The MusicMakers Workshop

MusicMakers :: teaching musicians to successfully brand & monetize art

The MusicMakers Workshop is a professional development series for musicians.  This series will be offered at ShapeShifter Lab in Brooklyn, NY --  September 22nd & 23rd.


We go to school to learn about our specific professions -- but are never taught the business or given the tools to successfully leverage our skills in the real world.  The MusicMakers Workshop addresses this need.  We’ve designed a program to help artists to tell their story, to define their brand, and to expand their revenue - all while maintaining a healthy work/life balance.

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Define YOUR story. From there, comes your design, your brand, and your marketing strategy.

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Let's break out Story and apply that across look and feel of everything that can be seen, touched, or felt by your audience.

Build Your Tribe
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Learn how to Build your group of Super Fans!

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Revenue is directly proportionate to audience. But are you taking advantage of all the revenue streams available to you?

Articles to check out

Building Team
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What's your ideal team look like? How do you get them onboard with Story and Strategy?

A Healthy Career
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Keeping 20 irons in the fire while maintaining a healthy work / life balance.

We offer keynotes and panel discussions on branding, marketing, booking, publishing, copyright law, health, and self-care. Break-out sessions will allow attendees to work in small groups with music professionals from all of these areas.

The MusicMakers Workshop :: Schedule


Day 1 :: September 22

  • Kick-Off Breakfast
    8:30 - 9:30 am
  • Morning Opener Keynote
    Jack Douglas
    9:30 – 10:00 am
  • Brand YOU: Find Your Story
    10 – 11:00 am
    What is the core of your passion?  What called you? How are you educating and empowering? Behind every MusicMaker is a vision; a story that makes their music different from any other.  The goal of this workshop is to lead you back through your story so that you can define it and communicate it to agents,  publishers, and venue owners. Most importantly, though, it will help you communicate your story to the tribe of listeners who are looking for exactly what you offer and will fall in love with what you do.

  • Brand YOU: Tell Your Story
    11:15 am – 12:15 pm
    Investment in the Arts Must be Emotional  Do you really know the story of your music?  In this workshop, we'll work on your story and how to tell your story.  From there, we'll expand on that vision and look at your Identity (how it looks) - which can later be expanded to be your Vision Board, Imagery, Font, and Style Book.

  • Lunch
    12:15 – 1:15
  • Understanding Copyright
    1:15 – 2:15 pm
    Promises of digital royalties for Producers, Mixers, and Engineers & new bills in Congress seem to guarantee a new brighter horizon for many who have not enjoyed this type of revenue in the past. But is this future so promising?  This panel discussion will explore details of the new house bills as well as touch on under-utilized or unclaimed revenue based on existing royalty, rights, and trademarks.

  • Music Licensing 101
    2:30 - 4:00 pm
    Performance income is limited. How does a musician make money at 10:00 am on a Tuesday?  By writing music instead of performing it! This panel of publishers and music supervisors will address various areas of revenue available to you, how to approach a music supervisor or publisher, and how to get started putting pencil to paper.

  • Expanding Scope
    4:15 – 5:00 pm
    There are excellent financial opportunities over and above performance and recording.  We will discuss Grants; Endorsements; Composition for Film/TV/Advertising; Session & Side-person Work; Arts Education.

    • Panelists: Lee England, Jr.
  • Dinner
    5 pm – 7:30 pm
  • Networking Jam
    8:30 pm – until

Day 2 :: September 23

There are over 40 revenues streams available to musicians - each protected by different copyrights, rights organizations, relationships, licenses, or the like.  It might seem a bit complicated but this series will break it down in relation to your rights then describe the metadata associated with your music.   We will chart the journey of your music release, where to register your music, and the rights organizations you’ll need to get involved with.

  • Kick-Off Breakfast
    8:30 - 9:30 am
  • Morning Opener Keynote: Making $40k in your Local Market
    Ray Archie
    9:30 – 10 am
  • Brand YOU: Marketing your Brand
    10 – 11 am
    Build Your Tribe.  People talk all day about creating an audience.  About getting your stuff out there and pulling in new listeners. But if that audience doesn’t attend your shows, buy your merchandise & CD’s, or in other words, GIVE YOU MONEY for what you’ve created, you are no closer to a successful career.  What we are talking about is one step deeper. We’re talking about your TRIBE.

  • Booking 101
    11:15 am – 12:15 pm
    Are you ready to start performing at a national or international level? A booking agent can be your best ally in that effort.  This panel discussion will arm you with information about how to find and vet an agent, what you can expect from an agent, standard deal terms and how to manage that relationship.
  • Lunch
    12:15 – 1:15 pm
  • Teamwork
    1:15  – 2:45 pm
    We discuss how to create a dream team to help you accomplish your goals.  What does your team look like?  What are you expected to do as an Artist? Who’s in the driver’s seat?  We will also talk about the Evolution of the Team: There will be turnover.  How do you handle that?
  • Business Management for the Creative Mind
    3 – 4 pm
    How many times have you thought to yourself — I’m an Artist. I’m just no good at business!
    In this dynamic, interactive workshop, Debra will dispel this myth and help you identify and apply your unique talents to create a successful business without sacrificing your art or your integrity.

    • Panelists: Debra Russell
  • The Red Tape
    4:15 – 5 pm
    This workshop will walk you through “The Red Tape”:   Taxes, Insurance (Life, Disability & Health Care), Retirement Plans, & Social Security.  You will learn how to create good habits in these areas now to avoid heartache later and how organizations such as BMI, ASCAP, or SESAC are there to support you as you do.
  • A Healthy Career: Keeping It Together (When Everyone Wants a piece of You!)
    5:15 – 6 pm
    You’re watching the successful players and it’s clear that to make a living you have to keep multiple irons in the fire.  But – How do you keep track of it all? This panel will talk about keeping all the balls in the air, how to prioritize, how to manage expectations, and how to accept and recover from the inevitable mistakes that happen when you’re pushing forward.  We’ll also talk about how to manage Balance between the Day Job and your career.

    • Panelists: Dr. Ernest Bonaparte
  • Dinner
    6 – 7 pm
  • The Big Wrap-Up
    7 – 7:30 pm
  • Networking Jam
    8:30 pm – until