How Do I “Make It” In the Music Business?

This is a common question that I hear on a regular basis. People are looking for a road map to success. The fact is, there is no road map, because “making it” means different things to different people. Of course, many artists think that being a mega-star is the only definition of “making it” and that anyone who is not a household name is unsuccessful. This simply is not true. There are many very successful singers and musicians who are virtually unknown to the general public, but they have a niche audience and they work all of the time, commanding high fees. These performers are often in the six-figure income category. A solid six-figure income would be considered successful in the eyes of most people. These performers are not earning the millions of dollars that mega-stars earn, but they are easily able to own a nice home, drive a nice car, build wealth, send their children to college, take great vacations and possibly own a second home. Their lives are very comfortable.

Being an entertainer should not be viewed as a lottery, where you win or you lose. Artists should be building sustainable businesses that will provide them the lifestyle that they want. This is a very simple formula. Anyone can do it!

Join us on October 13th to learn how you can create a music business that will provide you the lifestyle that you want!

ONLINE Huddle starting October 6th through December 8th . Join Dr. Greta Pope for this life-changing series of classes.

Register here!

Dr. Pope’s Online Huddle is a fantastic opportunity and the most worthy investment that an artist can make in him/herself. It is money extremely well spent. Thank you Dr. Pope!! Kudos!

Isaac Conner
The Colorful Raconteur

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Update on Business Savvy Singer Podcast Guest JOE STAMM (Episode 16)

Joe Stamm

Joe has a new song out. Read Joe’s statement below and then watch the Official Video of Pocketful of Quarters

In April 2020, Charlie’s wife and friends asked me to write a song. A song for Charlie. A song about Charlie. Charlie is a fan, turned friend, just like many of you. His favorite song is “Dandelion Woman,” he grins a lot, and he’s got the personality of a firecracker. He’s fierce in his pride, and his pride is in family, over-the-road trucking, and America.

When I sat down to write this song, I looked at his Facebook profile and I found this post:

“40 years of my life…did this many a night. I remember a simpler time. A time when you checked in twice a day with your girl and your dispatcher. A time when the CB radio and face-to-face was the only communication you had. A time when you had trust in your relationship, your friendships, and the driver sitting next to you at the diner counter.

“You had nothing but an atlas, and the word of a fellow trucker that ‘had been to that spot before.’ You had to have knowledge, skill, strength, and experience behind you to do the job. The lifeline was the CB or calling from a payphone. Just had to make sure you had enough quarters to finish the call.

“This career was not a job, it was a lifestyle. You didn’t do it for the paycheck. You did it for the proud status of being a TRUCKER. You did it to see AMERICA.

“We stand tall, roll hard, and glow with pride!”

On the morning of July 24, 2021, thirteen days before this song and video released, Charlie slipped away, ending his battle with cancer. But I don’t think he’s really gone. I think he’ll always be out there on them highways, faintly in the wind, or maybe sitting next to you at the diner.
One thing is certain – Charlie will always be #americastrucker

 “Pocketful of Quarters” is now streaming anywhere you get your music, and is the lead track on our record Midwest Town, available September 10, 2021)

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3 Effective Ways of Overcoming Stage Fright

Have you ever had stage fright? Performance anxiety? This is a problem for many performers and speakers and it often has kept artists from finding their true happiness as performers. There are many effective strategies for managing stage fright. I’ll share three here:

  1. Thoroughly prepare your material
    1. You should be so comfortable with your music/presentation that you could practically do it in your sleep. This will take away the fear of not remembering lyrics, forgetting how the song goes or flubbing your speech.
  2. Take several moments before you go onstage to “center” yourself.
    1. This is important to help you focus on the task at hand. What are the primary things that you need to remember for your performance/presentation? Don’t let your mind wander. Keep your eye on the ball.
    1. What is the mood of the room or audience? Should you be bringing high-energy or should you be more reposed to match… or change the mood of the room?
  3. Keep the audience and your service to the audience top of mind. The performance is not about you. It’s about what you can offer your audience. Remember that they are not there to be critical of you. Your audience wants to be entertained or educated. They want to have a good time.

Focus your attention on these and other techniques that you’ll learn and you’ll find that your anxieties will disappear. Join us in the ONLINE Huddle on October 6th to learn more techniques for overcoming your performance anxieties.

The ONLINE Huddle is a ten-week series of classes to help you make performing a lucrative part of your life. Whether you’re a professional entertainer or speaker or if being in front of an audience is an avocation for you. Increase your income by developing your skills. Join Dr. Greta Pope to learn how.

ONLINE Huddle October 6th – December 8th. Looking forward to seeing you in the “Huddle!”

Dr. Pope’s Wednesday night ONLINE Huddle classes are a great way to connect with others in the music industry while learning great information. Dr. Pope cares a lot about helping others reach their goals. No matter what level you’re at, joining the ONLINE Huddle is a hands-on way to grow in your knowledge of the music industry and challenge yourself to take the necessary steps toward success in your own career. I’m grateful to Dr. Pope for sharing her tips and experience with others pursuing music. The Wednesday ONLINE Huddle classes were a useful tool in my growth in the musi#2c business as I began to understand how to accomplish my own personal career goals.

Destiny Capri

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Meet Exceptional Young Singer Lance Avery

Lance Avery is an accomplished young singer, headed off to college as a freshman this fall. Lance has been a soloist with the prestigious Chicago Children’s Choir and has performed productions with the Merit School of Music. He shares interesting stories and has great advice for singers of all ages.

Follow Lance on Instagram and on Facebook

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Meet Mezzo-Soprano Laura Kimmel

Mezzo-soprano Laura Kimmel enjoys working with song writers and composers to bring varied and uplifting music to the world. She enjoys singing in recital, opera, theater and television.

In Tokyo, Japan Ms. Kimmel appeared in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra at Suntory Hall, in addition to various television programs there, and recorded “When You Wish Upon a Star” for a national television commercial for the NTT telephone company of Japan.

This exciting artist has portrayed Columbine in W.S. Gilbert’s Eyes and No Eyes, Stephano in Roméo and Juliette, the Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd, Mother Rigby in The Scarecrow, La Abuela in La Vida Breve, Flora in La Traviata, Melissa in Love Letters, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, The Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, Betty in Vinegar Tom, Miss Forsythe in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, and Beverly in The Shadow Box.

Additional appearances include alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Champaign Symphony Orchestra and Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the American Chamber Opera. At the National SEAMUS Conference, she was soloist in Sever Tipei’s Curses and was also a soloist in the Winter Gala of Opera Fort Collins in Colorado. She also directed Don Giovanni for the American Chamber Opera Company in Chicago.

Ms. Kimmel has considerable experience with Taishū engeki, a form of traditional Japanese theater, which she incorporates into her performing and directing styles.

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Meet Cheryl Renée

Cheryl Renée is a dynamic and extremely popular Blues bandleader, keyboardist, and song stylist. She has been dubbed “Goddess of the Blues” as she has traveled the world with her special brand of this wonderful American artform. Check out Cheryl Renée!

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Meet Producer Kevin Smith!

Chicago native, Kevin Smith is an American composer, arranger, producer, vocalist and keyboardist who is Chicago-based. He is a current member of the rhythm and blues band known as the Chicago Catz.

Kevin’s musical style is considered eclectic. Having been exposed to so many differing genres and styles, he likes to (when possible) mix it up stylistically. Most of the projects he has worked on are R&B oriented, but he appreciates the sophisticated harmonies of gospel, nice string arrangements and “rocked out” guitars whenever possible. The aspect of music Kevin likes best is the ability to express emotions vocally or instrumentally. He has a background in sound design and likes to employ sound effects as well as music to convey a feeling.

Kevin has arranged and produced music for some of the greats, including Charles Stepney, writer/producer for Earth Wind and Fire. Several episodes ago, we interviewed Charles Stepney’s daughter Eibur Stepney.

Kevin has also been an Arranger for Nancy Wilson, Peabo Bryson, Ashford and Simpson, Chuck Mangione…and more!

Listen to the full episode:

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ChiArts Student Triniti Cole Attends Interlochen Summer Camp!

Triniti Cole is a talented student, where she studies classical singing privately with Dr. Greta Pope. She attends the Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) and is in the Vocal Performance Program. Triniti has been selected to attend the three-week Summer Program at Interlochen.

Triniti has been awarded a scholarship from The Windy City Chapter of The Links Incorporated to assist with her expenses at Interlochen. She is also the recipient of the Kay Davis Scholarship. She will be performing several operatic roles at Interlochen during the rigorous three week program. Kudos to Triniti!

Learn more about Dr. Greta Pope by visiting her website, and listen to her weekly podcast, The Business Savvy Singer with episodes released every Monday.

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Meet The Lovely Briana Brooks!

Briana Brooks is a Los Angeles native which is where her love for music, singing and theatre began. She most recently performed in the 1st National Tour of Tony award winning revival of Once On This Island where she played Andrea and understudied Ti Moune. Some of her favorite credits include productions of The Color Purple as Nettie, Beauty and the Beast as Belle, Spring Awakening as Martha, and RENT as Joanne. She has performed in several workshops of new musicals. Briana attended Loyola Marymount University where she earned a B.A. Degree.

“As Belle, Briana Brooks is absolutely stellar; her heroine is sweet but has a backbone of pure steel. Brooks is no cookie cutter Disney princess, she puts forth a character who is no one’s victim.” -BroadwayWorld

Learn more about Briana by visiting her website,, YouTube page,, or her Instagram, @brinana8

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Meet American Opera Composer Michael Ching

Michael Ching is a composer, conductor, and music administrator. A prolific and eclectic composer, he is best known nationally as the composer of innovative operas, including his a cappella adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. His other major operas include Buoso’s Ghost (1996), Corps of Discovery (2003), Slaying the Dragon (2012), Speed Dating Tonight! (2013), and Alice Ryley (2015). He has written the librettos of many of his own operas, and has done so for all of his operas composed after 2012. He is on the board of directors of the National Opera Association.

Michael Ching is a finalist in The Acorn Theater Singer/Songwriter Competition. He will be performing on Friday, July 16th at Buchanan Concerts @ The Common. Downtown Buchanan Michigan. 7:30 p.m. eastern.

Listen to Dr. Greta Pope and Michael Ching on this week’s episode of the Business Savvy Singer:

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