First 2 Weeks Touring with Ethan Bortnick

It’s been a pleasure touring and getting to know the great young entertainer, Ethan Bortnick.  At only 13 years old, Ethan tours the world as a pianist/songwriter, starred in his own movie, has the current #1 rated PBS TV special, and has raised over $30 million for charities.  Not bad for 13.


My good friend, Ryan Skiles has been Ethan’s music director for several years now and asked me to join the current tour playing bass.  We just finished up 2 weeks of touring playing 6 U.S. shows and it’s been a blast.  Next week we leave for another 5 weeks for a dozen more shows around the U.S.  Glee star, Damian McGinty has also been on the tour as a special guest.  He’s an amazing vocalist and it’s been great to work and get to know him as well.

Adding Value Reminder Emails

I decided to create a 13 Week Email Reminder Series to help myself (and anyone else who wants to join me) be better at developing professional relationships.  It’s based on a post called, Networking, Relationship Building, and Adding Value.  I wrote it to help people rethink what it looks like to network, especially in music business.

It’s about adding value to one another and asking less often.  That’s how relationships are built and that’s what networking really looks like.  Those with whom you have great relationships with are the ones who will be hiring you or recommending you.

Creating Beautiful Music Charts. Plus Free Sibelius Template.

I create a lot of charts. I make them when I’m preparing for gigs or for other musicians’ recording sessions or live shows. It’s something that I have come to enjoy because it’s such a great way of improving your ear.  And there’s just something special about having beautiful looking charts of your music printed out, taped and ready to go.

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Sometimes it can make or brake a project. Having your music organized, well thought out, and prepared gives you clarity as a music director, producer, or even just as a musician who needs to memorize the set.

Making charts can be a huge pain though. Fooling with software, printers, and PDFs are a nightmare. In this post I want to walk you through my process of making a beautiful professional charts quickly and easily. Sibelius is the software I use, but the principles are transferrable to any program or even to pencil and paper. Simply having a process is key.

Networking, Relationships, and Adding Value

One of my favorite satirical twitter accounts is chock-full of wonderfully hilarious passive aggressive tweets about being a “humble” working musician.  Here are a few of my favorites…

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What I love about these tweets is that first off, they’re hilarious, and secondly, we’ve all been there.  We’ve all posted similar stuff ourselves at some point and called it “networking.”  I know I have.  But there’s a better way.  What networking really looks like is building meaningful relationships through adding value.

I’m going to show you 13 ways of adding value to those around you that will deepen relationships.  And at the end of this post, I’m going to give you a way to be reminded weekly with specific examples of ways to add value to those interact with online and off.