeschooling, and providing for your family’s overall spiritual, physical, emotional, and nutritional needs.

If you’d like to learn more about the Fergen Family directly from them, check out this video introduction about their family: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbAVcn30Jh8&feature=youtu.be and/or go to their website at www.fergenfamily.com

For more information about Kansas’s lifestyle ministry click here: https://linktr.ee/kansasfergen

And to have Kansas or Danny in to speak at your next women’s or men’s retreat, adoption or homeschooling conference, church, or other ministry events, contact Gloria Green at ggreen@gloriagreenentertainment.com.

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Why I Watch the Hallmark Channel

Why I Watch the Hallmark Channel

It’s a Saturday afternoon in mid-July and I’m sitting at home watching Mistletoe Over Manhattan on the Hallmark Channel. If it sounds like a Christmas movie, you’d be correct. Both Hallmark stations are featuring Christmas in July this summer, running previously aired Christmas programs. I’ve seen this one numerous times, as I did the one that was on when I first turned on the television. But I’m still plopped down on my sofa, pretending to get work done, as I veg out in front of the TV — because it’s too hot to be outside — watching Christmas movies in July!

I haven’t always watched the Hallmark Channel; and I certainly typically reserved the watching of Christmas programs for the holiday season. But I’ve seen my own consumption of these programs increase, throughout the year, over recent years; especially the last three. And according to several articles I’ve read recently, apparently I’m not the only one.

Forget about the talks regarding the increase in primetime ratings, the shift in gender demographics, and growth of viewers among the coveted 18-49 year olds.  I personally started watching the Hallmark Channel as an escape from the world which seems to have suddenly started to lose much of its collective minds! As much as I don’t believe in burying my head in the sand; not remaining informed about the things going on around me and what’s happening in our country, the bombardment of negative, divisive, and depressing news that’s filled the small screens lately has become too much to consume on a regular basis..

I no longer enjoy watching dramas and crime stories, because the plots are too real; many times snatched right out of the headlines of the day. Reality TV is a train wreck, the talent shows seem rigged, and most of the sitcoms are no longer family-friendly.

In the past, I’d always turned to stations like HGTV and the Food Network to get away from all of the craziness of the real world. They were such great stress relievers. But they’ve changed so much over time that they are no longer enjoyable to watch. I mean, HGTV seems to only be about renovating, flipping, and buying homes. Gone are the decorating shows and programs focusing on actually THE home; and people enjoying being at home! They might as well call themselves H-TV, since there’s pretty much nothing going on with the “G” category of their name — no gardening shows whatsoever. And if you’re not interested in people competing, you might as well forget about watching the Food Network; at least not at night! Of course, that’s the time of day when most working people get a chance to watch anything.

What the Hallmark and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channels have figured out is the adult formula of Disney! The programming is simple — positive, family-friendly, uplifting, encouraging, and inspirational. The Christmas shows are almost always stacked with the stereotypical trappings of the holidays — overly decorated homes, lots of glitter and gold, snow covered yards, roaring fireplaces and fire pits, snowball fights, plenty of homemade cookies and a gingerbread house, hot cocoa and cider, and of course an ice skating rink — mostly all in the same show! And then there are the romance programs; sectioned off seasonally — February’s Valentine’s Day programming, Spring romance, June weddings, summer and autumn themed love stories, which all have the story line predictability of a sunrise over the Atlantic ocean!

And in spite of knowing all of this…I love it! We all do; those of us who keep helping to grow the Nielson ratings for this network.

But why do we love it? Why do I watch the Hallmark Channel?

  • No politics! Not even when there’s a politician in the storyline.
  • No murderers.  Though someone has usually lost a mom or dad; a spouse, or child, and that loss is typically what brings them together with the family or love interest in the story.
  • Family first. The importance of family, even in conflict, is never taken for granted, and ultimately, the “good” character traits are attributed back to someone important in their family.
  • Everyone who loses a job, finds a bigger, better one. Or they strike out on their own, following their passions and dreams that their regular job kept them from achieving.
  • Love wins. Even if the person has to discover the true meaning of love along the way, and/or ends up with someone different than who they thought they were in love with.
  • No illicit sex scenes and no profanity. I can watch Hallmark with any age member of my family and friends.

I watch the Hallmark Channel in part to be reminded that good entertainment doesn’t have to include sex, drugs, violence, and heaven forbid — politics! People are interested in their entertainment —  music, movies, literature — to be entertained; to enjoy their time in front of the screen or in a book. I think that too many writers, television and movie studios and executives, songwriters and music artists forget that. 

I think Hallmark is accomplishing that, at least in my household, and with many of my friends.

Now, if they would only work on the lack of diversity in their programming!

Learn by listening and by doing

Learn by listening and by doing

With my spring semester in the rearview mirror, and the fall semester up ahead, I’m trying to take advantage of this time of year — the summer months — to catch up on and even get ahead on my work with a few things at Gloria Green Entertainment.

I don’t keep my company going each year because I have nothing better to do when I’m not in the classroom. I keep Gloria Green Entertainment going because there’s nothing I like better than continuing to work in the entertainment industry. I think remaining engaged with what’s going on in the music industry makes me a better Professor of Music Business in Academia. And continuing to work directly with clients at my company helps to make me a better entertainment executive on behalf of those clients. 

I don’t think anyone can ever reach a point in their life, in any field of study or career, where there’s not room to learn more.  And in this every changing entertainment environment, with new laws, new players in the biz, and new technology, there’s always opportunities to learn how to do something better, more efficiently, more financially beneficial, and more successful for you, your client; and in my case, even my students.

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 That’s why I’ve spent a week in May for the past four years at the Music Biz conference in Nashville. It’s a chance for me to add to my educational repertoire, gathering new information about how the general public consumes, purchases, shares, and engage with entertainment. And also hear about the latest technology impacting how the industry creates, distributes, markets, and promotes artists. As an Educator, it’s also an opportunity for me and my colleagues to share with the industry what we’re doing from a teaching prospective. Which is why I’ve made it a point to try to not just attend, but speak at this conference for the past few years, and hope to continue being involved.

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Music Business education and the Music Business industry have to work in partnership with each other to survive. It’s like I often tell people who work in the industry and ask me what I do. I tell them “I teach your future employees.” That is a true statement that not many people think about. It’s easy to just think that college is for learning, and the job is for doing. But if employers want good employees who have some idea about what they’re doing; know something already about the industry; and maybe specifically know about their company — then it makes the transition smoother for that graduate to become the employee they can’t do without.

So the industry needs to have a vested interest in what’s going on in the various music business programs at universities around the country. And music business educators must be willing to invest time in continuing education by attending industry conferences, watching webinars, reading trade publications, and seeking other opportunities to stay connected.

Learning by listening and learning by doing are equally important in my book! And doing both is something that I owe to my clients, my students, and myself.