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Erin Fortune of Music For All


I was lucky enough to attend the Parent/Booster Institute at the Music for All Summer Symposium this year at Ball State University. I showed up a bit early, hoping to talk with a few of the people who make Music for All tick, and whose secrets we might steal to be able to apply to our own music programs.

Erin Fortune is the Senior Marketing Coordinator for Music for All. She spearheads a lot of their digital marketing efforts, so I knew she’d have some tips and tricks to share. Check out some of the highlights here, and find out how you can win a $30 gift card to Erin Condren to snap up one of Erin Fortune’s favorite products!

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Facebook page tip: Reduce friction to make it easy to do business with you!

I was cruising Facebook today, and came across this:

ice cream hours aatna

A few thoughts:

  1. She wants to buy from a small local business? Cool!
  2. He called to find out their hours for her? That’s really kind!
  3. Their Facebook page didn’t list the hours for BOTH locations?!?
  4. Their website doesn’t list the hours, either?
  5. They didn’t even mention National Ice Cream Day in a Facebook post? THAT’S a missed opportunity.

Had this kind samaritan not picked up the phone so that he could post the answer for her, the ice cream shop probably would have lost a sale.

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Podcast: Promoting Your Music Program


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I’m proud to announce that I’m launching a new podcast called Promoting Your Music Program! This episode is a taste of what’s to come. I hope you enjoy it and find it useful! Look for new episodes every Wednesday, beginning July 30, 2014.

This podcast will help music educators, parents and boosters work smarter, not harder using the same methods that marketing professionals use so that you can take your music program to the next level. If you’re looking to increase participation in and awareness of your music program so you can reach more students and improve their music education experience, you are in the right place!

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9 Ways to Entice More Volunteers, Backed by Science

Originally published here.

One of the questions I got most frequently at the Association of Music Parents was “How can we get more people to volunteer?”

I totally understand why! So often it feels like the same small core of people always does the heavy lifting for the organization. By putting some forethought into recruiting volunteers, and perhaps building some of these ideas into your yearly calendar, your organization can reap the benefits for months and years to come.

Make a great first impression.

Be intentional about designing an opportunity to engage with new parents. Many organizations just expect parents to turn up, without intentionally inviting or encouraging them. Specifically plan an event to meet new parents, and put your best foot forward!

And don’t forget that almost ANYTHING your organization does, whether it’s a fundraiser, a parade, or taking your kid’s uniform to the cleaners, may be SOMEONE’S first impression of the organization.

“The findings indicate that getting off on the wrong foot has devastating long-term consequences. Although later breaches seemed to limit cooperation for only a short time, they still planted a seed of distrust that surfaced in the end.”

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What is Music?

“Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend.”
— Ludwig van Beethoven

“Music is the pleasure the human soul experiences from counting without being aware that it is counting.”
 Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646-1716), German mathematician and philosopherwho co-discovered calculus

music wine cup of silence“Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence.”
― Robert Fripp

“Music: what a powerful instrument, what a mighty weapon!”
― Maria von Trapp

“Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies.”
 Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

“Music is the strongest form of magic.”
— Marilyn Manson

“Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.”
— Ludwig van Beethoven

“Music is my religion.”
— Jimi Hendrix

“Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.”
— Martin Luther

“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.”
— Billy Joel

“Music is everybody’s possession. It’s only publishers who think that people own it.”
— John Lennon

“If music be the food of love, play on.”
— William Shakespeare

“Music…this is the favorite passion of my soul.”
— Thomas Jefferson

SONY DSC“Music has always been a matter of Energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel. I have always needed Fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.”
― Hunter S. Thompson

“Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.”
― Keith Richards

“Music is the shorthand of emotion.”
― Leo Tolstoy

“Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.”
— Plato

“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”
― Maya Angelou

“Life is for the living.
Death is for the dead.
Let life be like music.
And death a note unsaid.”
― Langston Hughes

“I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs, my kidneys, my liver, my heart. Like my blood. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me—like food or water.”
— Ray Charles


“Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.”
— Martin Luther

“Folk music is the original melody of man; it is the musical mirror of the world.”
— Friedrich Nietzsche

“Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory.”
— Oscar Wilde

“Music, in performance, is a type of sculpture. The air in the performance is sculpted into something.”
— Frank Zappa


Music-is-the-movement-plato orange“Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.”
— Plato

“Music is well said to be the speech of angels.”
— Thomas Carlyle

“Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.”
― Maria von Trapp

“Jazz is the music of the body. The breath comes through brass. It is the body’s breath, and the strings’ wails and moans are echoes of the body’s music. It is the body’s vibrations which ripple from the fingers. And the mystery of the withheld theme, known to jazz musicians alone, is like the mystery of our secret life. We give to others only peripheral improvisations.”
— Anaïs Nin

“Music to me is like breathing. I don’t get tired of breathing, I don’t get tired of music.”
— Ray Charles

“Music is at once the most wonderful, the most alive of all the arts— it is the most abstract, the most perfect, the most pure— and the most sensual. I listen with my body and it is my body that aches in response to the passion and pathos embodied in this music.”
— Susan Sontag

“You are the music while the music lasts.”
T. S. Eliot

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You’re Shooting Yourself in the Foot if You’re Not Creating an Email List

I talk to too many people who think that if their organization is “on Facebook,” it’s enough.

It’s not. Especially these days.

If you’re doing it right, marketing is a public service. You have something deeply valuable to share with the world. If you don’t spread that information to the people who need it, you’re doing them a disservice.

Facebook is a great way to start. But that’s not where you should stop.

In the internet age, the commodity that’s really valuable is attention. Tweet that! 

Think about it: people are crazy busy. In addition to their work, they’re pulled in so many directions: family, friends, entertainment. That’s before we even mention online distractions: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. People’s smartphones are constantly ringing, pinging and vibrating with one more notification hustling for their attention.

New email!

Use my app!

Play my game!

Reply to my tweet!

New blog post!

Someone replied to your Facebook post!

It’s overwhelming.

But one medium remains top-of-mind for most people: 91% of consumers check their email daily.

If you’re not in your customer’s inboxes, you’re leaving a lot on the table.

4,300% of your efforts, to be exact.

email list buildingGetting and keeping people’s attention is a challenge. If you’re not using email—arguably the most powerful tool in your arsenal—you’re not doing enough.

Think about it: with email, you don’t have to rely on Facebook’s algorithms to deliver your message, or on your customers remembering to stop by your website. Your message arrives directly in their inbox because they’ve specifically asked to hear from you.

A few tips:

Capture email addresses—ETHICALLY.

Don’t scrape emails from a Chamber of Commerce list, or add anyone who hands you a business card. If they didn’t specifically sign up for your email list, that makes your emails spam. That makes you a SPAMMER. #ewwww

Use those email addresses. Regularly.

Just seeing your name in their inbox will remind people that you exist. You never know when being top of mind might result in a sale or donation!

When they open the email, make them remember why they like you!

Instead of delivering a message that reads like a laundry list of things that YOU NEED people to know, put yourself in your customers’ shoes.

Which emails do you click on every time? I’ll bet that they’re the ones that deliver something of value to you, every time.

For every organization, that may be something different. Maybe it’s a round-up of news about your industry. It might be your latest blog post sharing valuable information. It might be a story: an inspiring success story, a funny story. It could be a behind-the-scenes peek that makes your customers know you, like you, and trust you all the more. Maybe it’s a free resource that makes their lives easier. Shake it up, and see what your people respond to.

Bonus tip: Email everyone on your email list. Personally. One by one.

I can’t take credit for this one. I got this from the amazing Jenny Shih.

Ultimately, people will do business with people they know, like, and trust. Personally reaching out with a one-to-one email is a great way to build a relationship with your subscribers. Here’s the thing, though—it’s GOT to be authentic. People can sense when you’re being smarmy, salesy, and just doing it for the money. You’ve got to want to serve your people, and let that shine through when you communicate with them, whichever medium you’re using.

Even if no action comes of your emails, at the very least you’re getting people’s eyeballs on your name, and hopefully getting a percentage of their attention.

While one email from you may not do the trick, be patient. When you’re building relationships, there’s no finish line.


Derek Halpern of Social Triggers on why you might be an idiot.

My email provider of choice: MailChimp.

18 Email Marketing Stats That’ll Make You Better at Your Job

Simple Inbound Business Mantras to Memorize and Live By

scott marsha kath at CA adv copy

Changing of the Guard at AMP

 Cross-posted here.

Though I’ve really enjoyed my time as AMP’s Social Media Manager, it’s with a heavy heart that I announce my departure from AMP for new ventures.

I’ll still be active in music ed & arts advocacy and marketing (although really, isn’t advocacy and marketing one and the same?), and you can still follow my personal accounts on pretty much every social network ever created, and at Email me anytime at So I’m really not “going” anywhere. :) Keep an eye out for new stuff from me. #hinthint 

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Can’t-Miss Podcasts

Podcasts are one of my favorite ways to consume content. I am a voracious reader, and one of my strengths is input. I thrive on consuming interesting information. Sometimes, due to logistics or safety, I can’t pick up a book or scan a screen. When that happens, I whip out my earbuds and click on one of these podcasts. High quality content streams into my ears. Life is good.

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Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered: Facebook group notifications

Asked and Answered is a new regular feature where I answer your questions! Got a question? Ask in the comments! This week, we cover Facebook group notifications.

A Facebook friend posted this today:

Q. Can someone tell me how to turn off email notifications from all the different groups that I belong to? Thanks.

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