Why you should be promoting your career now – an agent advises.

2020 has not been a good year for those of us in the classical music business and, as we approach the end of our second lockdown, it is understandable that a lot of us are feeling weary and discouraged.

However, you may be surprised to hear that our advice is now is the perfect time to put yourself back out there and start seeking out those future performance opportunities that have been in such short supply.

At Polyphony Arts we are already seeing an uptick in bookings for our clients; music societies, festivals and other venues are starting to think about programming again as performances once again seem possible, and the news about successful vaccines for Covid-19 has done much to lift everyone’s spirits.

There is hope, but we want to see you turn any new-found optimism into actual bookings. And now is the best possible time to start working on precisely that.

So, even if we are still in lockdown, what can you be doing now to build your career as we leave 2020 and head for 2021 and beyond?

First of all, you need a good mindset. Although it may not feel like it, your career is still active and needs your attention more than ever!

We know that things will never go back to exactly how they were before, but that may be no bad thing. Right now promoters are more understanding than they have ever been of how difficult and frustrating it can be for musicians trying to promote themselves. The people who can give you work actively want to help you. That’s a really important message to hold onto.

But before you start sending out information about yourself, take stock of every aspect of how you go about promoting yourself:

  • Is your CV up-to-date?
  • Maybe you have done some interesting work during the pandemic performing online or working on a particular project at home – have you included that?
  • Do you have a full list of all your online recordings with the right links?
  • How good is your network?
  • Are there more connections you have made online over the past nine months that you can maybe leverage now?
  • How do you describe yourself now?
  • How do you think about yourself as a musician?

This last question is a really important one because unless you have a healthy and positive view of yourself, you are not going to be able to project a positive image to the promoters you hope will book you.

If you have an agent, then they will help you with a lot of that, but if you don’t, there are still resources out there to help you.

We have designed a number of packages which you can access to help you with all these aspects of managing and developing a successful career whether that is professional coaching, materials to help you become your own agent, or even a simple module on how to write the perfect pitch.

And, with Christmas on the horizon, any of these would make a terrific gift from your nearest and dearest  – after all, they’re the ones who have always been your biggest supporters.

Our message to you is: stay positive, be adaptable, take this time to review where you are, and reach towards a brighter future where you can and will perform again.

Lockdown 2 – musicians, how we can help you

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the concert hall… Lockdown 2 💥

A picture of sheet music with the caption: "Lockdown 2: How we can help musicians"

Musicians everywhere are feeling the effects of the Covid pandemic and some of you have been out on the street (by which we mean Parliament Square) demonstrating with live music to let the Chancellor know that the arts are a vibrant part of the economy and deserve support.

At Polyphony Arts we have been closely following the implications of Covid for the industry at every step, and we have developed (and are constantly expanding) a suite of resources to help classical musicians help themselves and find support in these trying times.

Your first port of call is to our dedicated Covid-19 resource bank, which has all our resources in one place.

Following the success of our live chats on Facebook during the first lockdown, we have now launched our own podcast: Music Works. We are pleased to say we already have 14 episodes out there covering topics from business mindset as a musician to finding opportunities in challenging times to sexism in the music industry. Our speakers include composer, Ella Jarman-Pinto, Anna Ouspenskaya of Virtual Concert Halls and Naomi Pohl, Deputy General Secretary of the Musicians’ Union. You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Podbean.

Do please subscribe and leave us a review!

We have also been putting our minds to other resources we have designed expressly to help musicians like you and we have developed a number of online courses, programmes and other support packages including gift cards for family and friends to tuck in your Christmas stocking.

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive all the latest news of what we are up to, news and advice on Covid and get advance notice of upcoming resources plus any offers we are able to share with our subscribers. (Spoiler alert – we have a very special offer announcement coming up this weekend, exclusively to our mailing list!)

Don’t let the Covid-19 lockdown hold you back – there is a way through this, and we can help you unlock it.

Finally – Our message to you all:

We know that the future can look bleak with so many cancellations. We know the industry will take time to recover. But we also know there will be a recovery, and you need to be at the forefront of this. Don’t allow negative stories to bring you down – surround yourself with people who are positive about the future of classical music. They are out there. We are out there. At Polyphony Arts we are here for you. This is our industry, our music, our passion, and we will fight for it together.