Top 3 Social Networks for Musicians

A couple of weeks ago, I published a basic overview of how musicians can use social media. It is a great introduction to using social media professionally, but it doesn’t go into detail about which social networks you should focus on.

If you haven’t read that post yet, I suggest you catch up now.

Killer Harmony | Social Networks for Musicians |Social media is overwhelming. There are so many choices. Here are the top 3 social networks for musicians. Social networks are great tools for musicians.

In today’s post, I am going to talk about three social networks that work for most musicians. Not all networks will work for all users, and you should experiment yourself to see what works. However, this post can help you get started.

Why Only 3?

I chose to only list the top three networks, because you don’t need to use more than that. There comes a point where social media can be too much to handle. When you are starting out or changing your strategy, it is best to focus on three networks or fewer.

These three networks are all good for musicians for networking and sharing clips of their work. They do function a bit differently, though. This set up of each is not always the same.

Now, if one or all of these networks don’t work for you, you do not have to keep using them. So, without further ado, here are the top social networks for musicians.

Instagram

If you only want to give one of the networks in the post a try, make it Instagram. There is a thriving community of musicians on there. You can follow others and watch videos of your favorite artists.

Show off your work space to the world. Post your own photos or videos of you playing your instrument. Share an excerpt of an upcoming composition.

With the correct use of hashtags, you can do great things on Instagram. You can share your post with a lot of hashtags. Be careful, there is a reported limit of thirty; after that, your account won’t alway show up.

Instagram is the most visual and musical of the more traditional social networks. Yes, you have YouTube, which is a great tool, but it is more of a database than a network.

Sharing videos on your Instagram account is a great way to start building a performance portfolio. You can share short clips, limited to a minute long, and you can shoot those videos on your phone. No crazy editing needed.

Facebook

Facebook is probably the most popular social network available. It seems like everyone and their mother has a Facebook profile these days. Not only that, but there is a lot you can do with the platform.

For one, you can share your music and recordings with your friends and family. While they may not be able to hire you, they can share your work. Word of mouth is powerful, even with the internet.

Another way you can use Facebook as a musician is with Facebook groups. You can share helpful information and your own recordings with others. Groups can be a great way to network with others and find music groups to join or gigs to play.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is often misunderstood. It is usually nicknamed “the professional Facebook.” That explanation is fairly simple, but it doesn’t cover everything.

With LinkedIn, you can write articles and share them to your profile. Even if you are not a great writer, articles can showcase your expertise on a subject. They are also a good way to keep a sort of blog without needing a full website.

The main draw of LinkedIn that you won’t find on other networks is the job board. Once you fill out your profile, you will be shown job recommendations based on your skills. This can be a great way to find work.

Overwhelmed?

It’s okay. Social media is crazy, especially because it is constantly changing. Facebook and Instagram are always switching up their algorithms, and they even force business pages to pay to reach their followers.

That is why I have created a few resources to help you. First off, I offer social media and website management services. If you want to build your social media presence but don’t have the time to, I’m your girl.

Soon, I will be releasing an eBook that covers everything you need to get started with social media. I talk about the most common networks, how and what you should post, and a whole lot more. So subscribe below so that you don’t miss out on an awesome resource!

So…

I know that social media is a lot to take in. It takes time to learn how it all works. So please, comment below with your biggest issue when it comes to social media. Any information you give will help me to offer better advice to all of you.

Thanks for reading!

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Time Management for Musicians

Sometimes it seems like we have all the time in the world. Other times, we need to focus more on time management. Especially if you have a lot of work coming up, managing your time is necessary for staying on track and getting stuff done.

Killer Harmony | Time Management for Musicians |When you have a lot to do, it's hard to do it all. That's why time management is so important. Here are a few time management tips for musicians.

Just like everyone else, I have fallen pray to procrastination, but I am able to overcome it. I can get myself back on track fairly easily, and I am going to share how I do that in this post.

Time management seems daunting at first, but it is not that hard after you find what works.

Experiment.

The tips I share in this post might not work for you. So, after reading this post, look for other ways that you can manage your time. You can find tons of ideas online or even come up with your own ideas.

With any change you make, experimentation is important. You have to figure out what works best for you and your life.

Be willing to change up how you mange your time, too. What works one week may not work the next. Figure out what you want out of your day or week and then decide what you need to do to manage your time.

Get started early.

This goes for all of those night owls reading this. If you stayed up late watching videos or practicing your instrument, try and wake up a little early.

You don’t have to get up before the crack of dawn. But, the earlier you start your day, the more time you will have. You won’t have to feel rushed to get everything done.

If you cannot practice your instrument right away, try and do some other tasks. Clean your room or home. Do some laundry. Listen to upcoming repertoire. There are dozens of things you can do that don’t actually involve playing music.

Make a list.

Write down everything that you want to accomplish that day. It can be anything from going grocery shopping to memorizing a section of a piece. Making a list of all your daily tasks puts everything on paper.

You can see how much you have to do that day, and then you can prioritize  tasks. Writing everything down will help you see the bigger picture. It may be that you have less to do than you thought.

If that is the case, take your time with things, and don’t rush. Enjoy living, and enjoy what you are doing. Live in the moment.

Set your priorities.

If you have a lot of stuff to do, decide what matters most. If you have a concert next week, you should probably practice the music for it. When you don’t have any performances coming up, you can focus on other things.

Get your household chores out of the way or search for prospective students and gigs. Your priorities will probably change with each day, and that’ okay.

Setting your priorities will help you figure out what really needs to be done and what can wait a day or two. If you have time for some low priority tasks, get those in so you don’t have to do them later.

Use a planner or calendar.

If you want, you can use a planner or calendar to keep track of everything. You can use a paper calendar or a digital one, and you can customize what you use it for.

I have found that paper planners don’t work for me. I use them for a day or two, and then they end up in the bottom of my bag, untouched. So, I have switched to a digital calendar.

I use Apple’s iCal on my laptop and phone. The calendar is great for events and other deadlines. For to do lists and other tasks that are not scheduled, I use Reminders or Notes to keep track.

Figure out what works for you, and create a system to fit your lifestyle.

Create a routine.

In a lot of cases, your day to day life will be different. You won’t always have the same performance gigs, rehearsals, or private lessons. However, do your best to set a routine.

Wake up at the same time. Eat the same breakfast and/or lunch each day. Do something consistently so that when big changes occur, it won’t take such a toll on your body.

I try to wake up at the same time each weekday, but I do let myself sleep in on the weekends. My menu for breakfast and lunch is the same, unless I go out for a meal. Keeping a consistent waking and eating schedule allows me to prepare for the rest of the day.

Hand off what you can.

If you have too much to do in one day, find some help. You can ask a roommate or friend for help or hire someone. While you have to show up to rehearsals and performances, you don’t always need to do everything.

If your kitchen is in need of some organizing, see if someone you know could do it. If your website needs updating, hire a virtual assistant or content manager for the day. The money you spend on help will be worth it if it means you aren’t up for a full 24 hours.

I try to do what I can, but sometimes, I have other priorities that need my attention. When I can’t do something, there is nothing wrong with asking for help.

So…

As a musician myself, I know how hard it can be to do everything you need to do. There have been times where I had to let things slip, and I wish that I could have hired someone to do those tasks for me. If you ever need help, please contact me. I would be glad to help another musician out.

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Windows to Mac: Music

In the past, and even still to this day, Apple and Microsoft have competed against each other in different technology markets. From software to smartphones to full desktop operating systems, there is a choice to be made.

Killer Harmony | Windows to Mac | As a musician at the start of my career, I decided to switch from Windows to Mac. Here are some of the reasons why most musicians should consider switching.

I have always used Windows computers, though I have used other Apple products. Macs always seemed out of reach due to their cost and the fact that I didn’t know the OS.

However, I will soon be leaving Windows behind in favor of a MacBook Pro. Here are a few reasons why I am doing so, some more general and some specific to music and musicians.

Industry Standards

While a lot of music programs run on both Mac and Windows, Mac is more common for musicians. Or so it seems. With a Mac, you already have a free audio recording and editing software included, GarageBand.

Other programs, such as Finale, MuseScore, or Audacity work with Windows. However, I have encountered some small problems with music and Windows.

Like how a music technology textbook only referenced Mac tutorials or Mac software.

Continuity

All of my other devices are from Apple. I have an iPhone and iPad. The two can sync with each other, but not with a Windows computer. While continuity is not necessary, it is something to consider if you have the option.

I have slowly switched to using Pages instead of Word, and I also use iCal more than Google Calendar or any other digital system.

Now, sometimes, that can be limiting. Using different companies for different technologies means that you aren’t stuck within one. I get that, but I have become accustomed to iOS, and prefer it even to Windows. A MacBook of some kind is just the natural progression.

Quality

Yes, Macs cost a lot, but I have heard they are worth it. They last for years, and it is free to upgrade to the newest version of macOS. I have had an iPad 2 for more than four years, and it still works well.

My iPad mini 2 is three years old and still works like a charm.

There is still a bit of an Apple premium, but I have never heard of Mac users complaining about their computers. I have heard, complaints about Windows machines…and have complained myself.

My old Windows laptop lost its charger after only a couple of years. It basically became a portable desktop.

In the Box

Macs come with a full productivity suite, iWork, already included. There’s also the iLife suite, which includes iMovie and GarageBand. I can use FaceTime and iBooks, and I don’t have to worry about complicated installations.

Those programs also come for free. I don’t have to pay a subscription fee to use them, like I would with Office. Macs also have iCal, Notes, and Reminders, ready to go.

A Mac comes with most of what I need, and I will probably only download a few programs as needed, such as music notation software.

MacBook vs. Air vs. Pro

That’s it. Some might find the lack of options limiting, but I find it liberating. I know that no matter what I choose, it will be fine. And, the fewer options means that I didn’t have to research tons of products before making a decision.

I ultimately settled for a refurbished Pro from 2016. It saved a bit of money, and the model is less than a year old.

I have yet to receive it in the mail, but I am excited to switch to using Apple for (basically) everything.

Prior Experience

A few years ago, I took a computer music class where we worked with Macs. I learned a bit about how to use the different system, and I have worked in a Mac lab since then.

While I have never used a Mac daily, I know enough about the differences to switch.

I have also experienced Windows 10, and I’m not a big fan. My current Windows laptop still runs 8.1, and I’m glad. Friends of mine who upgraded to 10 saw a decrease in speed and other important factors.

Why Not?

Now that I have graduated from college, it’s time for a new computer. I’m in a new phase in my life, so why not change what operating system I use?

Macs are more common for creative professionals; I have continuity, the quality is great. Macs come with so much in the box, the small selection of products cuts down on decisions, and I know enough about them to get started.

I’m more than ready to go from Windows to Mac.

So…

Have you switched from Windows to Mac? Or vice versa? Comment below!

Thanks for reading!

Online Resources and Websites for Music

When it comes to music, the internet is filled with resources to help us out. There are websites like YouTube where you can find free recordings of pieces, online metronomes, and even sheet music downloads.

Killer Harmony | Websites for Musicians | With so many music websites, it can be hard to find the most helpful ones. I have compiled a list of websites that will help musicians of all levels.

I love using the internet to help me. I have found a lot of sheet music, music tips, and also career tips. In this post, I am going to share my favorite online resources with you. I hope you find something that helps.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

IMSLP

The International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP), or Petrucci Library, is a huge library. You can find so many different pieces from solo works to full orchestral scores. Some pieces also have audio recordings that you can download.

There is music for almost every instrument, even some obscure ones. You can search for instrumentation, composer, style, or for a specific piece. It is completely free to use, and I cannot recommend it enough.

If you want to learn a piece or practice your score study skills, IMSLP probably has what you’re looking for. The only difficulty might be finding pieces that are still protected under copyright.

8Notes

This website is great for beginner musicians and music teachers. There is a decent amount of sheet music for most of the orchestral instruments and a few others. Instruments outside the orchestra include piano, recorder, saxophone, guitar, and ukulele.

You can find music of different genres, like jazz or music for different holidays. There is also a forum and a music theory section to add to the website.

YouTube

If you need to listen to a piece of music, check YouTube. You are bound to find many recordings, some better than others. But the sheer amount of recordings, especially for popular works, means that you can hear different interpretations of the piece.

You can also listen to different recordings by some of the great players of your instrument. Listening to professionals is a great tool when learning an instrument.

Teachers can use YouTube as a way to market to students by sharing videos and recordings. Show off your skills. A YouTube channel can be a great way to attract students and clients.

Amazon

Oh, Amazon. How I love thy Prime. But seriously, Amazon is a great place to find sheet music and other music accessories. If you procrastinate buying a piece of music, Amazon Prime will deliver it in two days.

I haven’t been able to buy everything from Amazon, because they aren’t a music library, but it’s nice. I can also look for music stands, instrument stands, and other music supplies on there. They have a pen that is set up to create a music staff for you.

You need Amazon Prime in your life. If you don’t listen to anything else in this post, listen to this. Especially because you can use Amazon for more than just music.

Sheet Music Plus

I have yet to order from SMP, but I have heard good things about it. You can find music to download and music to order. I’ve seen music from all genres on there. It’s pretty cool.

The downside to using it as opposed to other sheet music websites is that the music costs money. But you can support other musicians by using it.

If you are a composer or arranger, look into this website as a way to publish your music. I am considering this for the near future, because it seems pretty cool. You can publish original music or arrangements of songs in their library and earn royalties when people purchase it.

Killer Harmony

Of course, I had to list my own blog and site. I post twice weekly about music. I share music tips and information with the goal of making music more accessible to everyone. Music, especially classical music, isn’t always as appreciated as it should be.

My dream is to pursue this thing full time and to create a valuable resource for musicians of all genres and levels. If you want to go behind the scenes, I suggest you follow me on Instagram (@KillerHarmony) and subscribe to the blog at the end of this post.

So…

Did I miss any music websites? What are you favorite music resources? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

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Social Media for Musicians

As musicians, we have a lot of stuff to do. We have to practice, look for gigs, maybe teach or attend lessons. Then there are other, non-music parts of life that we have to attend to. Social media has recently become one of those non-music activities that can really eat up time.

Killer Harmony | Social Media for Musicians | Social media can be daunting. There is so much you need to do to get followers and shares. Here are a few tips to make social media less of a chore.

I am not only a musician, but I enjoy creating content, like blog posts and social media posts, for other musicians. Social media can be difficult to learn and master, but there are a few things that any musician can do to better understand social media and use it to their advantage.

Here are a few tips that I have that will help you get started with using social media for your music.

Rework Your Personal Profiles

This is simple, but making a few changes to your profile photo, biography, and other information can vastly improve how your profile looks. Whether you use Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you should have a professional profile.

Upload a photo of yourself with good lighting, maybe even with your instrument. This will look a lot more professional and appealing than a low lit, mirror selfie taken at one in the morning.

Update your biography to reflect your musical experience or your current work. Instead of saying something like “I love cheese and wine” try “I play piano, and I love helping others.” This second statement commands more attention and respect, and it shows potential clients or students that you are ready to work.

Also, don’t forget to make your profile (at least for Instagram or Twitter) open to the public. Then you can grow your following and market yourself.

Create a Business Profile or Page

If you are serious about using social media for your career, create a Facebook page or turn your Instagram or Twitter into a business account. You will be able to use social advertising and provide more information on how people can contact you.

With Facebook, it is much easier to have a page where people can follow you instead of using your personal profile. You are not allowed to create a second Facebook account, so creating a page to reach more than your inner circle is best.

For Instagram, you can add your email or physical address and even a phone number. You can also look at deeper statistics to learn more about what works and what doesn’t.

Be Mindful About Your Posts

If you want to use social media in a professional way, you have to keep in mind how your posts will come across to followers. Your public account could be seen by anyone from a prospective client to a parent looking to put their child in music lessons.

Your appearance counts. You don’t need to be fake, but you should be professional and genuine when you post. Your public profile is not the place to rant about politics or how your day sucked.

Keep in mind the audience you are trying to attract, and post content they want to see. It is not always easy, but posting for your audience will get you farther than posting for yourself.

Embrace Video

Social media is a great way to connect with others, and video is one more way to do that. Especially with music, video can accomplish a lot more than just text and photos. You can use video to promote an upcoming concert or album release. Videos can be put toward your online portfolio.

You can establish yourself as a musical expert through video. No matter how much you post about how you loved getting your masters at Julliard, your playing still matters. Someone who has n advanced degree is not automatically better at their instrument. Using video to showcase your skills will set you apart.

It took me longer than I like to admit to start posting videos. I was worried about how I would sound or if people would even watch my videos. I worried I wouldn’t sound good without expensive equipment. The truth is, all you need is a smartphone with a good camera, and possibly an external microphone.

Social Media is an Investment

Just like with your instrument, keeping up with social media takes time and/or money. You have to manage it regularly in order to foster a good community. Social media requires regular maintenance, management, and also regular evaluations of what works.

If you do not have the time to dedicate to managing a social media presence, look no further. I am a social media manager and web content manager with a focus on musicians and other creative professionals.

I have experience managing my own accounts and writing about how others can do the same. However, I understand that not everyone wants to spend the time to build their social media presence. If that is you, head over to my Web Content Management page to learn more.

So…cial Media

Have you used social media to promote yourself before? Have you worked with a content manager to grow your accounts? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

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