We are asked “What can you get from Allstar Music Empire?”
We are asked all the time about the importance of music and the education of music and arts. After a very cool back and forth on facebook with professional musicians and an inspiring conversation with the amazing children’s entertainer/educator Kimmy Schwimmy, we are going to share a little story with you.
Little Jimmy walks up to his mom and says “I want to play guitar”. This is a total surprise to her and being the supportive mother she looks into the information by calling Allstar Music Empire. After the normal discussion about times, rates, credentials, etc… owner Anthony G. takes her on a tour of the facility and has a very in depth conversation.
At Allstar, we take music as passionately as one can and as serious as any musician could take it. We are also very aware of the importance of the “FUN” factor as well. Music lessons are more psychology then music sometimes due to the nature of the newer generations and smaller attention spans. All that aside this is what we believe can happen here for someone that is serious about music.
Jimmy can come in and choose his guitar from a prepackaged deal or a custom made, one of a kind guitar for just as much money and no one else has it in the world. Right there Jimmy is starting off as an original. Then he can look over on the other wall and pick out his first rock star outfit from our Affliction Clothing line for kids.
Now this is when the mother asks my thoughts about becoming a professional and going to college because her whole family is musical. I state I am a Berklee College of Music Graduate with tons of touring and recording and writing under my belt and I have been a music school/store owner since 2005. Even though Jimmy is only 7 years old, I am enjoying my conversation with her and we go hypothetical.
There is so much to learning about becoming a professional musician. Marketing, selling, promotion, secretarial skills, social media, networking and much more. None of that even has to do with being a musician. It has to do with making a living as a musician. Here at Allstar we teach them the right way first so we don’t waste time having to correct shortcuts later. We instruct in the style of music that the students are interested in so if they want to play rock we don’t make them play classical and so on.
Now while in lessons, any of the instructor can share stories and knowledge of their professional experiences and give guidance. Now knowing that we have a club upstairs, little Jimmy is going to come out and see shows of live bands and get inspired to be on that stage. We don’t let just everyone on that stage. We have to think that they have earned the right to play there. We do not do recitals but we do performances where they can book there band or themselves thru the normal channels of scheduling, sell tickets, do promotion, build a fan base and so on. Now because we know Jimmy we are letting them play without a demo recording but everyone else that is not a student that performs in the venue must have a recording and be on the web for us to check out. We do offer a full recording studio that Jimmy’s band can do their demo in or they can book the venue and record a live demo so they can use it for other venues to perform.
Now all of this is teaching Jimmy what it is like to actually be a self employed business owner because a band is a business and a band is a relationship with 4 or 5 people at one time. You think marriage is tough…get in a band.
By doing all this, Jimmy’s band has the chance to sell presale tickets at $10 each. They earn $5 a ticket for every one sold. They also will get $5 for every person that comes in the door for their band so if they get 50 people in the door, they leave with $250. Not bad for a kid band to make $250 for 45 minutes of playing time. This teaches them how to hustle and sell themselves that will help them with everything they do in life from job and college interviews to walking tall with confidence in everything that he does. Now none of this even has anything to do with the amazing, healthy high that Jimmy gets from playing and hearing music.
Now with all of this confidence that has been built from his own strenghts, but with an environment like the Empire, Jimmy studies his instrument hard reading music and charts and everything else. He now is growing up and decides that he wants to go to music college and tells his parents. Being supportive but nervous with his choice, they let him keep practicing and playing, marketing, networking, being a leader of 4 other employees, making decisions that affect him and his band mates all while studying at the Empire and getting professional advice from everyone that works there.
Jimmy is now walking in for his college audition and the door closes behind him. His parents are a nervous wreck as he walked into the room with his head held high and not a worry in the world. He has been preparing for this day since he was 7. He walks out and says, “Guess what mom? I got a partial scholarship and I have tested out of numerous levels of theory and performance courses that I will get the credits for but I saved you thousands more dollars. I can now take more courses that I want to take because I have more free time in my schedule from testing out of those courses.” His parents proud and crying hug him and know they are letting Jimmy follow his dream. Now their fear of him never being able to make a living as a musician has never stopped but they know when their kid is happy and they know they did right by letting him follow his path.
Now the real work starts for Jimmy of 14 hours a day of practice. Forgetting to eat, sleep, shower and even calling home. He is in his world now. After 4 years are up and tons of shows, studio sessions, jobs, thousands of hours of practicing for years it is time to get the Degree.
The day after the degree is sitting on the shelf, Jimmy is 7 years old again having to figure out how to market, promote, employ himself, network and all these other practices that he started to learn at Allstar Music Empire but in the real world. Guess what, it was all right on point and Jimmy is now a professional musician making a great living but working constantly because he knows to take the work when it is there because there are dry spells. He saves his money, doesn’t party it away and continues to be happy as a person because he is following his internal passion and actually does it as a career. There is no way to make your parents happier than letting them see you work hard, succeed, and do what you love to do for a living.
So when you ask me what you can get from Allstar Music Empire, my is is “All of the above.”