Saturday, September 20, 2008

Blogging - A Long-Term Payoff?

An interesting thing has been happening lately - I am getting new students from my community as a result of this blog! Finally, after about a year and half of online existence, the site is paying me back in new student income. Since the middle of summer I now have three new regular students, all of whom found me via the internet. I am also finding that more people are inquiring about lessons (many through my profile at

I suppose I am writing this to help encourage others to start or continue to blog if it means to be an investment in your business. Now I realize that many folks blog for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is just the pleasure of writing about favorite topics. My main purpose at first was to establish an online presence and then just see what might happen. But after I started, it dawned on me that it might be helpful in actually building my own studio.

To be truthful, I was a little disappointed after the first year (I started the blog in the winter of 2007) - not one new student followed through! But it seems that now a longer-term payoff is beginning, even though I am not blogging as regularly as I have in the past.

It is easy sometimes to forget that a blog is also a larger body of work - not just an engine that always needs to produce something "new". It's clear to me that the more important element is the larger base of content that a blog can provide. That's what my new students (or parents) told me - they were able to get a better sense of what kind of teacher (and person) I might be from fishing around on the site.

So even if you're fretting about not having the time or energy to blog consistently, keep in mind that people will still look at the material you have posted in the past. There seems to be a slightly irrational reasoning in the blogosphere that you must absolutely post every day or else risk losing readership. This isn't necessarily true. For me, what's interesting is that I am getting increased business during a time when I've been actually posting LESS. This might just be a coincidence, but it definitely has made me question the "need" to post something new every other day in order to gain more business.

Could this be an excuse for laziness? Perhaps. But it is nice to know that the blog can keep working for you even if you're not nursing it every day. Go ahead and start that site you've always wanted to have - it may take some time for the investment to return something, but that's not a bad thing!

I'd certainly be interested in readers' thoughts on this. Please feel free to share your own experiences with blogging and business.

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Fundraiser for Antioch College

A fundraiser in support of the revival of Antioch College, which is currently shuttered, will be held at the Know Theatre in Cincinnati on September 12. This educational institution, located in beautiful Yellow Springs, Ohio, was closed in June of 2007 by its Board of Trustees due to high deficits and increasingly low enrollment.

Antioch College is not just another small-town liberal arts college. Ever heard of Coretta Scott King, Stephen Jay Gould, and Rod Serling? They are just some of the noteworthy alumni who pursued an education at Antioch. I am not an alumnus, but since I am involved with education it is never a good feeling for me when a school goes dark. Therefore I certainly support the (hopefully sustainable) efforts to revive the college.

For more information about this event (which is alumni-driven) please see the article at Antiochans Chapters. (PDF of the event flyer.)

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Online Audio of Beaux Arts Final Concert

The chamber music institution known as the Beaux Arts Trio (pianist Menahem Pressler, violinist Daniel Hope, and cellist Antonio Meneses) has performed their final US concert this past month. Pressler has been the mainstay of this group for just a mere 53 years! He is now 84 and, well, I certainly can't blame him for wanting to calm down in the touring and performance department.

American Public Media's Performance Today has audio clips available (plus a direct link to an iTunes podcast) of their final concert at Tanglewood, Massachussetts on August 21, 2008. I've no idea how long the audio will be available for free, but be sure to catch it before it disappears. The recording is refreshingly unedited and truly "feels" like a live concert. They perform the two gigantic Schubert piano trios, Op. 99 and 100. (To get directly to the performance, skip the announcer's intro of about 7 minutes.)

Since it is Labor Day here in the US, I think it is appropriate that I tip my hat to Menahem Pressler for his more than half-century dedication to the art and trade of chamber music performance. I can only hope that I can play chamber music for as long.

Thanks to Brad Robideau at APM for emailing me about this important event.

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