show episodes
 
The podcast about all things business for music teachers and studio owners. Learn how to brand, market, and grow your music studio. Hear stories of creative music teachers who are taking on other cool entrepreneurial projects. Get answers to your self-employment questions from experts. Hosted by entrepreneur, business coach, and piano teacher, Andrea Miller.
 
Contrabass Conversations features interviews and performances from top leaders in the world of the bass. Podcast host Jason Heath dives deep into what makes these world-class artists tick. With over 2 million downloads, Contrabass Conversations is the most popular podcast for double bassists. Join the community and experience life on the low end of the spectrum!
 
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show series
 
John Van Lierop serves as principal bass for Sinfonia Rotterdam and is a frequent guest principal bass in many European orchestras. We connected to talk about the challenges of leading a bass section for a recent video, but we covered many other topics like John’s path through the music world, the effect of strings upon a player’s perceptions, rosi…
 
Thomas Fiorini is a member of the bass section of the Brussels Philharmonic and is an active performer in many genres.Equally at home on the bass guitar, he has performed with acts such as Rob Thomas, Gap Mangione, Bjork, Dave Samuels, Gregg Allman and top Belgian singers like Sarah Bettens, Stan Van Samang, Natalia, Niels Destadsbader, Belle Perez…
 
Often when I interview studio owners, there’s one specific element of their business that I want to highlight and delve into, but I’ve gotten to know today’s guest over the last year or so and there were so many big and little things about the way they run their studio that are really cool and I wanted you to hear about. We’ll touch on a lot of dif…
 
Michael Kurth has had a remarkable career both as a member of the Atlanta Symphony bass section and as a composer. The Atlanta Symphony has commissioned and premiered many of his orchestral and choral works. A recording on the ASO Media label is scheduled for commercial release on CD and digital platforms in February 2019, including Everything Last…
 
Brent Edmondson has made one of the most remarkable pandemic pivots of any musician I know. After spending the last several years subbing regularly with the Philadelphia Orchestra and performing with many other ensembles, Brent found himself, like so many other musicians, with a blank calendar in front of him. Brent saw the writing on the wall and …
 
Business Building 101 is starting January 18! Join this live cohort by registering for the course at musicstudiostartup.com/courses Happy new year! As I ease back into my regular routine, I’m popping in today with a quick announcement and a mini podcast interview. First, the announcement. As I mentioned in previous weeks, I’ll be bringing another l…
 
Paul Thompson has spent the pandemic focusing on his YouTube Channel, and the results have been tremendous. has been playing bass professionally for over 25 years, including recording and touring stints with trumpeter Maynard Ferguson and saxophonist Stanley Turrentine. He is currently an adjunct professor of Jazz Bass at Duquesne University and We…
 
Jon McCullough-Benner recently released a great new book called An Auditioning Double Bassist's Tool Kit: Bowings, Fingerings, and Useful Tips for Standard Audition Repertoire. In this book, he shares his wealth of knowledge learned over his years in a detailed and compelling fashion. Jon joined the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra as its Principal Bas…
 
Zach VanderGraaff is an elementary school general music teacher who has been adapting his teaching during the global pandemic in interesting ways. He launched his website Dynamic Music Room prior to the pandemic, and he has been offering resources like his 9 weeks of online lessons survival pack to teachers looking for guidance in the unfamiliar ne…
 
In addition to a thriving career as a composer and podcast host, Garrett Hope has been using Steinberg’s new music notation software Dorico for several years. After having Daniel Spreadbury, Product Marketing Manager for Dorico, on the podcast, I decided to sit down with Garrett to talk through my experiences with the software as a novice and his a…
 
Business Building 101 will be back in January! Join this live cohort by registering for the course at musicstudiostartup.com/courses What a year it’s been. It’s been hard in big, life-altering ways and in incredibly mundane ways. This year, more than usual, I’m looking forward to the symbolically fresh start and optimism that a new year brings. Wit…
 
Susan Cahill has been rethinking the entire senior recital experience for her students at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music. In addition to playing a traditional senior recital, she has reconfigured the senior recital concept into a variety of new options: Composition for bassists Multi Instrumental Techniques for bassists Chamber T…
 
We’re talking today with Trevor Jones of The Scholarship Roadmap about the value of a college education and the critical importance of finding a school that fits a student's needs and a scholarship that makes it possible. Trevor is doing great work connecting students to colleges. Learn more about his work on his website, and follow The Scholarship…
 
You might already be cringing at the title to this episode, so first a little background. Jason and I are both alumni of an entrepreneurial training program called College Works Painting. My time in this program was hugely influential in my life and career and it’s where I got my first taste of sales training. I am constantly drawing on my sales ex…
 
We’re joined today by past podcast guest David White, who has played for many Broadway and National Touring shows, including Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, The Bridges Of Madison County, Motown: The Musical, The Producers, HAIR!, Guys & Dolls and The Illusionists: Turn Of The Century. We talk about a wide array of topics, including the pandemic’s…
 
Brandi Disterheft’s latest album Surfboard, featuring tenor sax legend George Coleman and Brazilian drummer Portinho, has been turning a lot of heads since its release. The project gestated in Disterheft’s decade-long musical relationship with Portinho, whom she met through Mueller soon after she moved to New York from Canada in 2010 to study with …
 
BIG NEWS! Business Building 101 will be back in 2021 with another live cohort! Check out musicstudiostartup.com/courses to enroll. Today I’m talking to a piano teacher who is in the early stages of transitioning his private studio into a multi-teacher studio. In order to be sustainable, there are some foundational things that have to change to when…
 
Originally from Australia, Jeremy Watt spent 16 years freelancing through the UK and Europe, including stints as guest principal in Spanish, Norwegian and UK orchestras. Jeremy worked extensively with the UK’s finest ensembles, including the Philharmonia and London Symphony Orchestras. In 2018, Jeremy obtained a permanent position with the City of …
 
Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Kris Funn is part of the jazz faculty at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins. Kris released his first debut album, Cornerstore, in 2017, and he is an active performer internationally and in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area. We dig into all kinds of topics, like what Baltimore is like (and if HBO’s show T…
 
A couple of weeks ago I aired an episode with Ryan Benthall about different lead generation platforms like TakeLessons.com and Thumbtack. After hearing Ryan talk about the different platforms and the business models behind them, my economics nerd radar was buzzing. This was a perfect illustration of incentives and how they influence consumer and bu…
 
Bobby Scharmann has been making cool YouTube videos since the pandemic broke out, and a recent one titled Specialization vs. Diversification prompted me to get in touch with him about doing an interview. We talk about how he is putting together his videos, finding topics to cover, leveling up in terms of skill with each video, life as a gigging mus…
 
This is an off-the-cuff and laid-back conversation with my friend and fellow podcaster James Newcomb all about what goes on behind the scenes of a podcast. We get into the business of podcasting, nuts and bolts of approaching content, mindset, and much more. Enjoy, and be sure to check out James’ podcast Musicpreneur! Listen to Contrabass Conversat…
 
Short Stories, Alison Rayner’s latest album with her quintet, has been getting critical acclaim in the UK and worldwide. In this interview, we dig into Alison’s journey through the music world, how the pandemic has affected the quintet’s plans, what it has been like to play gigs again after so any months, what the British jazz scene is like and how…
 
I get a lot of questions about online platforms like TakeLessons.com and Thumbtack, that connect teachers with students. I haven’t used these platforms myself, but after Allie Tyler mentioned in our interview a couple of weeks ago how she used Thumbtack to build her studio, I wanted to investigate further. When I met a teacher who had firsthand exp…
 
San Francisco Symphony principal bassist and San Francisco Conservatory bass faculty member Scott Pingel had a unique opportunity in 2019 to play a Cliff Burton tribute solo in front of two packed houses with Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony. Scott and I sat down in the fall of 2019 to talk about this project, the cool backstory behind it, …
 
Mike Bullock is a composer, improviser, visual artist, and writer based in Western Massachusetts. Mike has been performing since the mid 90s at venues across the US and in Europe, including Fylkingen in Stockholm, Sweden; Instants Chavirés in Paris; Café OTO in London; Experimental Intermedia and ISSUE Project Room in New York City; The Philadelphi…
 
Today, on what happens to be Veteran’s Day in the US, I’m honored to be talking to a Vietnam Veteran and guitar teacher for a non-profit organization that aims to brighten the lives of veterans who suffer from physical and mental wounds from their times of service. You’ll hear about how their mission is shaped by those they serve, how they raise fu…
 
Luke Stewart is a DC/NYC-based musician and organizer of important musical presentations and has a strong presence in the national and international Improvised Music community. He was profiled in the Washington Post in early 2017 as “holding down the jazz scene,” selected as “Best Musical Omnivore” in the Washington City Paper’s 2017 “Best of DC,” …
 
Daniel Spreadbury is the Product Marketing Manager for Steinberg’s professional scoring application Dorico. Before joining Steinberg, Daniel and many members of the Dorico team worked for many years on the Sibelius music notation software. We discuss the innovative approach Dorico takes to user interface, how Adobe Lightroom influenced the initial …
 
As I prep and schedule this podcast episode, it’s still October, but if you listen to it on the day it comes out, it’s the day after the presidential election in the U.S. It’s been quite a year. Stress levels have been high. And I thought we might just need a little humor this week. So I’m rebroadcasting an episode I aired back in April. I’ve got t…
 
Nicholas Walker faced a vastly different school environment upon returning from his sabbatical from Ithaca College this fall, and he has found several innovative ways to use online teaching to enhance the way he is working with his students. We chat about the four pedagogical components of his approach (fundamentals, performance, deliberate practic…
 
When Gary Karr reached out to me asking about a piece of software named JackTrip, I was determined to learn more about it and share my findings with the bass community. I soon found myself on the Networked Music Performance Resources page of UV Irvine professor Michael Dessen, and soon thereafter I found myself on a call with Michael and his longti…
 
We cover a range of topics in today’s episode: everything from branding and marketing, to starting a new studio in a new state, to building a business model that prioritizes flexible time and passive income. Allie talks about how a year of traveling and living in a van gave her clarity on her values as a teacher and entrepreneur and how she gradual…
 
When Gary Karr reached out to me asking about a piece of software named JackTrip, I was determined to learn more about it and share my findings with the bass community. I soon found myself on the Networked Music Performance Resources page of UV Irvine professor Michael Dessen, and soon thereafter I found myself on a call with Michael and his longti…
 
Jason Haaheim, principal timpanist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, joins us again on this episode to dig into one specific topic: What’s the value of music school? Instead of going to music school, Jason got a PhD and worked for 10 years as an engineer and researcher for a Chicago-based nanotechnology startup. During this time, he used princip…
 
Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been talking about fiscal sponsorship as a way of launching a foundation or community-oriented project without having to set up an official non-profit organization. Today we’re shifting gears and I’m interviewing the executive director of a more traditional 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. This foundation has …
 
Zach Finkelstein and Dana Lynne Varga turned a lot of heads earlier this year with their co-authored article An Impossible Choice: Music Majors, COVID-19, and an Uncertain Future. We dig into this complicated topic, plus the unique challenges vocalists face in their career, the concept of a correlating career, the pitfalls of Young Artist Programs,…
 
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