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Professional Standards

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I'd be interested to know your thoughts on professional standards. I see what appears to be quite varied attitudes to professional standards on the boards. Sometimes it is lack of knowledge, sometimes it is because people don't think they apply to them or that they will gain success by only acknowledging the ones the choose to adhere to, and for others it's a strict code of conduct, or simply the level of detail to which they try to produce.

So what do professional standards mean to you? Do they apply? If not why not?



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I was deliberately leaving it open. Maybe too open as the lack of response perhaps shows! That or it just isn't an interesting enough topic!

There are professional standards, the standards to which a musician, writer, producer, manager would try to adhere. I was thinking it could be useful to debate them and what they mean, why they exist etc...

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I thought it was interesting, maybe over-broad... my first thoughts is that there are standards of integrity in conducting business, e.g. on-time delivery, paying bills, that are common to the success of any enterprise, and also the attention to detail and quality one puts into their artistic "product", whether or not they view their work as commercially valuable...

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yeah there is definitely a huge element of the individuals aspirations. that said most do still want to show their work off as well as they can be that the standard of their work, the way they lay it out, the standard of the recording etc, but as we know professional standards do go way beyond that.

people draw lines, what applies and what doesn't with very little thought. What is in their best interest is sometimes not obvious, and that applies at whatever level you are at.

The other part of the equation is discipline. People may know what to do or how to behave but actually doing it can be a different matter. I include myself in that!

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There might be another aspect to it, too...

The professional-grade creation of music is, quite clearly, a craft that must take many, many years to master. And it is, I think, the fundamental nature of such crafts that ... those who begin to master it, do not fully recognize nor appreciate their own skill and experience. I am, by trade, a professional software designer of more than 30 years' experience, and I cannot fully explain (nor do I know myself) why it is "easy" for me to create the very intricate software creations that I do. (I've looked back at my own work, and marveled at it, and tried to figure it out as though it were the work of a stranger ... which, by then, it is.)

Music, then, is an avocation. It is a pursuit that I choose to pursue intensely, as I pursue many things, but I have never seriously thought of switching my profession to it. I know that, if I were to walk into a recording studio or some-such, I would be a tyro. So I choose not to hold myself to such a standard, and I therefore enjoy music ... and the challenge of music-making ... at what might be called "a serious, Nashville-almost-resident amateur" level.

And even so: "Music is the Universal Lady." She courts all men (and women, of course), but forever yields to none of them. We certainly do not want to close any doors, anywhere, to anyone. (Nor do I wish to imply any such motivations or thoughts, John, to you! "Obviously not so...") We want them all to experience the magic of music (and, perhaps, to overcome their youthful but painful music-lessons...) If they want to hold themselves out to being, or to becoming, music professionals, then surely they will have no choice but to reach as high as they can ... just to survive. Every profession, in the end, is like that. (Including mine.)

I am now beginning my third reading of Jimmy Webb's Tunesmith. I am still amazed by it ... still struggling to understand it. Still challenged. Still lovin' it.

Edited by MikeRobinson
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  • 4 weeks later...



Not making promises that are impossible to keep.

Not making promises that you simply have no intention of keeping.

Not wilfully breaching contracts when it suits one.

Not breaching contracts through negligence.

Setting realistic deadlines.

Working to a standard of excellence at all times.

In short, being everything that most industry "professionals" are not.

Edited by Prometheus
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  • 2 months later...

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