awards

In every form of art there is competition, or a need to prove something to the world, and maybe for some this is achieved by winning awards, going as far as to say winning a Grammy. But is this really that important? does it meassure how good an artist is or how popular? and how much has the standards for winning awards has have changed over the years.

Benefits of Winning Awards

One of the benefits of winning an award is that the winner gets money as a reward. This can be good because even though the money can be used for anything they want, it’s an obvious choice to use it as a way to push their musical career.

However this may just be something goode when it comes to a fairly new artist, in this case money is needed in order to start projects, video productions, tours, music equipment, and much more, but for an artist that is already very famous this may not be the goal.

Another good thing that can come out as a result of winning is of course more popularity and status in the industry. Again there is the fact that some musicians may benefit from this a lot more than others, still, it’s a guaranteed way to stay relevant.

Of course there is also the honor of winning the award. Some events such as the Grammys are considered to be one of the biggest awards in the industry and it certainly is a big moment for any musician.

The Grammys

The Grammy Awards had its first ceremony in 1959 and had 28 awards. As the years passed by the amount of awards increased due to more music genres being recognized such as rock in 1980 and rap in 1989.

In the year 2000 the first Latin Grammy awards were celebrated.

Nominations for the 2021 Grammy awards were announced recently and they include Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa, however one artist wasn’t nominated despite having the biggest selling album of 2020 in the US, The Weeknd.

He said in his twitter account:

“The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency.”

The head of the Recording Academy responded with:

awards

“We understand that The Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominated. I was surprised and can empathise with what he’s feeling,” said Harvey Mason Jr.

“Unfortunately, every year, there are fewer nominations than the number of deserving artists. To be clear, voting in all categories ended well before The Weeknd’s performance at the Super Bowl was announced, so in no way could it have affected the nomination process.”

It’s not the first time that the Grammys have been called out by artists, in 2016 Frank Ocean declined having his music in the Grammys by saying that: “doesn’t seem to be representing very well for people who come from where I come from, and hold down what I hold down.”

Drake also spoke against the awards by saying that the category in which he won, wasn’t the right one for the song which was the hit “Hotline Bling” and was attributed to Hip Hop.

On the other hand, Iggy Pop was finally recognized with an award by the grammys, by winning the lifetime awards.

When asked about it he said:

No. I was surprised. I was doing some voiceover work and was a little … grumpy already, and my manager said, “The head of the Grammys insists on speaking to you personally on the telephone.” I thought, “I don’t want to. Nothing good will come of it.” But as it turned out, that was a nice thing, and I was quite surprised. I thought, “Well, there must be a bit of a sea change going on.

Of course it’s hard to satisfy everyone but it’s also hard to deny the changes in the kind of artists the ceremony used to have in so little time.

It’s interesting to see how it affects different artists and how it may or may not influence in their career at the moment. Either way winning an award will have a lot of consecuences in a musicians career.

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As the time comes closer for teachers around the world to organize a Christmas or seasonal recital, it becomes imperative to have a strategy or plan in place.  In most cases, students look forward to their recitals, but the responsibility is on the teachers to make it the most enjoyable experience possible.  Over the next few weeks, I will be addressing several issues and giving suggestions.  I am open to comments, ideas, and requests for articles.

A few examples from my own studio…
We hold recitals 2x/year – one a few weeks before Christmas and another in the spring.  Both are required of all students and are a great way to inspire and motivate… everyone looks forward to it!
I make sure reminders are periodically sent by email or posted on my website for all families to see.

Communication is key.  About 2 weeks before the recital, I send a detailed explanation of what to expect, what to bring, and where to be.  ?

I started having students write a short autobiography to be printed in the program.  Some students draw, paint, or color themed pictures to be included on the cover or inside as original “clipart”.

Students are expected to arrive a minimum of 15 minutes early… to avoid the stress of “running late” and making it much easier on their teacher!  ?  They are required to bring their music – in my studio, students are not required to memorize their pieces (for various reasons to be covered later).  The families also bring a dish or dessert to share afterwards during the reception time.

After the performances, we have awards – I give each student a certificate for performing and another for participating in games online at www.musiclearningcommunity.com and another for student of the month awards (covering the months since our last recital).  Students also receive the certificates from the back of the method books they have passed or any exams passed.  The entire awards ceremony lasts from 5-15 minutes for 30 students.  They love the recognition of their hard work!

Employing volunteer parents to help with set-up and cleanup has lessened the load on my shoulders and is always greatly appreciated!  My family has been a wonderful help as well.

Prior to the recital, be sure to establish…

  • what the students should do upon arriving (check in with you, find a seat, do an activity)
  • where the students will be sitting (as a group or with parents)
  • who is invited to attend (family, friends, etc)… are invitations provided?
  • the cost & when it is due (students, attendees, etc) to cover the costs of rental, use of facilities, any other expenses related to the event
  • media (pictures, video, cell phones)… how do you wish to handle it? (when can pictures be taken?  Are families encouraged to take video and if so, where should they stand or sit as to be the least distracting?)
  • dress code (is this a casual or formal recital?)… what is acceptable and not?
  • volunteers for certain tasks

Suggested To-Do List…

  • Make Programs a day or two before the recital, but not too far in advance or changes will be inevitable and cause unnecessary frustration and stress
  • Make invitations for students – they love ones themed with pianos and music notes!  🙂
  • Verify venue and time – to avoid last minute surprises

These are all technical aspects of a recital, but more to come include…

  • how to deal with stage fright
  • ways to motivate and inspire through recitals… and when to give gifts to your students
  • ways to order students in a program… who goes first?  who finishes up?
  • recital themes
  • reasons for students sitting with parents vs. sitting as a group (I’ve tried both)
  • whether or not to hold any sort of rehearsal before-hand
  • recital etiquette
  • finding a booking a venue/location
  • establishing a day and time
  • refreshments
  • how to put together a program
  • copyright issues in media (making of DVDs or CDs)… recording and copying

Have a wonderful recital and remember to enjoy every moment.  Never forget the amazing memories you are creating in the lives of each of your students and the responsibility we all have to do everything in excellence.  Enjoy!

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