Kids Songs – Partnering With Charities Leveraging Educational Media

Educational media opens the doors for several types of partnerships. As a group, it is important to think about your objectives to determine what the right types of partners are and how to have those partnerships come to life.

The easiest place to partner for a musical group is of course through shows. When scheduling shows, it is important to think about what you are getting out of the performance, ala revenue, exposure, good will, practice time for bigger shows. Revenue can show up in actual contract dollars or in free advertising that the host may do for you. Exposure is a great one to think about – because different audiences may spread word-of-mouth in very different circles. So if you do an outdoor event related to sports vs. an indoor school event, the people listening could overlap in your target audience or complement each other really well. Practice time, let’s face it – practice makes perfect. Most times you do a show for lots of reasons and practice/rehearsal for shows is a great way to try out new material and see how the audience reacts. It is relatively safe and helps you work out kinks.

Playing for charity and good will is a great thing to do. There are lots of benefits for both the group and the charity. Hitting back on audience and cross marketing – it is likely that the charity members are a different audience that one typically plays for at a show. So exposure is great – the group will also bring a new membership base to the charity, so it creates a potential group that may donate hours, money or skills to the charity once you market the partnership. It is also great for morale and it is good to show that you as a group care and give back. Sometimes this may mean you play for less revenue, which again can show up in others ways as far as value (ala marketing by the charity, new audience, etc.).

In closing, it is critical to have a partnership strategy on paper and to have thought through it before diving in and going after just anyone. Partners can make the journey a lot easier or frankly tougher depending on how easy they are to work with and how helpful they are in supporting your vision as a group too.

Market Your Business With Videos – How to Get Started

Online videos are more popular than ever. They’re a great marketing strategy when it comes to getting the word out about you and your business. But before you buy your favorite video creation software and USB headset, there are a few things to think about before getting started.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Nothing could be so true as when applied to video creation. Sure, you can just throw together anything and post it to YouTube or Google Video. But, when it comes to your reputation and that of your company, a little upfront planning can reap many future benefits.

There are four key areas to explore before you jump into the wonderful world of video creation.

1. Why do you want to create a video?

When it comes to investing your time, money, and energy, it’s best that your head and heart be aligned. If you’re not passionate about using video to promote your business, you would probably be better off not doing it. Passion shows. If video isn’t your thing, move on to something else that is. There are hundreds of other effective ways to promote your business – from blogging to joint venture relationships and everything in between.

2. Who is your target market?

If you’ve been in business any length of time, you’re well versed on the qualities and quirks of your audience. For start-up entrepreneurs, however, you need to do your homework. Take the time to define the demographics and psychographics of your ideal client or customer. This information will be invaluable when it comes to designing and developing your video. You must make sure your message is on target with the folks with whom you want to connect. If not, your efforts may be wasted.

3. What’s the purpose of your video?

As a business owner, you may have any number of reasons for wanting to create a video. Here are some of the most popular ones:

To entertain:

Maybe you want to provide viewers with something light and fun, but which still clearly communicates your company’s brand.

To instruct:

You may want to teach your viewers something – like how to use one of your products. If you sell services, then perhaps you might script a video that describes a process you go through with a new client or customer.

To request feedback:

You can introduce a new product or concept and then ask for feedback. You can ask viewers to fill out a questionnaire by visiting your website. You might give them a special incentive like a coupon or an opportunity to download free information.

To take action:

A video is a great way to get someone to take action. Interspersed throughout your presentation, you can invite the viewer to call or visit your website to take advantage of a special offer.

4. What will you include?

As part of your upfront planning, make a list of what you want to include in your video. This will help you to organize your project to make sure you have the necessary resources in place.

Some things you might need for your video include: video creation software, high quality microphone, music, photographs, graphics, other video for use in the video (picture in picture), voice narration / script, multiple voice narration, callouts, interactive links (some videos have interactivity programmed within them to allow the viewer to go to different parts of the video, interact with the video, or click through to a link to view other material or to download files), cast members (customers, company employees, and others who may be a part of the voice narration or the actual video), and permissions (signoffs from everyone who participates or provides content for the video).

If you do some preliminary planning with pencil and paper, you can save yourself hours of frustration in the future. You’ll develop a process that makes video creation faster, easier, more fun, and hopefully, profitable for you and your business.

Guitar Hero and Rock Band – Are These Games Dumbing Down Music Education?

In the last few years Guitar Hero and the more recent Rock Band have become some of the most highly sought after video games by young and old alike. Consumers have lined up to purchase the sets that give them the experience of being real live rock stars before crowds of virtual fans. With game controls that mimic the appearance of actual instruments these games provide hours of enjoyment that include group parties hosted in the name of the game as well as virtual world tours where players can become international sensations playing in venues all over the globe.

But do we want our children’s only exposure to musical concepts to be through a video game cranking out versions of Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades” or David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”?

Once again humans’ hunger for instant gratification has trumped in the area of music. In a society where everyone wants to do something well without the work these games have catered to that need. American schools have already seen a decrease in music education as the order of the day and it has now become an elective for most students. But do we want this for our next generation? For some, the plus side is that you need no musical ability to play these games because they don´t require you to be a trained musician. In Guitar Hero color coded controls are used to emulate the chords you would play on a guitar to get the desired sound. It involves a great deal of hand-eye coordination to play each song correctly. Good players are met with cheers while the bad ones are booed off their virtual stage. Since the introduction of these games, players have spent thousands of hours trying to perfect the “notes” of each song that the games feature.

Music has been shown to be an integral part of human development, which is probably part of the reason so many children love Guitar Hero and Rock Band. But while they are spending their time practicing these games, they could have invested in learning to play a real instrument and seen long-term results instead of temporary virtual success.

I would only hope that these games could somehow stimulate a child´s desire to learn to play an instrument and become more than just a video game virtuoso. If game creators had saw fit to incorporate some type of musicality into their product, then Guitar Hero and Rock Band may have been a boon to music education because they could have become a tool used to help children understand how to play music. Either way, based on the astronomical popularity of Guitar Hero and Rock Band, music is vital for children as well as adults. And these games have the sales records to prove it.