Economics & The Music Industry

A PopStar Wannabe.

One afternoon last week as we dawdled on home from school, via the ice cream shop of course, Miss Charlie and I were chatting about money – dollars and cents and it’s value. It was a perfectly logical conversation to be having, seeing as she’d just finished a big Unit of Work on money at school and given that she gets ample opportunity to implement its application each afternoon when paying for her purchases. I’ll usually give her a couple of dollars, and throw in a random 0.60c here or there, and she has to work out how much change she’ll get in return. It proves to be a rather educative exercise considering that she can never seem to settle on the one ice cream and so each day it’s a different one and a different price. Variety is the spice of life I guess.

On this particular occasion, Miss Charlie stumped me with a challenging request as she proudly pocketed the leftover change. And although I’m more than happy to contribute to her money-box savings, I did mention over in Find A Penny, Pick It Up that Miss Charlie is a cheeky little money thief with eyes like a magpie! Her question went like this:

“Can you please help me to write a song when we get home?”

Of course I can, we’ll get started on it right away. She has piano and violin lessons at my house, hence the interest in music and her turning to me for assistance

OK, yay! Actually, let’s go to your place. We’ll be able to use your big piano instead of my little pink one. It needs to be a really good song. How soon do you think we’ll have it finished? Should we make it rhyme? I’ve got some dance moves to go with it. Do you think we should make it a happy or sad song? We’re going to be rich! Referencing minor and major keys in terms of ‘happy’ and ‘sad’

Woah, slow down, hold your horses a second there Missy. Too many questions.

  • Firstly, why do you want to write this song?
  • Secondly, why is there a rush on it?
  • Thirdly, I totes like the sound of some matching dance moves!
  • Fourthly, what are we writing/singing about? That might determine how we feel when we’re writing and therefore whether it’s happy or sad.
  • And lastly, wait, what. We’re going to be rich?

Her answer:

Well because when I was with Mum and Dad we saw this amazing house that we like. But Dad said it was for sale for (AUD) $5 million and that it was a little too expensive for us to buy, even if I gave them my money-box savings. Bless her little generous heart! Although I wouldn’t be so quick to turn my nose up at her generosity, she’s got half of my money-box savings in hers, MAGPIE TREASURE STEALER!

So I was thinking about it and practising my music really hard this week and I decided that I would write a really good song to sell on iTunes and YouTube. I’d sell it for dollars (definitely not cents) and make millions! Then I’ll give it to Mum and Dad so we can buy that house. iTunes? YouTube? Sell music? Make millions? How on earth does she know about things like this, she’s six!

But I think I need your help to make it really good. It doesn’t have to be ‘wow’, it just needs to be catchy and light and loud so that people hear it and can’t get it out of their heads. How is it that at six-years-old, she’s subliminally caught on to everything that is wrong with our pop music industry?

OK Charlie. Couple of issues. Firstly, the industry is a pretty tough one to crack into first go (even if it does suck). Secondly, it’s going to take a while to make our millions, especially if illegal downloads are anything to go by. Thirdly, I’m really not that talented. Incredibly flattered, even if it is blind naivety, but a pop star in the making I am not. Sadly.

That being said, in the interest of being a good sport, I shall facilitate her request. So listen up y’all.. I am now taking suggestions as to how to be the next Katy Perry, or just replace the existing. Either works for me (did you catch her choke sing at the EMA’s? Unfortunately I did).

You can drop in an anonymous idea in the suggestion box (currently being used as a makeshift money-box) OR you can leave a comment below. We’ve got $5 million to make, better get writing. Oh and also, I promise to credit all royalties where due. Not a word of a lie. See, and this is why musicians don’t make any money.

Piano Lessons

– Anyone else blown away by the ideas of a six-year-old lately? I’ll say it again, iTunes? YouTube? Sell music to make money? It doesn’t need to be good, just catchy?!

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2 responses to “Economics & The Music Industry

  1. All I can say is that she knows the business! That one that it doesn’t need to be good is the greatest critic a 6 year old could make to how selling music really works.

    As my suggestions for this little entrepreneur… Just a piano won’t do, you will need a good microphone or a Piano you can plug to the computer (check for MIDI controllers at an online music instruments store).

    To post a video in Youtube you’ll need a camera or a smartphone so it’s not hard to get a video of her playing. BUT there you don’t sell, you just show the music.

    After you have your music recorded in decent quality it’s not hard or expensive to place it in online stores, check CDbaby.com or Tunecore.com

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