It’s Not About the Money
NewMusicalTheatre.com and the NMT Green Room were created for multiple reasons:
- Helping #NMTperformers find the sheet music they look for
- Helping #NMTfans find new writers and learn what they write
- Helping #NMTwriters make some money before they’re famous
- Creating a community of #NMTfans, #NMTwriters, and #NMTperformers
- Giving you news as to what’s going on in this small world
- Teach you a little something about writing and performing
So I guess yes, there’s a small part that’s about the money. But it’s a lot more important than that. In a world where you can buy music and find sheet music illegally for free online, it’s hard to justify spending $10 on even your favorite song. Then you go and pay $15 on a mediocre dinner that you’ll never see again, or $40 on that pair of shoes that you’ll wear once.
But I’m not here to tell you how to spend your money. I’m just here to tell you the reasons why you shouldn’t expect or even try to get music illegally for free. And I won’t even do it by scaring you with the consequences of doing something illegal. Instead I’ll tell you what you paying for the music says:
- That you support this artist. Purchasing a song is the number one way to tell someone you think they’re worth it.
- That you support the future of this artist. Giving the artist money allows them to use it to produce higher quality music next time. By buying the artist’s songs, you’re telling the artist that you think they’re going somewhere – that they have that something special that you feel they have more to give.
- That you support the idea of music in general. By not buying music, you’re saying that you don’t appreciate it as an artform.
- That you support the future of music. Musicians teach other musicians (wouldn’t it be weird if someone who knew nothing about music started teaching it to younger kids?). If musicians can’t make enough money to grow into heroes, idols, and teachers for future generations, then future generations won’t learn music. You’re probably an artist yourself, and one day you’ll have songs and CDs and music that you’ll be trying to sell, and you wouldn’t want people to be unappreciative of the work you’ve done.
- That you support the idea and future of creativity and art. You’ll pay for a cup of coffee without thinking about it, but you’ll always try to find ways to get art for free – and that’s exactly why art continues to die. If you love art, you should show that you love it – more than you love the things you don’t love but pay for.
I realize that’s getting a little philosophical, but that’s the point. It’s not about the money – it’s about the philosophy of money and the idea that you should pay for what you believe in.
But, don’t listen to me – listen to these wonderful puppets:
So, I (and the puppets) have convinced you that *paying* for music is really the only way to go; otherwise, you’re being morally contradictory to yourself and what you believe in and stand for (and want – if you want music to continue to be out there). But, you say, I have no money to spend. A common problem, I agree.
Here are ways to support artists for less:
- Spotify. Every time you listen to a song on Spotify, artists get paid, even if you only have the free service (supported through ads). The more you and the general audience listen to a certain song, the more that artist gets paid, versus a one-time pop from itunes.
- Gifts. However, with Spotify, you never “own” the music, which can make some people feel less than satisfied. Ask for giftcards for itunes or direct your family and friends to NewMusicalTheatre.com to get sheet music.
- Sharing. iTunes allows you to share to share songs with up to 10 devices. That means if you split the cost of a $0.99 song, it only costs you ~9 cents!
- Sales. NMT has sales all the time. Follow on twitter or facebook to pay attention to when those sales are. Those that bargain hunt usually get a bargain.
- Songbooks. Buying sheet music via songbooks is a great way to get a HUGE discount. Normally, one song is around $10, but you can buy a songbook with about 10 songs for only $40 or so, meaning you’ve just saved $60. And since NMT is run by those who care about the music the way you do, the songbooks contain songs that you want to buy together, rather than only have 3/10 songs you actually want.
- Student rush. A little out-of-scope, but when artists perform, there are a lot of times student rush tickets that are cheaper and help you still see the shows you want while not paying the same as someone who’s making full-time-job wages.
In short, support artists.