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Compose Your Career:
Businesscraft for Musicmakers.

NEXT ONLINE COURSE BEGINS APRIL 2022

Does This Sound Familiar?

You’re a musician and you’ve been around the block a few times. You’ve had some success already but the momentum you expected wasn’t there. The support wasn’t there. The fantasy of making music while someone else took care of your career has vanished. You’ve tried to promote and book yourself, but it’s slow going and money’s still tight. You’re frustrated and you don’t know what to do.

You want things in life—to get hitched, build a tiny house, raise kids, get a miniature goat—but you don’t know how you’ll ever do it without giving up music. Giving up the dream.

And yet, there’s a voice inside your head that insists this is the thing you were meant to do.

This is who you are.

Introducing An Online Course
Designed By And Created For
Independent Musicians

(THAT’S US, CLAY ROSS & JAYME STONE)

The Internet caused a sea of change in the music industry

Every musician knows that. What they don’t know is what the old guard—the agents, publicists, managers, and record labels—knew all along. That is, how to actually run a business.

Maybe you’ve already tried being a do-it-yourselfer, so you know all too well how hard it is to figure things out. You probably wondered if you were missing something huge. You were.

And you’re not alone. Most musicians are sailing along in the dark when it comes to their careers (though, they say “a smooth sea never made a good sailor”).

This comprehensive course changes that. Compose Your Career is for musicmakers like you who want to make the music you love—and a living at it too. It offers secrets and strategies that come from a team (of Grammy and Juno Award winners)

who have stopped at nothing (okay, almost nothing) to design a workable system for independent musicians. It provides a disarmingly honest look at what’s really happening in the music industry and what it takes to propel your career forward.

As artists, we need to re-think and re-imagine what it means to do business. An artist’s business model is fundamentally different than that of a record label or booking agency. The good news? We have more latitude, choice, and creative freedom than ever before.

Compose Your Career puts tools and resources back into the hands of independent musicians. It shows you that your career is the ultimate improvisation—the grand music project that includes businesscraft too.

“Jayme thinks outside of the box. Always inspired by him as a musician, composer, and producer (and overall human, really), his counsel in my career continues to blow open my world and the way I think about the music industry.”
AYO AWOSIKA
Musician
“I was astounded by the intuition, drive, and clarity of purpose Clay employed marketing, branding, and booking his band on his own.”
TED KURLAND
Founder of The Kurland Agency

Guest Faculty

Heena Patel

Artist coach

Heena Patel is a multi-hyphenate arts worker, coach for creatives, facilitator, and gathering designer. Heena’s work focuses on nurturing the ecosystem around South Asian performing arts and community.

Martha Redbone

Musician

Martha Redbone is a Native and African-American vocalist/songwriter/composer/educator. She is known for her unique gumbo of folk, blues, and gospel from her childhood in Harlan County, Kentucky infused with the eclectic grit of pre-gentrified Brooklyn.

Barry Cole

Music supervisor

Barry Cole is a music supervisor with more than 100 film and TV credits including Sling Blade, Brown Sugar and American Psycho. He’s produced over 20 soundtracks. The song “Love Of My Life” from the soundtrack for Brown Sugar—featuring Erykah Badu and Common—won a Grammy Award.

Allie Silver

Artist manager

Allie Silver runs a music management and consulting company and has booked over 40 international tours in over 37 countries throughout Europe, the US, Africa, Asia, Oceania and Latin America at some of the most prestigious venues and festivals worldwide.

Teaching A Course On How To Professionalize Yourself As A Musician Is Not Something We Set Out To Do, But People Kept Asking Us To Do It.

That was a huge compliment, but it was also sobering. We’re moved by the astounding creativity of our friends and peers. How talented they are. And yet they ask for help because they are desperate to know how it all works. To stop struggling.

We understand. We’ve been figuring out how to do this without a guide for over twenty years. We’ve signed with record labels and have had managers and agents, but we’ve mostly done it ourselves. We’ve released albums independently, raised over $80,000 on Kickstarter, instigated a decade’s worth of collaborative projects, and booked thousands of concerts on our own.

In 2015, Jayme began teaching a workshop called “How to Book Yourself Without an Agent” to answer many of the questions that fellow musicians had. Based on the success of those workshops, we set to work on a more comprehensive course—this course—that encompasses everything it takes to self-manage your career. What we’re offering is the hard-won knowledge we’ve accumulated that can uncover valuable opportunities for others.

Course Details

Compose Your Career is a six-week online course that teaches you, step-by-step, how to create a sustainable music career so your music can thrive in the world—whether you’re currently a hobbyist or already a touring pro and no matter what kind of music you make.

This is not your standard Music Business 101 course. It’s based on a peer-to-peer model (one on-the-ground-musician to another, not ex-industry-pro to musician) and celebrates design, aesthetics, and imagination.

You'll get six essential study modules, plus a bonus:

  • 1. VISIONING & RECKONING
  • 2. BRANDING & STORY
  • 3. RESEARCH & ORGANIZATION
  • 4. HOW TO BOOK YOURSELF WITHOUT AN AGENT
  • 5. PUBLICITY & MARKETING
  • 6. PERFORMING & TOURING
  • + Sync & Licensing
  • + International Touring
  • + Ancestry & Legacy
  • + Data & Unicorns

VISIONING & RECKONING

  • Brazenly assess your current situation
  • Hone your artistic vision
  • Balance music and business (the high-wire act)
  • Plan long-term
  • How to be a cultural entrepreneur

BRANDING & STORY

  • Find your niche (or invent one)
  • Communicate visually
  • Ditch your bio
  • Position yourself for success

RESEARCH & ORGANIZATION

  • Improve your digital hygiene
  • Supercharge your workflow
  • Build a badass database
  • Leverage online tools, platforms, and apps
  • The art of prospecting

HOW TO BOOK YOURSELF
WITHOUT AN AGENT

  • Craft a pitch
  • Follow-up secrets
  • Understand booking seasons
  • Negotiate fees—the math and the attitude
  • Write airtight contracts

PUBLICITY & MARKETING

  • Write a press release that sings
  • Get social media savvy
  • Understand the power of the grassroots
  • Grow your audience (and your email list)
  • Email marketing 2.0—get subscribers, improve open rates

PERFORMING & TOURING

  • Smart strategies for terrific tours
  • The inside scoop on tour logistics
  • When to spend big and when to save
  • Intelligent show advancing
  • Astute accounting

Sync & Licensing

  • Prepare your music for licensing
  • The digital audit
  • Sync agents
  • Publishing deals

International Touring

  • Opening up new markets
  • Touring abroad
  • Tips on North America, Mexico. South America, Europe, Asia, and more
  • Attending music conferences

Ancestry & Legacy

  • Explore your cultural heritage
  • Build rapport with your audience
  • Artists as empaths
  • Focus on longevity

Data & Unicorns

  • Make every show a showcase
  • Reach beyond the usual suspects
  • Why the small stuff matters
  • Mail merge secrets

  • Brazenly assess your current situation
  • Hone your artistic vision
  • Balance music and business
    (the high-wire act)
  • Plan long-term
  • How to be a cultural entrepreneur

  • Find your niche (or invent one)
  • Communicate visually
  • Ditch your bio
  • Position yourself for success

  • Improve your digital hygiene
  • Supercharge your workflow
  • Build a badass database
  • Leverage online tools, platforms, and apps
  • The art of prospecting

  • Craft a pitch
  • Follow-up secrets
  • Understand booking seasons
  • Negotiate fees—the math and the attitude
  • Write airtight contracts

  • Write a press release that sings
  • Get social media savvy
  • Understand the power of the grassroots
  • Grow your audience (and your email list)
  • Email marketing 2.0—get subscribers, improve open rates

  • Smart strategies for terrific tours
  • The inside scoop on tour logistics
  • When to spend big and when to save
  • Intelligent show advancing
  • Astute accounting

  • Prepare your music for licensing
  • The digital audit
  • Sync agents
  • Publishing deals

  • Opening up new markets
  • Touring abroad
  • Tips on North America, Mexico. South America, Europe, Asia, and more
  • Attending music conferences

  • Explore your cultural heritage
  • Build rapport with your audience
  • Artists as empaths
  • Focus on longevity

  • Make every show a showcase
  • Reach beyond the usual suspects
  • Why the small stuff matters
  • Mail merge secrets

WHAT YOU’LL GET:

  • A six-week online course starting October 4
  • Over 4 hours of high-quality asynchronous videos
  • Weekly 90-minute mentoring sessions (live and archived)
  • Worksheets and resources
  • All material will be accessible after the course ends

PLUS, YOU’LL ALSO GET:

  • Access to our private networking group
  • A community of musicians to share resources and stay accountable
  • (Let’s face it—no one wants to do this work alone)

Additional faculty made possible through our partnership with the Association of Performing Arts Professionals. Our scholarship program is hosted and administered in partnership with Folk Alliance International.

Course registration opens in March 2022

Composing your career will be
astoundingly hard work. It’s going to
take precisely everything you’ve got.
But here’s the thing: it’s harder not to
do the work. To never know whether or
not you had it in you. Or if the
impossible was actually possible.

Registration is open now through October 1.

What People Are Saying
About Co-Founders
Jayme Stone & Clay Ross

“Jayme Stone’s ‘How to Book Yourself Without an Agent’ is a must-do for any artist who wants to get their act on stages and into festivals across North America. So much info is geared toward the ‘Sonicbids beginner artists’ out there, it’s hard for mid-level artists to find mentoring—but Jayme’s workshop is perfect for the pro artist who’s ready for the next level. Jayme is full of useful, creative, non-cliché info. Bring a thick pad of paper, you’ll want to take lots of notes!”
WENDY LANDS
Musician
“Jayme Stone is not a human being, he’s a laser beam. A pure, focused stream of creativity, positivity, and productivity. Do not let the fact that he plays banjo dissuade you, he’s the real deal.”
KYLE JAMES HAUSER
Musician
“Musicians looking out for musicians is what we need, and Clay is doing it!”
CLARENCE PENN
Grammy Award Winner
“The most organized musicians on the planet.”
LANCE WALKER
Music Presenter
“Jayme Stone’s workshop is the real deal. No platitudes or clichés about the music business; just shrewd insight into building a touring career. If you aren’t afraid of the truth or hard work, this workshop will move you forward. Most importantly, Jayme’s workshop gave me permission to embrace the truth about who I am musically; and the means to frame a career around that truth.”
JOHN BULLARD
Musician
“I attended Jayme's workshop and have also sought his expertise in one-on-one coaching sessions. Working with Jayme gave me the confidence to think outside of the box. I've approached him with questions regarding touring, gig contracts, personal branding, website building, etc, and each time, Jayme is bursting with creative, unique ideas that are simultaneously realistic and attainable. Jayme is thoughtful, honest, personable in his approach, and genuinely excited to share with those yearning to cultivate their own creative enterprise.”
ALLISON AU
Musician
“It’s good to read books, but better still to embody that knowledge. Clay has done the work of building a sustainable music career and he can show you how to do it too.”
FALU SHAH
Grammy Award Nominee
“Clay Ross has figured out the means for artists to navigate the music business on their own terms. He has developed a wealth of knowledge, molded by his own fastidious research, touring, recording and Grammy success, plus good old-fashioned street smarts.”
VANESSA TAUB
Red Light Management
“Jayme is professional, energetic, and interesting to listen to. With his real life experiences, he helped shed light on parts of the industry that once seemed inaccessible. He breaks down the invisible walls we put up for ourselves and logically puts things into perspective to make you realize a career in music is possible. His insights took my game to the next level.”
ANGELE MENARD
Musician

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