A “must” read!

Oct 18 2008
mavericks
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

Mavericks at Work is a wonderful collection of case studies showing innovation, originality, and creativity in education and in the workplace. A must read for artists, music educators, and business professionals alike.

A “must” read!

Oct 18 2008
mavericks
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

Mavericks at Work is a wonderful collection of case studies showing innovation, originality, and creativity in education and in the workplace. A must read for artists, music educators, and business professionals alike.

You landed the gig!

In order for your show to be a huge success, there is a lot of work to do be done. Whether you play in a steady band or have a roster of musicians you call upon for different types of shows, the logistics and communication needed to pull it all together can be immense. The band leader in charge of making it all happen has to communicate with the players, the sound/light people, the booking agent, the club manager, the promoter, media contacts, fans, street team, etc.

If you are in charge of organizing your band’s gigs, Basecamp is about to make your job a lot easier. I call it “gig management software” because it works so well in that capacity. But really, Basecamp is a web-based project management application useful for all kinds of projects from shopping lists and vacation planning, to Web development, and the planning of a new business. Personally, I have found Basecamp to be the perfect solution for managing the logistics and communication for my growing list of Debbie and Friends gigs. Basecamp has made my gig management responsibilities so efficient that I wanted to share my experience with other musicians.

Basecamp provides a platform for communication. You can share everything anyone needs to know about an upcoming gig within the program including rehearsals, set up and sound check, directions, parking, load-in, stage plot, set list, dress, promotion, email campaigns, travel arrangements, guest lists, CD and merch sales, and more. Before discovering Basecamp, I used to manage these elements via email and phone. I found myself sending and resending the same information to the various parties involved in the gig right up to the day of the show. It was an unwieldy amount of information that inevitably led to miscommunication and a lot of extra work for everyone involved. As my gig calendar began to grow, and the logistics became more intense, it became clear that I needed a Web-based solution. Basecamp does all that I hoped for and more.

The best way to see all that Basecamp can do is to view their audio/video tour.
While it’s true that you can do the same kind of project management with Wikis, Google Apps shared documents, and other web-based applications, I personally like the turn-key, templated approach in Basecamp. And, my band members are very happy with the adoption of this program. It truly makes gig management, communication, and planning much easier for everyone.

In a word, Basecamp completely rocks! For more information on how to use Basecamp for gigs, click here.

Email can be a challenging way to communicate for business. It’s an informal, fast-paced, text-based form of communication and can easily be misread.

In an online education environment, text-based communication can be challenging too. Constructive criticism can be difficult to read objectively when presented as text, and sometimes, what’s intended to be “constructive” can often be perceived as merely criticism.

At Berkleemusic, many of our instructors supplement text-based assignment critiques with narrated MP3 files, as a way to offer feedback and suggestions related to a student’s assignment post. For example, “You played it like this, [guitar] but if you changed this chord and that voicing to this, it would sound like [guitar].” Not only does the MP3 file help to further the student’s understanding of the lesson assignment, but it also conveys the helpful and encouraging tone of their instructor’s voice. This not easy to convey with text-based communication. A picture is worth a thousand words, and I believe an audio/MP3 file with spoken words and (in this case) music, is worth a thousand more!

This not only holds true for business and educational correspondence, but for important interpersonal communication as well.

Here’s an example.

Last week, at a holiday gathering, friends and family were upset about a very sick family member who is in the hospital in England. Communicating via phone was not an option. We decided to send her an MP3 greeting compilation. I set up a portable digital recording device called the Edirol R-09 in a quiet room, and family members took turns going in and recording heartfelt get-well wishes. They said what they needed to say, then I assembled the dozen-plus messages in Garageband, adjusted levels, added a background track of my own instrumental music, and sent the 10-minute MP3 file as an email attachment to England, where it was played at the patient’s bedside. The whole project took no more than an hour, and the effect this audio-based communication had on everyone involved was immeasurable.

With a portable digital recording device and/or a simple, free, cross-platform desktop recording/editing tool like Audacity or GarageBand (ships with the Mac), you can communicate effectively with audio files to colleagues and students, and perhaps even “say what you need to say” to a loved one.

Happy New Year!

Email can be a challenging way to communicate for business. It’s an informal, fast-paced, text-based form of communication and can easily be misread.

In an online education environment, text-based communication can be challenging too. Constructive criticism can be difficult to read objectively when presented as text, and sometimes, what’s intended to be “constructive” can often be perceived as merely criticism.

At Berkleemusic, many of our instructors supplement text-based assignment critiques with narrated MP3 files, as a way to offer feedback and suggestions related to a student’s assignment post. For example, “You played it like this, [guitar] but if you changed this chord and that voicing to this, it would sound like [guitar].” Not only does the MP3 file help to further the student’s understanding of the lesson assignment, but it also conveys the helpful and encouraging tone of their instructor’s voice. This not easy to convey with text-based communication. A picture is worth a thousand words, and I believe an audio/MP3 file with spoken words and (in this case) music, is worth a thousand more!

This not only holds true for business and educational correspondence, but for important interpersonal communication as well.

Here’s an example.

Last week, at a holiday gathering, friends and family were upset about a very sick family member who is in the hospital in England. Communicating via phone was not an option. We decided to send her an MP3 greeting compilation. I set up a portable digital recording device called the Edirol R-09 in a quiet room, and family members took turns going in and recording heartfelt get-well wishes. They said what they needed to say, then I assembled the dozen-plus messages in Garageband, adjusted levels, added a background track of my own instrumental music, and sent the 10-minute MP3 file as an email attachment to England, where it was played at the patient’s bedside. The whole project took no more than an hour, and the effect this audio-based communication had on everyone involved was immeasurable.

With a portable digital recording device and/or a simple, free, cross-platform desktop recording/editing tool like Audacity or GarageBand (ships with the Mac), you can communicate effectively with audio files to colleagues and students, and perhaps even “say what you need to say” to a loved one.

Happy New Year!