Our Exclusive Masterclass Series is now in full swing, with students getting the opportunity to learn from the best of the best in the business!
A few weeks ago, Jack River (the moniker of Holly Rankin) joined our JMC Exclusive Masterclass line-up to host “Maintaining your authentic self while building a strong vision in the Music and Songwriting Business” where she took students on a journey through the key experiences, decisions and personal processes that created her career to date. Diving into the creation of her own vision as an artist and how that came to be, Rivers let us in on a few tips and tricks she has learnt behind finding the right team, why making mistakes are so important and why having independence in the Music Industry is a MUST.
Anyone who had the chance to tune in would have been very impressed with what our Masterclass Host had to offer, but don’t just take our word for it. We had a chat with a few music students in different trimesters who listened in an got their honest feedback about Jack Rivers session. (Spoiler Alert: Don't miss the next Masterclass - these are really good).
Was the Jack River Masterclass useful in giving you more motivation and a bit more wisdom about the music industry to help you pursue a career in music?
Amy (Tri 2): Absolutely. The masterclasses are super inspiring and motivating and there’s always some cool new creative techniques I end up experimenting with after going to one. The Jack River masterclass in particular was AMAZING. I’ve got her music on my current playlists so not only was it super exciting meeting her, but to get her tried and tested methods and insight from within the music industry was incredible.
Jack (Tri 6): Holly was very knowledgeable about the different players that make up her “team” and it was useful to hear her talk about the artist being the director of their own business. She was so enthusiastic about this aspect in particular – we saw her get joy from the business side and this was so infectious.
Did the Jack River Masterclass provide some helpful tips about songwriting, production or the creative process that you might consider also apply to you, or you may apply yourself?
Jack: For sure! Especially her attitude that “it’s just a song”, that was most helpful. Since the Masterclass I have approached songwriting with less self-inflicted pressure and been happy with the results. It was interesting to see how much emphasis she put on reference tracks in achieving a specific vision, and her use of mood boards to articulate her objectives and hold herself to account.
Samantha (Tri 4): There were many useful tips in regards to songwriting and production. Having all the equipment at our fingertips, not needing a fancy producer or to spend a lot of money to create an album that sounds good, was all good advice. I'm always thinking of, listening and observing the production of songs I enjoy. Holly's suggestion of aiming to replicate a production reference and believe in the possibility of achieving it is inspiring and motivating. I also thought Holly had a great idea when she said she creates a vision board or pinterest board expressing all the emotions and thoughts of a song she's written so when the time comes to make a video clip of the song all the images are already there waiting to be drawn upon. "Trust you'll write good music when you look after yourself," her great advice for all creatives alike.
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Did it provide some insight into what it takes to become a successful artist, and also being able to measure that success?
Amy: It was really valuable to hear how Holly achieved her success and what methods she used to get there, giving us some great insight into balancing personal life with a successful career. She placed a lot of importance on being clear about why you are doing something in the industry, and repeatedly warned us against doing things for validation. I think this is a crucial part of being an artist and something we should talk about more – being authentic in a field where success seems to be defined on how well you please others. The masterclass definitely gave some insight into what it takes to become a successful artist and how success within the music industry can be measured.
Samantha: One of the things our Melbourne Lecturer Steve Palfreyman reinforces in his Music Business class is “whatever you create now may not be worth much in monetary value but in years to come if you don't give up, it will be like equity and gain value as you continue on. The only time it won't be worth anything is if you give up and quit the music business.” This drilled in me that music is something we commit to and if we want our music to mean something we persevere. When Holly shared most of the musicians who have made it have been working at it for 5 to 10 years it affirmed the teaching that I'd learnt at JMC. Success isn't being an overnight sensation but takes dedication and work. With this noted I appreciated Holly saying our definition of success can change. I valued it when Holly said "it is more important to know why you are creating music than it is to receive validation from social media or streaming platforms."