I signed up for The Independent Music Academy after what can only be described as the worst time in my life. I needed some sort of outlet and was seeking an avenue which would allow me to interact with people who love music just as much as I do. I wanted to use my brain, escape the distractions and obsessing over what was going on in my life, and I wanted, more than anything, to become involved in the insanity that is the music industry. I had been away from the industry for more than a couple of years, and wondered what, if anything, could possibly fit my criteria.
Enter IMA. I got a Twitter message from the IMA academy and decided to look into it. It was an online based course, which I needed to fit my crazy schedule but….who was this Shaun Letang person? Was he legit? Would the course do anything apart from take money from me?
A quick Google search of Shaun’s name taught me that it was definitely legit. Shaun’s reputation in the music industry is stellar, to say the least. He is one of the most respected and acclaimed marketing/media/all around industry gurus around and it seemed like he would definitely have the skill set to run a worthwhile course.
It was beyond affordable and as I was just brushing up on things I may have forgotten, it didn’t matter to me that it wasn’t a degree course.
So, as you can imagine, I enrolled.
That was the single greatest thing I have ever done, on a professional level.
From day one, I was active in the member’s forum. I would give my opinions (probably more than was ever wanted), share different articles of note, and share advice and thoughts with the other students.
Then a strange thing happened. I got a message from Shaun in the forum saying he wanted to speak to me about something.
I was terrified, worried that he was going to tell me to stop sharing articles or just generally quit being the one always chatting on the forum.
After a few days, I got an email from Shaun; he had asked me to write an article for the IMA parent site-Independent Music Advice. I was elated. To have someone of Shaun’s caliber show that kind of faith in my ideas was exactly what I needed to reinforce my belief that I was in the right place; that this was where I was supposed to be.
I wrote my first piece for IMA covering tips on how to market bands when you have no money. The response exceeded my wildest expectations and further solidified my belief that I was pursuing what I was meant to pursue.
That’s when it began. From there I was asked to write for another highly regarded industry website. Then another. Then another.
One of our class assignments was to design and build our own web site. While most of my “classmates” built sites focusing on their music, I built mine focusing on my writing. I included links to the articles I had written for others, and began to write articles for myself. I was never counting on anyone reading them-but they did. They still do.
It should be said that I signed up for the IMA academy in October of 2011. My first article for IMA was published in January of 2012. In 5 month’s time, I went from casually taking some online classes, to writing for some of the most highly regarded web sites in the music industry.
I’ve now been made a staff writer for Think Like a Label and will have a biweekly feature. Additionally, I’ve been hired by a PR firm focusing on social media promotion, and have been asked to be the Senior Advisor of a record label.
By most anyone’s estimation, that’s quite a lot of movement in a short time.
What began as a halfhearted enrollment in a course I was slightly unsure of has literally created unfathomable opportunities for me.
Yes, it can be said that my determination, commitment, and obsession with the industry has played a significant role in the events of the past 5 months, but IMA gave me the outlet that I needed. Additionally, the course provided a fundamental knowledge of the parts of the industry that I wasn’t very educated on previously.
Perhaps even more important to me than any of the above, is that I’ve gained Shaun as a mentor. Whether he likes the role or not, he’s become someone whose opinion I value and seek out when I’m unsure, or downright terrified of the new situations I find myself in.
I know it’s only been a short time but I remain grateful for every second of the whirlwind I’ve entered into.
I’ve made contacts who are among the highest regarded people in the music industry, and built friendships with people I never would have met were it not for my enrollment in the IMA academy.
Aside from that, I’ve realized that this isn’t a fluke. Perhaps I won’t continue writing. I may focus on marketing as I did before or try something different altogether.
Regardless, I know with certainty that this is where I should be. This is where my passion lies (and always has), and more than anything, I’m meant to be in this industry in some capacity.
Visit the Independent Music Advice web site- It offers advice on all aspects of music, the business of music, and everything in between.
For information on the academy (which has recently been revamped and features even more now!!), visit the web site here: