FAQ… “How do I know which instructor, teaching studio or organization is right for me?” Answer… Like most things, it’s subjective. We’ve assembled what our parents, students and colleagues believe are 10 essential keywords/questions to consider. 1. Exclusive—Do they prohibit you from working or collaborating with others? Is it a co-op or a “there can be only one,” Highlander-scenario? 2. Choice—Is it yours? Do your or their needs determine your curriculum? 3. Transparency—Is it about you or their branding? Are they wearing your t-shirt? Is your name in fine print? 4. Autonomy—Are they selling fame or fundamentals? Are Mom, Dad and/or you trying to buy success or survival skills? 5. Fundraising—Where does it go? Who does it benefit? Are they soliciting money for the sake of offsetting their salaries in order to be charitable with their time? “I went to a charity luncheon in East Hampton to raise money for the California grape pickers. There was this teeming mob of women who must have spent a total of twelve thousand dollars on new Gucci pants in order to raise two thousand dollars for the grape pickers… Why the hell didn’t they just mail them the pants?” — Billy, from “California Suite” by Neil Simon 6. Reputation—It matters. 7. Experience—Teaching/Working Artists vs. Professional Students 8. Cred—”Where’s the beef?” Did the QB graduate from UT? If she won an Oscar, chances are it’s not buried in a shoe-box at the bottom of a closet. 9. 1 Billion Served—McDonald’s takes great pride in how many hamburgers they’ve served. Do they know you by number or name? Is your studio counting? 10. Discernment—Are you required to both audition and pay to participate in events? Is their opportunity at every skill level?
FAQ… “Do you do recitals?” Answer… No. We take it a step further. Recitals can often become a developing artist’s only motivation. Because we believe so much in autonomy and because recitals are limited in both time and attention, we help and encourage you to book your very own Hickory Arts House Concert and other event(s) throughout the community, showcasing your talent/skill as an artist and sole-proprietor of your work.
FAQ… “Why ‘House Concerts?’ Why Hickory Arts? Why now?” Answer… In a world where we’re allowing more and more bar cover bands and bar life to monopolize most live, original music outlets, house concerts remind us that there’s still something eclectic, original and genuine to look forward to. Music has become “this thing that goes on in the background.” “Listening” is an almost forgotten element and crucial to any artist. Question… “How do HA house concerts differ by definition?” Answer… We only make one exception. HAHC’s are available to the public. No invitation required. This allows any artist a broader opportunity to reach and connect to folks they otherwise may not by way of house concert.
FAQ… “How do the Hickory Arts House Concerts work?” House Concert Basics (Courtesy of Rufus Smith, HICKORY, NC) “Performers love what they do and they also have to make a living at it. Typically, house concert guests pay $15 to $20 each. If you have 30 guests, that’s $450 to $600. Typically, all proceeds go to the performer (I don’t know anyone who presents house concert and expects to make money on the deal). It has to be for the love of the music. Sort this out with the performer in advance to avoid misunderstandings. Of course, the rates reflect the times, and times are hard, so it is wise to negotiate. You will find many artists are in the same shape and would love to play for less. Remember that distance and travel impact cost, etc. Sometimes a bed, warm meal and good company helps a lot! Some concerts come in around $10 each. 30 people = $300. It all helps keep our artists from starving. These folks are fine human beings making it easy to connect!”
FAQ… “How do you approach fundraising, charity, etc?” Answer… There’s a pithy quote from Neil Simon’s California Suite… “I went to a charity luncheon in East Hampton to raise money for the California grape pickers. There was this teeming mob of women who must have spent a total of twelve thousand dollars on new Gucci pants in order to raise two thousand dollars for the grape pickers… Why the hell didn’t they just mail them the pants?” You won’t find us spending 12K to raise 2. Some studios institute scholarship funds in an effort to pay themselves to teach under the guise of charity. We don’t raise money just to afford ourselves publicity and the opportunity to do something charitable. We just do it. We give of our time, talent and resources freely.
FAQ… “Is Hickory Arts’ space accessible?” Answer… Yes, and in most cases, FREE! Need a place to rehearse? Meet? Audition? Bible study? Workshop? Let us know!
FAQ… “You’re not exactly the easiest place to discover; no logo, no sign, little advertising… Why don’t you have a sign?” Answer… Yep! The answer is simple. The Fixx. They said it best… “Why don’t they do what they say, say what they mean…” “Private Sessions” means just that. It’s not about us or a brand. It’s about you. We’ve artists performing in all facets of our community and beyond. You’re not gonna find our name tattooed all over the stage, you or your event. We always appreciate any nod from the artists and organizations we work with and we always do our best to keep folks informed. We started out with a temporary sign, but at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter. The more transparent we are, the more visible you are. No fancy logos, no fancy signs, no fancy gimmicks. You’re what’s important. Those who need us, find us. In this political season, we’ll leave you with a quote from Harry Truman. “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”
FAQ… “How do you choose your teaching artists?” Answer… We seek teaching artists whose value reaches far beyond any “method.” Those who mentor and inspire and who are willing to maintain a small roster of students in order to give each the attention they deserve. Technique is important. “U-nique” is priceless and immeasurable. In our experience, the music education we’ve retained the most as artists are not only the scales, methods or diplomas, but also the hugs, the pats on the back, the mentoring moments that we cherish and continue to apply to all aspects of our lives.