Trumpet Planet has been a pretty quiet place in the last six or so months. Being habitually self-reflective in nature I often start blog posts with short stories or thoughts that try to add a context or purpose to a post. Hoever it has become less normal for me to simply write a post about myself or my intentions with this website. Well here is one such post. It may be a little meandering and contemplative, but my intention is to keep people posted about what is happening here.
Trumpet Planet has been a pretty quiet place in the last eight or so months. Being habitually self-reflective in nature I often start blog posts with short stories or thoughts that try to add a context or purpose to a post. However it has become less normal for me to simply write a post about myself or my intentions with this website. Well here is one such post. It may be a little meandering and contemplative, but my intention is to keep people posted about what is happening here.
Being a content creator in today’s climate can easily occupy you as much as a full-time job. I could be making daily vlogs or writing articles, as well as maintaining stream-of-consciousness updates on Twitter, my two Facebook Pages, Instagram… I could easily keep busy by engaging with the thousands-of-members-strong trumpet related communities on Facebook or keep replying to yet another conversation about 3C mouthpieces on Trumpet Herald. Despite all of the advice from the self-elected experts about how this is the way to get by in the world, it isn’t actually true for one simple reason: It doesn’t earn me any money unless I write about generic topics and advertise products that I don’t believe in. I recently watched a webinar by the mildly-famous Paul The Trombonist in which he describes how after posting videos on YouTube for ten years, having millions of followers online and gigging with some of the world’s most famous brass players he was still completely broke. He is an interesting guy to follow and has recently gotten into the game of helping people earn from their passion so I would highly recommend seeking him out if that’s what you’re into.
My reasons for having changed my online habits are generally quite positive. If I were to sum it up briefly then I’d say the following: Musicians earn a living by playing music and I’ve been busy doing exactly that. But this isn’t the whole truth. It comes back to the issue of this website/blog having a bit of a dual purpose and me trying to come to terms with deciding what is most important moving forward. Here’s a fuller story:
I work as a freelance musician, which at the time of writing you would learn from reading the front page of the site. I originally built this website hoping to use it as self-promotion and get some work. The thing is, that’s not how the world of professional music works. Sure, if someone happens to find my card in a studio then they may take a look at my site, but in all likelihood all that could lead to is a one-off session or an invite to play in a hobby band – not what I’m looking for. People don’t tend to type “local trumpet player” into a search engine and money wasted on Google Ads proves that to be true (obviously those were the only keywords I tried). Anyway, alongside the Biography, Gallery, Info About Lessons and Contact Details I also decided to include a blog. My intention with the blog was to write small articles about my day-to-day experiences as a freelance musician and teacher and at first this was what I did. Unfortunately, it turns out that I have too much knowledge and too many opinions for that to last long before I began writing longer posts and articles. I also felt that posting short recordings of myself that I’d made using software I didn’t know how to use and writing reviews of CDs or other trumpet artists made me look more amateur than professional. In order to create content of a high standard it has to be about the things I have researched deeply and am capable of explaining in great detail. That’s all fine… but in my mind a simple website about myself as a freelance trumpeter and a blog with long articles about my perception of historic influences in brass pedagogy are two very separate things. I’m also still pretty focused on trying to earn some money, hence the eBook Store… Maybe in the future I’ll break it apart into two sites to make things clearer, but it’s more likely that I’ll just keep the blog and let the rest go.
As well as writing a couple of eBooks last Christmas and publishing a few of the exercises I use in lessons I also have other things in the pipeline. I’ve been working on a set of video tutorials about the TCE; I have re-written the whole TCE-UK website; I’ve planned a few more eBooks, which I’m hoping to finish at least one of in the next month; and I have begun building a moodle-based online learning platform for the TCE. So whilst regular visitors may see that this blog has been pretty-much unmaintained since April 2018, I hope you’ll be happy to know that I am busy working on other things. I’ve also been very fortunate this year to have had many gigs, which is also really good!
Thank you for stopping by, and feel free to fire an email my way using the contact button above.