Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2008

Save Money when Binding Music Scores

In these hard economic times, many composers cannot afford the costs of having their scores professionally bound. At the local printshop, scores can cost anything from $5 to $25+ each, depending on size, paper quality, number of pages, graphics, etc.

I have saved myself literally thousands of dollars by learning how to print my own scores. With an initial investment of about $100 for a binding machine, coils, and paper, within the first month, I made back twice that amount of money. Not only is is great to save money, it is extremely convenient for creating last minute copies for submissions, forgetful musicians, interviews, etc. A binding machine is also great for grant proposals and job applications.

What you will need:

A Binding Machine
A standard manual comb binding machine, adjustable for letter-sized and up to 50 regular 24 lb. paper usually runs less than $100. There are extremely inexpensive hand punching models, but these are limited in that they only punch a limited number of pa…

Creative Inspiration: How to beat writer's block when creating a new music or visual work

Musical inspiration doesn't always come easily. There are days when you get a concussion from hitting a creative brick wall repeatedly or days when you look at the last month's worth of writing, hit DELETE, and start all over again.

Here are a few ways that I try to push the inspiration along.

Take a break.
Sometimes hitting the grind over and over only produces a lot of shlock. Instead, take a break from your music for an hour, a day, or even a week or so, and explore other avenues of creativity.

Get references.
Visual artists often have a scrapbook full of references (pictures and photos of people, buildings, plants, etc.) which they refer to as they are creating their latest masterpiece. For the piece I am composing right now for an upcoming Halloween concert, I bought a book of ghost stories, a CD of scary music and sounds, surfed You Tube for freaky videos, and went shopping at Goodwill for inspirational artifacts (like a super creepy painting of a Victorian era girl).


How to Apply for a Grant

In the perfect universe, musicians and artists would be paid a regular salary, just like an engineer or a teacher or the guy at Walmart that always smiles and says "Hello, welcome to Walmart".

There are various methods of funding your creative passions:

Sales of work
Music gigs and gallery shows
Winning contests
Rich parents
A day job
Commercializing your work

Working at a non-profit the last three years has given me some insight into grant writing. Here are some simple tips to help you fund your passion through grants.

10 Tips for Applying to a Grant

Don't limit yourself to music and art grants. Was your mom Italian? Were you in a college sorority or fraternity? What schools did you graduate from? Do you work with under-served populations? Do you write polkas, salsas, or ballet? Do you have a good story to tell? Make a list of every category you can possibly fit in.

Armed with your list, look for grants that you are eligi…