Supporting the next generation of musicians

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The ISM “Empowered Musician” event, a report by Paul Mc

I attended an excellent ISM event last week at the Guildhall for Music, along with 400 young musicians. The MIA had sponsored places for some of them to be able to attend and I was keen to hear the thoughts and aspirations of our next generation of career musicians.

Some great talks and panels took place and I thought it was worth noting some of the key questions and comments I was hearing from the young people:

  • It was clear that this new generation understand the real need to build a “portfolio” career (playing, teaching, composing, working in music shop) in order to be financially viable as a musician
  • The advantages of recording your own music and releasing it via social media are clearly the new way to get their music “out there”, for many
  • However, it was interesting to hear people talk of the associated pressures of having to take charge of all marketing and communications themselves due to not having a traditional record deal!
  • This new “multi-tasking” way of managing one’s career worried many in terms of losing focus on the actual music-making…..(and the stresses involved and skills required)
  • The worries about being able to easily travel around the world to play music post-Brexit came up many times (no surprise there)
  • The development of Virtual Reality gigs involving sound, scent and touch will clearly grow over coming years
  • There is clearly a growing resistance from the young to the culture of “play for free” and “it will be great for your exposure” – thankfully!
  • A Youtube career to some is exactly that, a career… See recent quote below from Music Trades magazine:
  • “Today’s young musicians don’t see building a following on Youtube as a stepping stone to performing sold-out concert tours. A huge Youtube following IS their ultimate goal”
  • It was interesting to see how well-received the sessions on the “wellbeing” of a musician went. Managing stress, mental and physical health, nutrition and performance anxiety were all covered

Anyway, in summary, great to see an event talking with, listening to, and generally supporting the next generation of musicians.

www.ism.org/