Updated: Sep 5
Are you thinking of choosing a songwriting major in college?
Back when I first attended Berklee College of Music in the late '90s, there were few other schools that offered songwriting as a course, let alone a major field of study. Belmont University in Nashville, Middle Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt were among the few who did.
Songwriting Majors are more and more common today, and provide a great foundation in formal and commercial writing for students.
Because I was already steeped in songwriting from my hit songwriter dad, Kim Williams, with whom I studied the craft of writing since grade school, I decided to take a few writing classes at Berklee, but to make my major Music Business and Management, instead.
This has proven to be a good choice for me through the years since graduating college in 1999, the year Napster came out and turned the music industry upside down.
Since then, songwriters and recording artists, as well as other creators of arts including photographers, software coders, fine artists and authors have been struggling in a battle to regain control over their intellectual property rights as they are employed around the web.
Without getting too much into detail here, the songwriter has seen his income divided by 91 in recent years owning to the shift in consumption from physical sales to digital streaming of music.
This is why combining writing and fine arts education with specialized training in business and practical entrepreneurship is always a good idea for sustainability.
What we’re seeing now with the implementation of the new trade deals including the USMCA (United States / Mexico / Canada) is enough to give this songwriter hope for a renewed future in the creative arts.
I predict a Renaissance is upon us whereby the individual music creator can once again make a respectable living from the proceeds of employing her intellectual property online and in the physical marketplace, bringing money into her family and to the economy as a whole.
Not only artists and their families are benefitted by a fair copyright system, but also the consumers of music experience the richness and variety of unique, masterful self expression provided by an artistic class of creators who have time to practice their skills instead of working in a cruel, uncaring gig economy, churning toward inevitable burn out from over work and underpay.
The music distributors and advertising tech companies also benefit from the renewed goodwill brought about by a well maintained, trust based relationship, structured with transparency, cooperation and respect.
Songwriters, right now your uniqueness is your currency, and just as important as your masterfully written song is your business plan for how to properly make it available to the world, while still reaping the economic benefits that your song property generates when it is distributed online.
Do you have a clear vision of your music career?
Do you know what to do with your songwriting major when you graduate from school?
Songpreneurs is designed to help you think like a business, and to build your sustainable career to support your original artistry and songwriting habit.
We all start as hobbyists, and as we grow, progress and learn, it is possible to transition that fun pastime into a self sustaining source of passive income that lasts your life plus 70 more years.
There are few other investments that have the potential to contribute so richly to your quality of life and to your family’s long term well being, while also leaving a legacy of your work and talent for future generations to enjoy and appreciate.
Need some help putting together the pieces of your intellectual property based creative business?
Start with our workbooks, and sign up for the Songpreneurs email newsletter for more opportunities to grow with our Leadership Community.
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