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Subtle Ways That the Music Profession Is Devalued by Society

Thursday, May 25, 2023 by Gemma Wilkins | Teacher Resources

Have you ever noticed the subtle ways in which the music profession is devalued by society?

In this article, I will delve into these subtle forms of devaluation and shed light on the importance of recognising and addressing them in subtle ways in return, to reinforce value to our main goals as music educators. First let's look at the most common ways I see the music teaching profession devalued.

The Perception of Expensive Music Lessons

It's not uncommon to hear complaints about the cost of music lessons compared to other activities. However, what often goes unnoticed is the immense value that music education brings to individuals. Music lessons foster discipline, creativity, and self-expression, offering lifelong benefits that extend far beyond the lesson room. By understanding and appreciating the value of music education, we can combat the perception that it is an expensive luxury. 

Reluctance to invest in Quality Products and Instruments

One of the subtle ways the music profession is devalued is through a reluctance parents of students may show to invest in quality instruments and products. As music teachers, we understand the transformative power of playing on a well-crafted instrument. However, society's tendency to prioritise budget-friendly options can hinder students' progress and dampen their enthusiasm. 

Teachers can attest that low quality instruments can sometimes result in a self-fulfilling prophecy - the student is reluctant to play an inferior instrument, the parents won't invest unless the student shows interest in playing and then no greater investment is made, and the parent sees the experience was not worthwhile.

Casual Copyright Infringement and the Value of Original Music

In an era of easy accessibility to music, copyright infringement has become a prevalent issue. When original music is undervalued and artistic creations are freely shared without permission, it undermines the hard work and creativity of musicians and songwriters. 

Ways this may manifest in a studio could be parents suggesting they borrow your copy instead of getting their own, bringing bootleg copies to lessons or even asking you just to photocopy something for them. By respecting copyright laws and supporting original music, we can foster a culture that appreciates and values the artistry behind every musical composition.

The Impact of Economic Downturn on Music Education

During times of economic downturn, music education often faces reduced investment and support. (Don't get me started on COVID restrictions allowing packed out football stadiums but music rehearsals were banned!)

However, it is precisely during these challenging periods that the benefits of music education become even more crucial. Music nurtures resilience, provides an outlet for expression, and offers solace in difficult times. By recognising the long-term value of music education and supporting it consistently, we ensure its continued presence and positive impact on individuals and communities.

There are various other subtle ways in which the music profession is devalued. Unrealistic expectations, stereotypes, and underfunding of music programs are just a few examples. By shedding light on these issues and sharing personal experiences, we can spark conversations and inspire change in the way society perceives and values the music profession.

So what can we do as music educators, as musicians that can subtly enhance our value in our community?

Music educators no doubt have a collection of sought after skills, that can sometimes be overlooked as valuable contributions in the community. So consider leaning into these strategies to leverage yourself more positively in your community.

Expanding our reach in creative ways

One way to counteract the devaluation of music teachers is by embracing side gigs in music-related fields. This could include offering online courses or workshops, providing virtual music lessons to a broader audience, or creating and selling digital products such as instructional materials or guides. By tapping into these additional revenue streams, music teachers can expand their reach and showcase their expertise while generating supplemental income, which is detailed more here in my free Ebook. 

Public Engagement

Music teachers can actively engage with their local communities by organising concerts, recitals, or workshops. By showcasing the talent and dedication of their students, teachers can demonstrate the value of music education and its positive impact on individuals and society. These events can also serve as opportunities to educate the public about the importance of supporting music programs and investing in quality music education. I think it is important here to consider what should be given for free, and what should be given at a ticketed price.

Collaboration with Schools and Local Education Systems

This can involve participating in curriculum development, offering training sessions for fellow teachers, or presenting at educational conferences. By sharing their expertise and advocating for the integration of music into the broader educational framework, music teachers can help foster a culture that values and prioritises music education.

Engaging with Policy and Decision Makers

When there is a grant program for the creative arts, apply, tell everyone you know in the industry to apply. It shows that the industry has demand, and there is a need to fund the arts. Consider engaging with policymakers and decision makers at the local, regional, or national level. This can involve attending public hearings or meetings, writing letters to elected officials, or joining music advocacy groups. By voicing concerns, sharing success stories, and providing data on the benefits of music education, teachers can influence policy decisions and ensure that the value of music education is recognised and supported.

Follow industry recommendations for rates for your area

You may not be aware, but pricing yourself cheaply compared to others in the area can damage the profession of music teachers and cheapen its contribution to society. Where possible charge closely to what the industry recommends, and add value in other areas to give a competitive advantage. We have enough issues battling the devaluation from outside the industry, let alone from within. 

Cultivating a Supportive Music Community

Music teachers can create a supportive network of fellow educators, musicians, and arts enthusiasts. Consider building spaces whether physical or virtual where there is inclusion in the creative arts. This can be done through online platforms, social media groups, or local music associations. By connecting and collaborating with like-minded individuals, teachers can exchange ideas, share resources, and collectively work towards raising the profile and value of the music profession. This sense of community can provide encouragement, inspiration, and a platform for collective action.

Leveraging Affiliate Marketing Opportunities

Affiliate marketing presents a promising avenue for music teachers to increase their monetary value. By partnering with reputable music-related brands and promoting their products or services, teachers can earn commissions for each sale generated through their unique affiliate links. This not only provides an opportunity to monetise their influence but also allows them to recommend high-quality resources to their students and fellow teachers, further enhancing their value as trusted educators. Here I go into more detail on how this can work for music teachers - learn more. 

Developing and Monetising Digital Content

In an increasingly digital world, creating and monetising digital content has become a powerful tool for music teachers to showcase their skills and knowledge. This can include creating online video tutorials, blogging about music education, or starting a podcast discussing various aspects of teaching music. By monetising their digital content through ad revenue, sponsorships, or even offering exclusive premium content, music teachers can generate additional income while establishing themselves as thought leaders in their field.

Emphasising the Value of Music Education

While side gigs offer tangible financial value individually, it's crucial to emphasise that their pursuit should not overshadow the value of music education itself. By actively advocating for the importance of music education and demonstrating its positive impact on individuals and society, music teachers can contribute to reshaping the perception of their profession. The combination of side gigs and a strong commitment to quality music education can help restore the monetary and intrinsic value of music teachers. Any time you notice a subtle devaluation, bite back with your value, contribution and place as a music educator.

As music teachers, it is our responsibility to advocate for the recognition and appreciation of the music profession. By addressing the subtle ways in which it is devalued, we can create a shift in societal attitudes and promote a greater understanding of the importance of music education. Let us join forces to champion the value of music, celebrate the contributions of music professionals, and ensure that future generations can benefit from the transformative power of music.

Remember, each small step we take to combat devaluation can make a significant impact in fostering a society that truly values the artistry and dedication of music educators.

So I found some music products I want to promote... now what

Monday, May 22, 2023 by Gemma Wilkins | Digital Marketing

A Beginner's Guide to Earning Commissions as a Music Teacher

Congratulations! You've taken the first step towards adding an exciting new income stream to your music teaching business by finding music products to promote as an affiliate. 

Now, you may be wondering, "What do I do next?" In this post I am going to try to cover this question, tailored specifically for music teachers like you who are eager to start earning commissions, we'll explore a range of strategies and pointers to help you kickstart your affiliate marketing journey.

Whether you're a complete beginner or have dabbled in affiliate marketing before, this guide will provide you with actionable steps to maximize your earning potential and make a meaningful impact on your income.

Understand Your Audience

When it comes to starting, the absolute first thing you need to do is hone in WHO your target audience is, to make sure that you have the right fit of product to promote. 

To get insight on the needs of your target audience, there are several tips you can follow. Understanding their needs is crucial for selecting the right products to promote and creating content that resonates with them. 

Here are some tips to help you identify the needs of your target audience:

  1. Conduct Market Research: Start by conducting thorough market research to gain insights into the challenges, preferences, and aspirations. Explore online forums, social media groups, and communities where your target group gather to discuss their experiences and pain points. Pay attention to the questions they ask, the problems they encounter, and the solutions they seek.

  2. Engage in Conversations: Actively engage with your target audience through comments, direct messages, or emails. Encourage them to share their thoughts, concerns, and aspirations related to the chosen interest area. Ask open-ended questions to spark conversations and gather valuable insights. By listening attentively to their responses, you'll gain a deeper understanding of their needs and can tailor your affiliate marketing efforts accordingly.

  3. Analyze Existing Resources: Review relevant resources, such as books, online courses, or software, to identify the gaps or areas where your target audience might require additional support. Look for common themes or recurring challenges that these resources address. This analysis can help you identify the specific needs and pain points that your audience may have, which you can then address through your promotions and content.

  4. Seek Feedback: Don't be afraid to seek feedback from your audience. Ask them for their opinions, suggestions, or feedback on your content, products, or affiliate promotions. This not only helps you understand their needs better but also builds a sense of community and trust. Actively listen to their feedback and incorporate their suggestions whenever possible.

  5. Stay Updated with Industry Trends: Keep yourself updated with the latest trends, developments, and innovations in the chosen industry. By being aware of emerging technologies, methodologies, and tools, you can anticipate their changing needs. This knowledge will help you align your affiliate promotions with the evolving demands of your target audience.

Remember, identifying the needs of your target audience is an ongoing process. Stay engaged with your audience, adapt to their evolving needs, and continuously seek feedback to ensure your affiliate marketing efforts remain relevant and valuable to them.

Having found some products, and feeling confident with your target market, it is time to take what you know, and what you have and tailor your delivery to their pain points. 

Review the insights you have gathered through market research, conversations, and feedback. Identify the common challenges, frustrations, or problems that your target audience faces as music teachers. This understanding will guide you in creating content that directly speaks to their pain points.

One common pain point in the fitness niche is lack of energy and stamina. Many people struggle with low energy levels, feeling tired or fatigued throughout the day, which hinders their ability to engage in physical activities or maintain an active lifestyle. They may find it challenging to complete workouts, participate in sports, or even keep up with daily tasks due to a lack of energy.

To address this pain point, as an affiliate marketer in the fitness niche, you could promote products or solutions that help boost energy and improve stamina. For example, you could recommend supplements or nutritional products specifically formulated to provide sustained energy and enhance performance during workouts. You could also highlight training programs or techniques that focus on building endurance and improving overall energy levels.

Highlight the Solution: Clearly communicate how the product you are promoting can solve their specific pain points. Focus on the benefits and features of the product that directly address their challenges. Explain how the product can make their experience easier, more effective, or more enjoyable. Use relatable examples or anecdotes to illustrate how the product can alleviate their pain points.

People trust the experiences and opinions of others. Share testimonials, success stories, or reviews from others who have used the product and experienced positive results. This social proof adds credibility and reassures your audience that the product can indeed address their pain points.

The next step is very important, personalise your messaging.  Tailor your messaging to resonate with your audience on a personal level. Use language and examples that reflect their experiences and emotions. Show empathy and understanding towards their challenges, and let them know that you have been in their shoes. This personal touch helps establish a connection and builds trust.

Remember, addressing pain points is all about showing your audience that you understand their challenges and have a solution that can make their lives easier or better. By effectively communicating how the product addresses their pain points and providing valuable content and support, you can increase the chances of successfully promoting the product and earning commissions as an affiliate marketer. 

If you want extra help and how to on starting in affiliate marketing, checkout my free Ebook - Side Gigs for Music Teachers here.

The smartest way to schedule a years worth of content

Friday, May 19, 2023 by Gemma Wilkins | Digital Marketing

I am all about taking the easy way out. If you are you tired of spending hours every week struggling to plan and schedule your social media content then I have found the easiest tool to simplify your content marketing strategy AND do it quickly. 

Ahead we'll explore how Missinglettr can save you time in your music studio social media efforts by scheduling a year's worth of engaging social media content created entirely from content on your webpage. Say seeya to the stress of daily posting and g'dato a streamlined and efficient content planning process.

Streamline Your Workflow with Smart Automation: 

With just a few clicks, you can create a comprehensive content calendar for the entire year. The platform analyzes your blog posts and automatically generates captivating social media snippets, complete with eye-catching visuals and hashtags. 

No more wracking your brain for coming up with captions and searching for suitable images. This program does the heavy lifting for you, ensuring your content stands out in the crowded social media landscape.

Time-Saving Benefits of Bulk Scheduling

A key feature is its ability to schedule multiple social media posts in bulk. Rather than manually scheduling each post one by one, you can save an immense amount of time by setting up an entire year's worth of content with just a few simple steps using the pre-determined campaign durations. 

Spend less time on repetitive tasks and more time on what matters most—engaging with your audience and growing your music education business.

Tailored Content for Maximum Engagement: 

Missinglettr seems to understand the nuances between different platforms. For example if you are targeting Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn, there are tailored templates and suggestions to make your content shine. From hashtags to emojis and post lengths, the tools you needed to captivate your audience and drive meaningful interactions seem to be accommodated. 

With Missinglettr's user-friendly platform, scheduling a year's worth of social media content has never been easier. Say goodbye to the time-consuming process of daily content planning and embrace the efficiency and convenience of automated scheduling. Streamline your workflow, save valuable time, and focus on what you do best—teaching and inspiring through your music education business. 

If you want to read a more indepth review, I go into it more here.

The absolute first step to adding affiliate income to a music business

Monday, May 15, 2023 by Gemma Wilkins | Digital Marketing

Ah, the joys of being a music teacher. There's nothing quite like the satisfaction of watching your students learn and grow, and seeing the joy on their faces when they play their first song. But let's face it, sometimes the pay can be a little lackluster, and you might find yourself wanting to diversify your income streams. That's where affiliate marketing can come in!

But wait, what is affiliate marketing you ask?

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing where a business rewards an affiliate (a person or company) for each customer brought in through their marketing efforts. Essentially, the affiliate promotes a product or service to their audience and earns a commission from the business for every sale or lead that is generated from their referral.

For example, let's say you are a music teacher and you join an affiliate program for a company that sells digital sheet music. You would then receive a unique link to their website that you could share with your students, followers or anyone else interested in purchasing sheet music. When those people click on your link and makes a purchase, you would earna commission from the sale.

Bonus dollars

Affiliate marketing can be a great way for music teachers to earn extra income by promoting products or services that align with their teaching style or the needs of their students. It allows you share resources you find helpful and earn a commission in the process.

Affiliate marketing can be a fantastic way to supplement your income as a music teacher. It's a way to promote products and services that you love, and earn a commission for each sale that comes through your unique affiliate link. 

But where do you start? Here are some tips for getting started with affiliate marketing as a music teacher.

Find a niche

The first step to becoming a successful affiliate marketer is to find your niche or specialty. As a music teacher, you might want to focus on promoting products and services that are related to music education, or you may have other passions and interests that woud want to pursue. 

In the music niche it could include online courses, sheet music, instruments, or even software that helps with music composition. By narrowing down your niche and passion, you'll be able to create content that speaks directly to your target audience and builds trust with your followers. 

Research your competitors and see what niches they are targeting. Look for gaps in the market that your competitors are not addressing, and consider targeting those.

Choose the right affiliate program

Not all affiliate programs are created equal. It's important to choose an affiliate program that aligns with your values and provides high-quality products or services. You should also look for programs that offer competitive commission rates and provide marketing materials to help you promote their products. Some popular affiliate programs for music teachers include Amazon Associates, Musician's Friend, and Sheet Music Plus.

You want to choose something that you trust and that you feel 100% okay with associating yourself with. Promoting someone elses product means that the customer support will be provided by their company, not you. So you want to make sure it is reliable and of value. 

One simple way to search for affiliate programs is to use affiliate program directories or networks. These websites allow you to search for affiliate programs by category or keyword and provide information about commission rates, payment options, and other program details. Some popular affiliate program directories and networks include:





Another way to find affiliate programs is to search for them directly on the websites of companies or brands that you are interested in promoting. Look for a link in the website footer that says "Affiliates" or "Partner Program" to see if they have an affiliate program that you can join. You can even type into google "company name affiliate program" if you have a certain company in mind. 

It's also worth noting that some niche-specific affiliate programs may not be listed on directories or networks, so it can be helpful to do some online research to find out if there are any relevant programs in your industry or niche.

Free distribution method - Build a following

Once you've found your speciality and the right program, it's time to start building a following. You may already have a nice data base from your teaching experience and you want to look to build it with those interested in your specialty. This can be done through social media, email marketing, or your own website. 

Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Tiktok can be great for building an audience, but it's important to remember that these platforms can be fickle. Algorithms can change, and your content might not always be seen by your followers. That's why it's important to also have an email list or your own website that you can use to communicate with your audience directly.

Create valuable content

This could be blog posts, social media posts, videos, or even podcasts. The key is to create content that provides value to your audience and establishes you as an authority in your niche. For example, you could create a video review of a new instrument or a blog post about the benefits of learning music theory. By providing valuable content, you'll be more likely to earn the trust of your audience and increase your chances of earning commissions. 

Take time to research how others are displaying their content and in the beginning consider mimicking that style, with your own touches until you gain confidence in your own strategy. 

Be transparent

As an affiliate marketer, it's important to be transparent with your audience about your affiliate relationships. This means disclosing that you will earn a commission if they make a purchase through your affiliate link. I disclose it here in my privacy policy and in every email that has an affiliate link. Being transparent builds trust with your audience and ensures that they don't feel misled.

In conclusion, affiliate marketing can be a fantastic way for music teachers to supplement their income. By finding your niche, building a following, creating valuable content, choosing the right affiliate program, and being transparent, you can start earning commissions and building a successful affiliate marketing business. So go forth and promote those music-related products and services with pride!

To learn more about implementing these steps, then I highly recommend downloading my free starte guide resource, available here.