Written by Misha V. Stefanuk
Most of us believe that success stories of self-made men are not applicable in 2017. We like the stories from the past about millionaires who came from poor families and magically succeeded in business, scientists who came from country folk with 7 grades of education, artists who ended up at the Met without much training and so on. I believe that these stories however will be with us as long as we as humans strive for success and excellence. Even though it seems the doors are seldom open, the truth is, they never have been that open, or at least not marked as such.
Here is one of my stories, hope it would inspire you to go ahead with something you always wanted to do!
One of my favorite things to do is playing jazz on the piano. It is an unusual activity, while we read and play music written out by others, and just try to keep up with the sheet music, jazz is a very free art form where you get to make your own music just about all the time. Also, many musicians like jazz, and can not approach it, since there is not enough notated music, and they do not improvise. Also, many jazz piano celebrities are not represented well in notated music, at least publications are hard to find. So I decided to write an album of music in styles of jazz greats that will work for pianists looking for a spicy recital closing, or just something to play for fun.
For some reason, the idea that no one knows anything about me did not stop me. I think part of it was that I had nothing to loose; just my time. So I went ahead and wrote it. Now, as for distribution…
I used to go to music stores a lot, and play all sorts of random instruments and hope some day there will be money to buy them. Same stores sell sheet music. So, my thinking was, I need a publisher that will have books in the stores just like this one. So, I went to a pretty small shelf containing piano books, and copied the publisher’s addresses.
Next step was to write an introduction letter to a publisher, copy music and send it all out. Then waiting. Now, honestly, this was not the only time I have done this. I have sent a lot of music out, hoping someone will like it. And, I used to have an entire drawer of rejection letters, some very nice! But, in our business, it comes with the territory.
- Expect some projects to suceed, and don’t sweat the ones that don’t
- Work with material you really care about
- Always go all the way with the production
And here is the reason I said all this: I also had doubts that this way of approaching large companies is somewhat unorthodox, and it worked for me, more than once. You can do it too!
By the way, here is the link to the book: http://www.melbay.com/