Let me explain.
I have chosen to be competitive and fair in my teaching rates yet some vocal coaches out there seem to think they deserve very high hourly rates. A student of mine assumed that a celebrity vocal coach charges a lot of money because they teach the stars. True, some of them have trained a number of the top stars in the industry. But those of you who are not yet versed in the industry may believe that hiring these celebrity coaches will automatically give you access to success. This is not necessarily the case. But still, people think this way. When I hear stories like this happening, I cringe. And the cruel reality is: this is no different with producers, artist managers, attorneys, and others in the music business who solicit the uninformed and imply a fast track to stardom.
Is the hourly rate of your vocal coach
as much as the cost of a new iPad? STOP!
Ok, so why do these coaches charge so much money? Because they can. That's the simple answer. Some have a roster of celebrity clients and they simply don't have the time to teach someone like you, so by charging a great amount they can be more discerning. Some have so much training and certifications that they charge more because they are like encyclopedias of knowledge. Some simply have such a high business overhead and rent that they have to charge more. Others are just plain worth it, but I caution you to evaluate that yourselves if you want a lesson with them.
It's also important to remember the convenience of the internet. It’s amazing how much you can learn about the voice by doing a little research online, watching free YouTube videos, or reading vocal pedagogy blogs. Another idea is: if your friends go to different vocal coaches, host an evening where you share tips with each other from your lessons. Hey, that's free and effective!
Does your attorney cost you more hourly
than a monthly lease on a new BMW? STOP!
Let's say your 15-year-old formed a rock group that has started to play out in some local clubs and now wants to put together a band agreement. Think logically here. Do you really need to spend $500+ per HOUR to get someone to draw up this agreement that can be easily found online as a free template? Do some research before you jump into anything. You’ve heard people say “Read before you sign on the dotted line.” Buyer beware. If you want your child to be the next Bon Jovi, Beyoncé, or Lorde, know that paying a high profile attorney isn't what’s going to make it so.
Are you being charged the cost of a new Prius
to produce your EP? STOP!
Saving money and doing your music business homework is admirable.
Be realistic. No one is going to discover you, no one is going to make you a star, no one has magic dust to sprinkle on you to take you from your bedroom and put you on stage at Madison Square Garden. If there were a magic formula, everybody would be a star. Music isn’t a full time gig until you pay your dues. Read a book, go to a museum, learn an instrument, write a song a day for a year, get a part time job at a entertainment law office answering phones. Just do something that will help you to grow and make you a smarter person.
Put your nose to the grindstone and in time you will accomplish much to be proud of and your work will speak for itself.
Peace out and rock on!