We are excited to share this blog post that first appeared in Berkleemusic’s blog “Music Business and Trend Mongering” section, as posted by Mike King, course author of Online Music Marketing with Topspin and Director of Marketing at Berkleemusic. This post brings a unique perspective to the Topspin class at Berklee since the student in the spotlight is one of the established independent musicians who have taken the course. Read on to learn keen insights from an artist taking charge of her career by learning the Topspin ropes from the experts.
By the way, the next session starts Monday 9/24 and registration in Online Music Marketing with Topspin is still open.
You might know Rachael Yamagata as a performer who’s toured with The Swell Season, Sara Bareilles, Adam Cohen, and opened for David Gray solo at Madison Square Garden. You might also know her as a songwriter whose collaborated with Jason Mraz, Mandy Moore, Dan Wilson, Katherine McPhee, and sang on recordings by Rhett Miller, Bright Eyes, Dave Matthews, Ray LaMontagne and Ryan Adams. Rachael has put out three full length records both on and off major labels, and this past summer she enrolled in Berkleemusic’s Online Music Marketing with Topspin course. Berkleemusic’s fall 2012 term begins on September 24th.
Mike King: We’re ten weeks into the online course. What has your experience been like so far?
Rachael Yamagata: It’s been so good – I feel like if I had been this engaged in college I would have done much better! I’m super into it. There’s a bunch of people in the class that are coming from a tech background, and a variety of other musicians in there that provide great perspectives on marketing. It makes the weekly live discussions so interesting, and the material the students are posting is great. I’m all about it.
Before I took the class, I was trying to educate myself by watching YouTube videos of different online music marketing conferences. This course is a great master class overview on exactly what I was searching for, and it’s all super fascinating to me. I’ve had such a roller coaster ride in industry, and there have been times where I have been completely unaware of all of the new technologies or campaign ideas or where the money is going, and not really knowing the ins and outs or whys as much as I should have. I think a lot of artists are encouraged to not worry about it; they are encouraged to keep the creative and business side of the music business separate. I love the idea of looking at music as a purely creative endeavor, but I’ve had enough years in the business to know that it has ultimately been a disservice to me to not understand how the marketing and business works. It really changes fundamental business decisions. Having a team is great, but building up your own education is only going to help you.
MK: How did you find out about the course?