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As A Musician, What Can I Learn From Taylor Swift?

Taylor Swift is a highly successful and influential musician, and there are several lessons that aspiring musicians can learn from her career.


Taylor Swift what can I learn


Song Writing Craftsmanship


Taylor Swift is renowned for her song writing skills. She often writes about personal experiences and emotions, creating relatable and heartfelt songs. Musicians can learn the importance of honing their song writing craft, expressing authenticity in their lyrics, and connecting with their audience on a personal level. If you are an instrumentalist, you can carefully select the repertoire to be performed so it will ring true with the audience. Finding a good balance for a recital programme means including a mix of styles and showing your best off with every piece.


Adaptability Across Genres


Taylor Swift has successfully transitioned across different music genres, starting with country and expanding into pop. Musicians can learn the value of adaptability and the willingness to experiment with different styles to reach diverse audiences. Many instrumentalists perform the same pieces over and over. While this can bring flawless, confident performances, it can be boring for those who hear you a lot and not allow you to reach a higher musical potential. Always be ready to adapt and try something new.


Fan Engagement and Connection


Swift is known for her strong connection with her fans. Musicians can learn the importance of engaging with their audience through social media, fan events, and other platforms, fostering a sense of community and loyalty. Even amateur musicians or ensembles need to get themselves heard; it is no fun if there is not much of an audience. Create posters or flyers for your shows and search for new places online where you can share details of your musical events.


Business Savvy


Taylor Swift has demonstrated business acumen by negotiating favourable deals, including ownership of her master recordings. Musicians can learn about the business side of the industry, including rights management, contracts, and financial planning. Are you already doing something as a musician that you could start to offer the wider world? It could be blogging, writing an E-book, online teaching or coaching, setting up music curriculums for schools, training teachers, composing music and many other things. You could get set up quickly and start earning some extra money by providing a service to those that need it.


Control Over Artistic Direction


Swift has actively participated in the creative process of her music, music videos, and overall brand. Musicians can learn the importance of having a say in their artistic direction and maintaining creative control. In most cases musicians are told what to play or do. Even from a teaching point of view there is usually a curriculum you have to follow or a parent who wants their child to go in a specific musical direction. Once you have demonstrated your expertise, never be afraid to have your say if you think there is a better way of doing something.


Adapting to Technological Changes


Swift has effectively adapted to the changing landscape of the music industry, including streaming services. Musicians can learn to embrace new technologies, use digital platforms to their advantage, and navigate the evolving music landscape. Something that surprises me is why more musicians don't have their own websites. It is very easy to set up and maintain and is really fun to learn how to do it.


Brand Building


Taylor Swift has built a strong and recognisable brand around her music and personal image. Musicians can learn the importance of consistent branding, both visually and thematically, to create a cohesive and memorable identity. This is an area that classical musicians shy away from because they do not think it is needed. Even if you personally do not want to have a brand, it is always a good idea to find companies that you can work with to endorse their products. Lots of instrument manufacturers like to do this because it helps them promote their products.


Professionalism and Work Ethic


Swift is known for her professionalism and work ethic. Musicians can learn from her commitment to delivering high-quality performances, respecting collaborators, and maintaining a strong work ethic in the industry. In my past blog post about resolutions, I outlined the importance of performance practice, check it out right here.


Advocacy for Artists' Rights


Swift has been an advocate for artists' rights, particularly regarding compensation and ownership of their work. Musicians can learn about the importance of understanding and advocating for their rights in the industry.


Handling Public Scrutiny


Swift has experienced intense public scrutiny throughout her career. Musicians can learn from her ability to handle criticism, maintain composure in the public eye, and use challenges as opportunities for growth. In the world of brass bands for example, in recent years there has been much more media coverage. Events are often live-streamed around the world and while this is brilliant, it also opens up the door for the general public to criticise what they see and hear.


Remember that every artist's journey is unique, and while there are valuable lessons to be learned from successful musicians like Taylor Swift, it's essential to stay true to your own voice and vision as an artist.



Good Luck! ❤



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Mark Glover

24/12/23

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