Callum Kewen- Making it Full Time in music
I am Callum Kewen, a 23 year old full time guitar teacher, DJ and pub/venue singer based in Blyth. Anna has been teaching me for about a year now and her methods have massively impacted my performances over the past year as friends and family have all commented on my continuously improving voice. Anna asked me to write a little blog for musicians or creative types hoping to make music a full time career in the North east and how I have done this.
I started teaching by just doing part time lessons while I was at home during my placement year from University. It is from here that I built up reviews, a local presence and some reliable students. Reviews are everything so the sooner you can get good reviews, the more students you will attract. It is also important having an active online presence which could be a website/Facebook page, advertisements on Yell, Gumtree and other business websites like Bark. A lot of my work has come in from this. If you have a confident teaching strategy and you manage to cater to each student differently, you will get reliable long term lessons - this is why I currently have a handful of students who have been with me for 3 years since I started.
For my discos, a lot of my advertising methods are very similar to teaching. Price is very important (for both professions too). Particularly discos, if you're wanting to get started it is a very competitive market so ensure your prices are affordable but still also sensible. You should also make sure you have good reliable gear because sounding good is also very important.
My other main income is my singing gigs, I feel it is important to be open to trying lots of different styles and genres for a multitude of events (it is helpful that I like a range of things). I try to sing in pubs and clubs of all shapes and sizes but as well as that I advertise as a wedding singer, function singer and I have even sung at someone's door before for their birthday. I'm moving into more band related stuff in the future too to hopefully keep more options open and do larger events and venues. I have my original music to push (which is of course a lot harder) as well as my covers that are typically for pubs and clubs - although I try and promote one or two originals for most pub gigs. Promoting original music is hard which is why you have to be open to doing more things however having an image, sounding good (with good equipment) and writing music that is different will often get you good attention and may help boost your own music career.