Music Websites

Getting the Hang of Affiliate Programs

My post-blog migration clean-up is still ongoing. It's amazing how many dead links I've been discovering or missing video links. Updating every single blog post I've made since 2005 is a HUGE undertaking. However, in addition to it being a fun trip down memory lane, it has been a great opportunity to explore affiliate marketing.

As I mentioned in an earlier in Sheet Music Plus and Passive Income Streams, I've waded into the pool of affiliate marketing. Simply put, whenever I review or recommend a product, as an affiliate or associate, I get my own personal URL to that product. I don't believe in endorsing products I'm not keen on, so I will share with you materials that either my students, fellow teachers and I have found useful. Or in the case of album reviews, my aim is to introduce you to music you may not be familiar with and to promote local musicians.

Hopefully, you find them useful, or at least intriguing. If you do, then click on the link and then order away. Yes, affiliate marketers get a small commission for each completed sale. However, that all adds up in the long run.

One thing I have noticed as I clean up and update my blog posts is that there's an open field of opportunity. Each time I share a great performance with my students and readers or each time I reflect upon interesting pieces, I can share with you a link to make it easier for you to hunt down the music. It's a win-win situation.

How has it been working? Well, as with any passive income stream, it takes time to build and I've only been at it for a couple of weeks. However, I'm pleased to report that at least two people have purchased music I recommended just this week via sheetmusicplus.com .

I leave you with a funny blog post that I updated this morning, called "Angry Piano Music". I had a good chuckle remembering my female students who came in a string, asking specifically for "angry music" to play. It was a huge stress reliever for them!

Music Blogs Worth Checking Out

Now that I've successfully migrated my blogs from Blogspot to Wordpress, my hands are full with cleaning posts up from the back-end - checking and updating links, tags and the like - before I can get back to the happy task of writing music reviews, interviews with fellow musicians and feature articles. In the meantime, please check out these music blogs which will keep you updated on upcoming music events in your area:

Do you have any music blogs that you like to check out? Please share them!

Make a Playlist for Music Teachers and Students

When I was preparing for my ARCT examination in Piano Performance through the Royal Conservatory of Music, I had a "normal" office job. Often, I brought my practice binder to work to squeeze in a few minutes of score study at lunch time. However, the one thing that really helped me practice away from the piano was listening to my RCM CD's as I worked. Now it's so easy for music students and music teachers to listen to various performances of the repertoire they are working on. In fact, I created music playlists on my Youtube Channel so that I can listen to what my students are working on. I've shared the link with their families so that they too can listen/watch. It's a win-win situation. Now only do they get to listen to a variety of performances that I've screened for them (saving them search time), but they get exposed to a wider range of music as they listen to what their peers are working on. It's all about squeezing in music appreciation any chance you can get.

As for me, I get to listen to them as I get some office work done. Somedays, I'll catch something I've never noticed before and make a note to focus on a particular section during a lesson. Youtube, Vimeo, Soundcloud and all the other media sharing sites are wonderful music teaching resources. Here's what I'm listening to right this minute: It's a great way to practice piano (or to practice any musical instrument) - away from the practice room.

Website Migration and Cross-Posting

Maintaining and updating your music studio website is one thing that should be done regularly. After all, search engines, love dynamic pages. However, how many music teachers have a lot of time to spend on their website? Not I, and although I learned Dreamweaver at my last "regular" job, I feel that website design technology has advanced far beyond what I was taught at my basic "Introduction to Dreamweaver" class. Although, I do know some HTML code, I cannot, for the life of me, get my brain around CSS. I'm sure, with time, I'd get it, but back to my original question, "How many music teachers have a lot of time to spend on their website?" That's when I started blogging. At least, that way, some pages on my site would get updated. However, I am challenged to update even my blogs regularly. My latest experiment is to ask several fellow word-savvy music teachers to contribute to my Musings at Musespeak and Busted Piano String blogs. We'll do some cross-posting on each other's blogs, thereby injecting new life to each other's sites, and share new ideas with a larger audience. Stay tuned for some guest posts. Back to my website. I will be migrating my website to Wordpress with the hopes that simplicity with lead to website optimization. Well I will be, once I'm done watching all Wordpress tutorials published by fellow music teacher and web guru Robert Vimer.

Setting up the Studio Computer Lab

Students can improve their note reading, ear training and more on the computer,  Photo by R-M Arca.

Technology and music is a huge area for growth as far as music teaching goes. I recently transformed my old office laptop into a music computer lab.
I downloaded various cool (and free) apps from Ubuntu's software center, including:
  • Audacity
  • Linthesia
  • Score Reading Trainer
  • GNU Denemo
  • GNU Solfege
  • Hydrogen Drum Machine
  • Linux Multimedia Studio
  • Virtual Midi Piano Keyboard
  • Musescore
Generally, I zoomed in on apps that help students with note reading practice, ear training and rhythm work. The music notation software and audio recording software is to give them something fun to create.
One student was tickled pink that he earned three Maestro Bucks for creating a funky drum loop (and tutored his sister on how to use the program).