Every professional or aspiring professional music teacher needs a well crafted bio. Your personal bio is your way of introducing yourself to new students, fans, and music industry types in a way that puts your best foot forward. Here are some very important concepts to keep in mind as you craft your own bio.
Target Your Audience
Before you begin your bio make sure you have a clear idea of who your main audience will be. What details will the people who are interested in your talent and music instruction want to know about you? This should frame how you go about writing your personal bio statement. Always keep this in mind as you write. Who is my target market? As an example: If I were a music teacher trying to market my lessons toward aspiring singer/songwriters I’d make sure that I mentioned my extensive knowledge of Beatles tunes, James Taylor songs, or John Mayer songs etc. In addition, I’d also mention whether I’d played on any albums released or performed in any local venues….
Here’s another example: What if I was trying to market toward students who were trying to perform at church? You’d make sure to mention in your bio the “x” number of years you have been a church musician, your extensive knowledge of hymns, or that you own a huge collection of praise and worship sheet music.
The overall point is to make sure you craft your bio’s message specifically toward your clients. In my case 85% of my students study Jazz, Blues, or Rock. So, I make sure to emphasize in my bio the extensive touring I’ve done in those styles.
Fundamentals of Creating a Bio
Here’s a basic design of how a bio can be setup. Your first paragraph should state exactly what you do and who you are. Don’t be afraid to sell yourself a bit but make it clear. Of course you should never consider lying or fabricating your bio. At the same time you don’t have to be bashful. Modesty is a beautiful thing but it doesn’t come across as well in print.
Your next paragraphs can talk about some of the places you’ve taught, the # of years you’ve been teaching, people you have played with and/or places you have played.
One additional idea is to use the “like” concept of associating with popular brand names. For example, do you teach on Yamaha Pianos? Do you use Dean Markley Strings in your guitar studio? Do you teach on Pearl Drums? etc. etc. Have you performed at some common music venues that people have heard of? List those in your bio if you have played there. Even put churches on there if you’d like.
Limited Performance or Teaching Experience?
So, here’s a common question that often comes up. What should I do if I don’t have much of a resume or a lot of professional experience? Your personal education can substitute in the beginning. List some of the people that you have studied with. For example, I wrote in a early version of my resume, “While at Berklee, Steve was mentored by world renowned Hammond B-3 virtuoso Bruce Katz.” At that early stage in my career I didn’t really have a lot of professional experience and so I put details like that all through my bio.
If you’re self taught and haven’t really done the education thing you’ll still use a similar concept. List some of the local groups or music events you’ve been involved with. I think the most important concept is to show you’ve had some musical experience.
Keeping Your Bio Fresh and Up To Date
Last concept I want to discuss is updating your bio. As the years pass you’ll be more experienced. You’ll want to slowly replace your education and local/ semi-professional groups in your resume with student success stories and potentially bigger performance names. This will allow you to keep your bio shorter and more focused. It will also be more impressive.
As an example, it would be a wonderful idea to mention in your bio if a student you’ve taught gets accepted into music school, graduates, or even performs regularly. Have your students won any awards? Have you been recognized in the community? Any notable student success or personal success can be brought into your bio. If you’ve only been teaching for 3 years I wouldn’t necessarily list that in my bio but I surely would if I had been teaching for 10+ years.
Finally, keep your bio about a page long. If you have a really powerful resume then you can stretch it a bit farther but a page is a good benchmark.
If you are interested here is a link to my bio page as a reference www.stevenixonmusic.net/bio
Thank you so much for taking time to read my first blog post for Music Teachers Helper. Please let me know if you have any questions. Also, feel free to share any other ideas you have for bio content. Cheers!!