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Learning = Earning


Anyone who has followed any of my activities should know if nothing else I am eager to learn.  Whatever success I have had, which may not be Earthshaking but has kept me from otherwise working, is due to something I have learned from other people.  Those who have mentored me, those I have taken classes from, and those whom I have never met but read their book or taken their online course.


There is a world of relevant information available to help you boost your career(s), much of which is actually free or costs little.


I was very fortunate.  Even though my family had little money I was ambitious enough to work my way through my original college doing construction work.  However much of this credit also goes to those who let me work an on/off schedule and attend classes.  Everything I learned about Stagecraft, Lighting, Sound, and Set Design came from a BFA program at The University of Texas before I ever saw work in that area.


This may not seem relevant to Music but for several years I owned an Event Production company which worked with B list acts working nationally in the US.  That generated over $100,000 a year in personal income doing 4-6 events.  These were only small to medium in size, not the Astrodome.  This was a part time job.  This was possible because of being trained.


Before I ever met anyone higher in the Music Business than a bar owner or festival organizer I was in the Music Business and Creative Arts program at UCLA.  Once again on my own dime because I thought it was important.  I would have had no idea what to do in a studio if were not for John Boylan who taught me Record Production there.  This was possible because of being trained.


Almost everything I know about playing came from being around older musicians and learning from them.  Of course I played in college bands and experimented on my own but it was being taught things like the Nashville Numbers System by them years before I ever saw Nashville that put me in the union as a session player.  This was possible because of being trained.


I also got a certificate in Web Development from California State University Northridge in the 1990s.  I owned a commercial website development company in Los Angeles during the Wild West days of the Web when you could say $50,000 and no one questioned it or looked for another bid.  There were no website templates available to them, everything was coded by hand.  Once again this was possible because of being trained.


Learning = Earning.  Being ahead of the game counts.  It is often said that the world is divided into those who make things happen and those who watched what happened.


None of the above things happened through chance or getting a “lucky break”.  They involved learning, planning, and very hard work.


Everyone stands on the shoulders who those who came before them.  My personal experience is that listening to Music and then trying to do it yourself will only take you so far.  It is far easier, quicker, and more dependable to learn with someone else’s help.


You don’t have to go to college, although it certainly helps.  There are hundreds of books available on Music, Songwriting, and Music Business available for little cost on Amazon.   Youtube is filled with tutorials.  Masterclass.com where I still take classes costs $85 a year for unlimited courses.  I highly recommend Carlos Santana’s The Art of Music to anyone who plays guitar.  He talks like you are in the room with him and I learned one hell of a lot from the experience.


Do Not Go By Yourself.  Invest time and money in yourself then others will invest in you.


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Edited by Clay Anderson Johnson

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