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In this three-part virtual workshop series, activist troubadour, David Rovics, shares his best tips for developing your skills as an activist musician. Each session takes place on the first Thursday of the month from August to October 2021 from 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM (ET).
REGISTRATION AND PARTICIPATION
As soon as you complete registration, you receive an email confirmation with the Zoom Link for all three sessions in this series. Each session builds upon the others, but you may attend them in any combination. Registrants gain access to video recordings shortly after they take place, and if you sign up late in the series, you receive instant access to previous recordings. Showing up live is ideal because it gives you the chance to ask questions and participate in the discussion. Registration is free to PMN members with optional contributions welcome. Non-members may register on a sliding scale.
NOTE: After registering for this workshop as a non-member, if you decide you wish to join the People's Music Network, please send an email to email@example.com with subject line: "Would like to join PMN". You'll be given instructions for how to pay annual membership dues, minus whatever payment you made for this workshop.
SESSION 1 of 3: Songwriting and Performing
Thursday, August 5, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM (ET)
Of course, when we're talking about sharing music, getting it out there, and making any money from it, the songs are primary. So in this workshop, we focus on the craft of writing songs, particularly when it comes to writing songs about current or historical events, or the sorts of songs that will tend to get categorized as "activist." We'll talk about writing music -- an essential aspect of writing any song. Along with best practices, we'll talk about songwriting pitfalls best avoided. Finally, we'll also talk about performing.
SESSION 2 of 3: Sharing Your Music
Thursday, September 2, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM (ET)
OK, so you have written a few great songs. Now what? Writing a song about something is much more exciting when people actually hear it. But with the millions of songs on music streaming platforms that have never even been played once, how can you possibly cut through all that noise? There are many ways, and we'll talk about some of them. We'll start with recording a song so it stands a chance of being heard in the first place. Then, the many different places you can share a song. Finally, we'll look at how you can maintain a musical presence on the web to build an audience for your music.
SESSION 3 of 3: Crowdsourcing Everything
Thursday, October 7, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM (ET)
So, you've written some great songs, you've recorded them well, you've gotten them onto the various online platforms, and you have an online presence that allows you to be part of the conversation with regards to your songs and other songs like them. But you're hungry. In this session, we talk about the many different ways you can monetize your success. By "success," I don't mean financial success or fame. I mean you've succeeded in writing some songs that everybody agrees are really, really good. Not your mom, or your roommate, or your guitar teacher. You've written sad songs that make strangers cry when they hear them. There's no money on Spotify even if you get a million streams a year (I know, I do). But there are still plenty of ways to make money from your music, allowing you to record more albums, tour, buy groceries, and even pay the rent. As an independent musician -- no matter how good and no matter how political you are -- you're also a businessperson, if you're trying to make any money at it. Once you accept that, I can help you, and that's what this section is all about.
DAVID ROVICS is a songwriter, musician, blogger and podcaster based in Portland, Oregon. Since the 1990’s, David has been touring regularly throughout North America, Europe, and occasionally elsewhere, playing on stages large and small, at protests and festivals as well as in squatted social centers and folk clubs. He has recorded dozens of albums and has millions of his songs viewed, streamed and downloaded every year. His podcast, "This Week with David Rovics" consists of interviews, new songs, rants, and concerts. He writes regularly for Counterpunch and Fifth Estate, among other publications. In the post-CD, housing crisis era, many of David’s creative and organizing efforts have focused on streaming justice and eviction abolition. David also plays music for kids.
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