Tag Archives: Facebook

The flower of sanshin: san shin no hana 三線の花

At the annual Maui Okinawan Festival, I heard three youngsters announce the songs they would be dancing to. When one of them added “and this one is my favorite,” I took out my iPhone to record it and began my journey of discovering this famous song about the Okinawan instrument. Continue reading

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Filed under arrangement, audience, composer, composition, culture, instrument, photos, recording, research, review, sheet music, travel, venues, video

Online course about social media for educators

I’ve attended webinars. I’ve even organized online conferences and moderated presentations. But I’ve never participated as a student in an online class until yesterday evening. I’ve heard my colleagues talk about the challenges of giving an online class, but as a student, it was dead easy to participate.

…. please visit the new blog about this course at WED628  — as we meet Wednesdays from 6 to 8 pm HST !!

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Filed under audience, communication, economics, research, writing

Facebook happenings

One way to learn what’s happening in other people’s lives nowadays is through Facebook.

Half of my friends on Facebook are musicians. The other are non-musicians. Through Facebook, I learn which conservatory classmates have graduated, have given standing ovation concerts, and have moved to another country. About a third of my “Facebook friends” are people I’ve not actually had a conversation face to face.

Today I spotted a wedding photograph of a young man I’ve known since he was not even born. I’ve not known or been part of his life in the last 10 years or so.  Perhaps that’s why I was not invited to the wedding. After all, I was a friend of his father and late mother. How I miss her! There were times when I really wished she was here to give me advice.

I’ve been trying to get my parents to use Facebook so that they can follow what’s happening. They resist. It’s either too private or too time consuming. Secretly I think that they’d rather do the traditional interaction of face to face.

For me, Facebook is a stage. I populate it with photos, videos, and trains of thought. It’s also storage for memories along the timeline.

I believe there’s a saying that goes something like this: “it hasn’t happened until it’s been recorded.”

What better way to record, store, and share what you want to remember than to post it on Facebook?!? If you change your mind, you can always delete it.

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Twitter for musicians

When I got alerted to Brian Reinhart’s article “Music and Twitter” via twitter, I just had to tweet back that I intended to write a blog about it.

Not that I’ve become an expert at Twitter after over a year of tweeting — I joined the Twitter community like I did with Facebook and LinkedIn because I was curious and that I thought everyone else was doing it. The “kiasoo” nature in me pushed me to get a free Twitter account. Kiasoo means afraid to lose out in the Chinese Hokkien dialect.

I decided to follow those that I knew had a Twitter account. I tweeted this blog and everything else I thought was interesting. When others started following me, I reciprocated. It was flattering to get followers. After awhile, I couldn’t keep up. I no longer reciprocated.

I did not know the rules of Twitter, only that I wanted to make sure the number of people following me were more than the number I followed. In other words, I was still a performer — I wanted more people in the audience than on stage. I wanted to blast out my latest thoughts, concert reviews, future concerts, video clips, audio clips, and everything else that musicians use to get attention.

I thought of Twitter as a kind of broadcasting medium, the same way I initially thought of Facebook and blogging and websites.

Twitter is more than that.

When I started tweeting for Price Rubin & Partners, I noticed that tweeting was no longer a game or a personal experiment. There had to be a rhyme and reason to spending time online dreaming up messages and truncating them to the 140 character limit.

When tweeting on behalf of an organization, you are communicating the values of the group — not just yourself. You cannot be whimsical and say something as personal as “I had to pay an overdue fine for library books I didn’t get to read.”

I asked myself the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of having a Twitter account?
  • What is there to gain from the Twitter community?
  • What information do I want to know that I can’t get elsewhere?
  • What do I want to see when I sign in my Twitter account?
  • What kind of attention do I want to attract?
  • What kind of followers do I want to have?
  • What kind of messages should I send to attract those followers?
  • How often should I tweet — without the risk of being “unfollowed”?

In two weeks, I doubled the number of followers. The number that I’m following now is more than 6 times the number that’s following me. But this is not a numbers game.

It’s about relevance.

I want to deliver relevant content in a timely matter. And when I check my Twitter radar screen, I want to see my own “newspaper” of news, gossip, reviews, interviews, opportunities, etc from orchestras, opera companies, classical radio stations, performance art series, artists with interesting opinions, etc. If I see anything I’d like to share, I’ll retweet it.

I should think other Twitterers are doing the same. Maybe not. Maybe they are like me a year ago, still getting their egos rubbed and tweeting into a void of noise.

Useful advice and tips for musicians on how to use Twitter:

Any other good tips? Please LEAVE A REPLY on the comment section alone. Thanks in advance.

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Filed under articles, communication, concert, culture, economics

Holiday greetings: the personal e-mail

If you’re on a path like I am to declutter what burdens you physically and mentally and simplify your life but at the same time build your network and grow your relationships, you would be grateful to be receiving holiday greetings and gifts that help you along that journey.

The way we send seasons greetings has also evolved from offline to online — fewer cards by post and more e-cards and greetings by e-mail. Some have even skipped the e-mails altogether and gone to Facebook with one photo and tagging people to look at the photo and messages.

There was a time when Christmas meant the madness of shopping and wrapping up presents before the deadline of Santa Claus’ arrival. It depends on your age and stage in life, I guess. For me, the last week of the year has turned into a time of reflection, a time to count your blessings, and acknowledge those you are thankful for.

I’m grateful to be on the mailing list of friends who have many contacts and who send one universal greeting to show they care. Generic e-mails and photos (like the previous blog posts) and cleverly put-together images (such as a collage of photos) and well-written newsletters are some examples of these.

Once in a blue moon, I get a long e-mail that I know is one of a kind. It’s written to me and for me to read. It’s a gift I treasure greatly. I would like to write such an e-mail to my friends — every one of them will feel as special as I did when I got mine.

 

I was going to ask “how are you?” but you’re living in Hawaii so I’m assuming you’re loving life!  🙂   But really, I hope you’re doing well adjusting to your new surroundings…oh yeah…now there’s a tough adjustment!  Palm trees and ocean views!  Ha!  Anyway…I’m glad you’ve got time to relax and enjoy with all of the traveling and performing that you’ve been doing.

I’m sure you’re enjoying wonderful weather!  We are about to get hit with 16 inches of snow starting Saturday night!  We’ll see… I guess I better enjoy the full moon while it’s still visible, eh?

….

I enjoy reading your updates on FB and LinkedIn, and of course, seeing that gorgeous smiling face of yours in all of your pictures!

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Fundraise for a cause

My recent blogs about Maui Choral Arts fundraising for a matching donation and Denver-based Melissa Axel using Kickstarter to raise funds for her debut album had me thinking about the topic of fundraising.

In less than a week since its announcement, Maui Choral Arts has reached its target of $1,111 (i.e. before 11th Jan 2011) and will be matched by an anonymous donor.

Meanwhile Melissa Axel changed her target date to 2nd January 2011, to reach the goal of $7,000.

While Maui Choral Arts’ fund raising campaign announced at its recent concert (OFFLINE), Melissa Axel conducted hers online through her website, Kickstarter, Facebook, and other social network media.

In the book “Eat, Pray, Love” author Liz Gilbert used e-mail to raise capital to help a local medicine woman in Bali. She wrote to all her friends that’s what she wanted for her birthday, and she’d personally match whatever is raised. A friend of hers offered to double it. In a short period of time, she raised $18,000.

How are all these three examples similar?

1. They specify the cause they are raising money for. These are justifiable causes for survival.

2. The money has to be there BEFORE the goals can be reached. Maui Choral Arts needs money for its next season. Melissa Axel needs funding to record and release her debut album. Liz Gilbert’s Balinese friend needs money to buy a home.

3. The fundraisers ALREADY have a wide network of people, i.e. potential donors or friends of donors. The audience at Maui Choral Arts concert filled the church completely. The singers, instrumentalists, listeners, and others present had their own contacts. They could all be disciples of the fundraising cause if they wished. Melissa Axel invited more than 1,500 people on her Facebook event to join her fundraising campaign. Liz Gilbert used the power of her personal network to fulfill a personal wish.

4. The donors had compelling reasons to donate. If you want to hear another concert of Maui Choral Arts, you’d want to donate. If you want to obtain a recording of Melissa Axel, you’d want to donate. Put yourself in the shoes of the local medicine woman who needs a home of her own to raise her daughter and build a practice, you’d want to donate.

How are these three examples different?

Maui Choral Arts is based on Maui. It is a local cause, channeled through residents on the island. Melissa Axel, though based in Denver, cast her net wide — the Internet is global. Liz Gilbert’s cause was local but she sought donations from abroad, in fact, the other side of the world. None of her donors knew the recipient of her cause. But they were willing to contribute because of their connection to Liz.

How successful are benefit concerts in raising funds for a cause?

I recall my meeting with the late Jeroen Muller in May 2009. He had founded the non-profit “Disability Affairs” and asked me about getting musicians to do a benefit concert for the foundation. I was happy to help him but told him that musicians had to get paid. He was surprised about this, for he thought plenty of musicians (including conservatory students) would want to perform for free.

If so, why would my two music examples (Maui Choral Arts and Melissa Axel) require funding at all?

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Filed under audience, concert, economics, fundraising, planning