The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2013-06-27T01:10:00Z Music Revenue in Australia up 6.8% in 2012 2013-06-27T01:10:00Z music-revenue-in-australia-up-6-8-in-2012 Perth, WA, June 27, 2013 - Recently, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) its Recording Industry in Numbers (RIN) report. The London-based IFPI released the RIN report on the heels of its Digital Music Report. The two reports cover most of the statistics that the IFPI have collected concerning the music industry.The numbers in both reports are encouraging for the music industry. The music industry had its first growth in revenue since its peak in 1999, when revenues were $38 billion. While the 2012 revenues of $16.5 billion were far below peak revenues, they did represent a growth of 0.3%, reversing a 12-year pattern of declining revenues.Many factors have contributed to revenue shrinkage since 1999. The launch of Napster, which allowed users to pirate music without paying artists, and a host of similar websites, along with the popularity of the internet, created what many in the industry see as a “perfect storm” for declining revenues. Critics of that stance cite the music industry's failure to fully adapt to the digital age.In many countries, digital revenues have overtaken revenue from physical sales. In Australia, the numbers are close, with 47% of revenues generated by physical sales, and 45% of revenues generated digitally. Dan Rosen of the Australian Recording Industry Association predicts that digital revenues will overtake physical sales revenues in Australia as early as this year.Australia is currently number six in world music revenues, with a total of $492 million. This represents a growth of 6.8%, and means that Australians currently spend approximately $22.04 per person on music. This is the second-highest per-capita expenditures on music, with Japan leading at $34.80 per person.Only one countries out of twenty showed growth for 2012, and Australia's 6.8% was the third-highest rise. India's revenues grew 22.1%, while those in Sweden grew 18.7%.While digital sales and physical sales are almost even in Australia, most industry insiders feel that digital music is on the cusp of an unprecedented rise in popularity. Apple, Twitter, Google, and Amazon have all recently begun offering digital on-demand streaming service. Most observers believe this is an indication that on-demand streaming is about to see huge increases in revenue.According to Danny Achurch, proprietor of Monster Music, a consortium of music teachers across Australia, the current trends represent opportunity for both current and up-and-coming Australian musicians: “Music has never been an easy industry in which to make a living, and the last ten years have been very difficult for most. Finally, though, it looks like there will be avenues by which local musicians will be able to make a living.”Achurch continued, “The numbers don't lie, and anyone who is paying attention can see a couple of obvious trends here: the music industry is finally recovering from the effects of piracy on revenues, and most of the new revenues are going to be digital.”Achurch added, “Digital music represents a remarkable opportunity for independent DIY promotion. The logistics of putting out a physical record, not to mention the huge financial outlay, are simply too much for many local artists. Now, an artist can record a song and have a digital copy uploaded to iTunes and various streaming services in less than one day.”Monster Music provides music lessons, piano, violin and guitar lessons in Sydney and other areas in Australia. They offer lessons for voice and all popular musical instruments. To learn more, call 08 9335 8881 or visit their website: http://www.monstermusic.com.au. Monster Music Implores Readers: “Please Sign the Commit to Community Radio Petition” 2013-06-12T03:58:31Z monster-music-implores-readers-please-sign-the-commit-to-community-radio-petition Perth, WA, June 12, 2013 - Last March, representatives of community radio stations all across Australia banded together to drum up support for a campaign to save digital community radio. The campaign, called Commit to Community Radio, is raising awareness of a $1.4 million shortfall in government funding to help community radio stations switch from analogue to digital. An estimated 37 community radio stations across Australia are considered to be at risk of being unable to switch over to digital broadcasting. Advocates of community radio cite the fact that approximately one in four Australians listens to community radio on a weekly basis, and are disappointed in last year’s budget cuts that resulted in a $1.4 million shortfall for community radio. If funding is not restored in the next budget, which is determined this May, many digital stations could go under. Stations considered to be in danger of closure include 3RRR in Melbourne, which garners 329,000 listeners every week to go with 14,000 subscribers, and Light Melbourne, which broadcasts to 364,000 listeners for FM, and another 158,000 for its digital channel each month. Noongar Radio in Perth, RPH in Adelaide, 4EB Global in Brisbane, and FBi in Sydney are also considered to be at risk. The Commit to Community Radio campaign has started an online petition, which currently claims 39,600 signees, as of this writing. Adrian Basso, President of the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia, is grudgingly optimistic. He cites a positive and enthusiastic response to the petition and several meetings with key government figures as reasons for optimism. Basso also cites the National Cultural Policy, and it’s infusion of over $200 million into the arts as both encouraging and a possible indication the government may fully understand the importance of community radio to Australians. Danny Achurch, musician, teacher, and founder of Monster Music, hopes that every musician, student, teacher, and those who read his blog sign the petition and make their voices heard. Achurch has studied the numbers concerning this issue, and it is very surprising that the situation has become as dire as it is now. According to Achurch, “The money is there. The government is already giving $134 million to free-to-air TV stations in license rebates to help them convert to digital broadcasting. Meanwhile, community radio is only asking for $1.4 million. Since 25% of Australians listen to community radio on a weekly basis, the situation is even more ludicrous than it would appear, without context.” Achurch continued, “In addition, over $200 million is pledged to the new Creative Australia effort, and the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (AMRAP) received $250,000 from the budget last year in a last-minute decision similar to this one. It cannot be denied that community radio is extremely important to the health of the Australian music scene. Most Australian artists get their first airplay on Australian community radio stations. Without this medium for exposure, much of the great work that is being done by Creative Australia will have been done in vain.” Achurch concluded, “If you care about Australian music and community radio, please take the time to visit the Commit to Community Radio website and sign the petition.” Monster Music provides drum, singing, guitar, and keyboard lessons in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and most Australian cities, as well as lessons on most popular instruments. To find out more about Monster Music, please visit their website: http://www.monstermusic.com.au/ or call 08 9335 8881. With Music Education at Risk, Musicians and Teachers Take Action 2013-05-20T01:06:25Z with-music-education-at-risk-musicians-and-teachers-take-action Perth, WA, May 20, 2013 - Peter Luff, the conductor of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, doesn’t believe that the children are being exposed enough to music in elementary school. Furthermore, he feels that music should be a right and that adults, educational and music professionals most notably, have the obligation to impart some kind of musical knowledge and appreciation to them.The Queensland Symphony Orchestra has been performing during an annual concert series to elementary schools specifically in an effort to fight against the decline in well-supported music and arts programs.From the Queensland Conservatory of Music, Dr Ralph Hultgren makes the claim that musical education is much more creative than math and other subjects, and that it is music that enhances a person, separating them from everyone else. Music education also correlates with increased performances in math and other academic subjects, making it the perfect supporter of those other fields. It can also lead to increased social skills, including the greater capacity for teamwork.In fact, a good number of music and non-music academics agree that music education is very important to a well-rounded, holistic education, and is much more than just learning how to play an instrument, although that is a facet of it. That is not to say that math and other tested subjects are not as important, or even less, but that musical instruction is just as important as instruction and development in those areas.This being said however, Hultgren also makes mention of the point that music teachers should be trained professional in a way, thus making the quality of the education that much better. An average music fan could not effectively teach a music class without proper training and a specialist of sorts is required for the best possible music instruction.Other school principals and administrators are nervous about increased cuts to music program, especially in light of the new government NAPLAN teaching reform. Teachers and principals agree that music and instrument playing tuition is very important to a better education and development as a person overall. The QSO and other musical organisations continue to push for better music programs in primary schools nationwide.Monster Music, an online network of music teachers in Australia, and its owner, musician and teacher Danny Achurch, fully support the growth of music programs in primary schools and are against the cuts made to schools for any reason.“Music programs are so vitally important for our children,” Achurch, a personally major proponent of musical education states. “If a school cuts its music program, I feel that it’s letting down its children and students and short-changing them from what could be the best possible education for them.” Being a teacher himself, Achurch knows the value that teaching children of any age about music holds. “It doesn’t just make them a better student, but it makes them a better overall person to be able to appreciate music and express themselves creatively.” He claims on the subject. “Monster Music’s mission is to spread music education to those who need it and we do it because that’s what’s best for our young people.” Monster Music provides piano, violin, singing, and guitar lessons in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Sydney, and many other cities across the whole country. For more information about them, please visit http://www.monstermusic.com.au/ or call 08 9335 8881 now. Victorian Economy Receives More Than $1 Billion Every Year from Live Music 2013-04-29T01:13:30Z victorian-economy-receives-more-than-1-billion-every-year-from-live-music Perth, WA, April 23, 2013 - Music Victoria, the state’s music body, recently conducted the Victorian Live Music Census, in partnership with NMIT and the City of Melbourne. In addition, over 100 student volunteers participated in gathering data for the census. The census was the largest of its kind ever conducted in Victoria, and Music Victoria’s CEO called it, “the most accurate snapshot of what our world-renowned industry looks like.” In the face of countless obstacles facing the Australian live music scene, such as encroaching residential development, noise complaints, and an uneven economy, the numbers from the census indicate that live music has nearly twice as many patrons now as it did during the previous generation. This is welcome news for an industry that has had a pessimistic outlook the last few years. According to the census, the average Saturday night sees 97,000 people attending live music shows and gigs, and spending an average of $745,000 to get in the door. Those people are then spending $3.7 million on merchandise, food, drinks, and transport. On any given Saturday night, an average of 900 musicians, 2,730 venue staff, 237 production crew, and 740 DJ’s are getting paid for their work. Projected over a year, it works out to over 62,000 gigs, with 14.4 million patrons spending $1.04 billion. This includes major concerts, Melbourne-based festivals, and small venues. Over a year’s time, 18,200 musicians, 77,391 venue staff, 6437 production staff, and 14,150 DJ’s are being paid for providing music. Dobe Newton, who managed the project, feels that these numbers prove that Melbourne is one of “the world’s greatest music cities.” Newton compares the music scene in Melbourne to cities such as New York, Tokyo, and Paris.  Patrick Donovan, CEO of Music Victoria, feels that numbers uncovered by the census are extremely important as a verification of the relevance of the live music scene in Melbourne. Donovan noted that nearly three times as many people watch live music in Melbourne as those who watch the AFL. Donovan encourages those in the area to become members of Music Victoria during their “Jump on the Bandwagon” membership drive. Danny Achurch, teacher, musician, and owner of Monster Music, feels that the study vindicates the dedication of many fellow musicians in their efforts to provide a vibrant live music scene, not only in Melbourne, but all across Australia. According to Achurch, “I am very happy to see these numbers, but I’m not surprised. Even though it seems like there have been less opportunities for live musicians this decade, in reality, the opportunities are there; you just have to look for them. At this point in time, musicians have to work hard to create their own opportunities, but it is worth it.” Achurch continued, “Look at all of the great things that have happened to Australian music in the last few months. We are seeing millions of dollars being spent on developing musicians and enabling them to play in live venues, and a lot of time and effort is being spent in growing Australian music. Now, finally, we get a great study like this one, justifying that time and effort.” Achurch concluded, “The future of Australian music has never looked better.” Monster Music provides many music lessons in most cities across Australia - violin, singing, guitar and keyboard lessons in Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and more. They specialise in getting great results while always remembering that music is supposed to be fun. To get started today, call 08 9335 8881 or visit their website: http://www.monstermusic.com.au/ Federal Government Finally Releases National Cultural Policy to Mixed Response 2013-04-18T01:10:25Z federal-government-finally-releases-national-cultural-policy-to-mixed-response Perth, WA, April 18, 2013 - The Federal Government recently released the new National Cultural Policy, called Creative Australia. Under the new policy, the creative arts will receive a total of $235 million over the next 10 years. The largest expenditure will be $75 million to help overhaul the Australian Council for the Arts, which currently oversees music grants.Simon Crean, Minister for the Arts, describes the program has a “policy that sees the artist at the centre of creativity,” and one that is “crucial to the nation’s future.” Crean further describes Creative Australia as “a vision that says we have to invest in the artist.” Crean sees competitiveness and economic development as crucial to furthering the arts.Aside from the $75 million allocated for the overhaul of the Australian Council for the Arts, another $20.8 million will go to not-for-profit training organisations, such as the National Academy of Music, the Australian Youth Orchestra, and an $8.1 million project called Creative Young Stars. Creative Young Stars will allow MP’s to hold local talent contests, with grants being awarded to the winners.Contemporary music will receive funds as well. Sounds Australia will receive $1.75 million to “to help grow domestic and export markets,” and another $1.25 million for “career pathways for musicians.” Over the next four years,$2.4 million will go to the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (AMRAP), an initiative to ensure that more Australian music is played on the radio.Despite Crean’s optimism, and the amount of money pledged to the arts over the next 10 years as part of Creative Australia, some in the music business are concerned that the money may not go where it is truly needed. According to John Wardle, a well-known live music activist, “I can understand the relentless cynicism from musicians, because they’ve been left out of the process for so long.”Wardle feels that the program will help provide a good infrastructure for advancement of the arts, particularly Australian music, but acknowledges that there won’t be a lot of money going directly into the hands of current artists.Dr. Ianto Ware, the National Live Music Coordinator, is very happy with the initiative, especially its mission “to cut the red tape” and make it easier to produce and perform live music in Australia. Dr. Ware feels that current regulations such as “planning and regulatory rules” are detrimental and create barriers to the live music scene in Australia.Danny Achurch, musician, teacher, and owner of Monster Music, sees Creative Australia as a great development, especially for future musicians: “As a musician and teacher, many of my friends and former students are also in the music business. While I would prefer to see a little more of the money go toward helping those who are playing music right now, there is still a lot being done for current musicians, and this new policy could virtually ensure the future of Australian music.”Achurch concluded, “Today’s children, taking their guitar, drum, piano, and singing lessons, are going to have a lot better chance at success than many in my generation did. If you love music, there has never been a better time in Australian history to take music lessons.”Monster Music is a network of music teachers based in Perth, also serving Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, and most cities across Australia. They specialise in making music fun to learn. For more information, their website can be found here:http://www.monstermusic.com.au/ or you may also call them at 08 9335 8881. Controversial Study Claims that Piracy Does Not Hurt Music Industry 2013-04-15T01:18:15Z controversial-study-claims-that-piracy-does-not-hurt-music-industry Perth, April 15, 2013 - Recently, the European Commission Joint Research Centre released a study which analysed the purchasing and downloading statistics of approximately 16,000 European online music consumers. The study analysed an assortment of metrics, and most of its conclusions were of no surprise to those in the music industry. However, the Commission dropped a huge bombshell on the music industry when it claimed that its findings prove that illegal downloads have no negative effect on the sale of online music. The report went even further, and concluded that illegal online downloads actually stimulate the sales of online digital music. Numerically, the study found that whenever the amount of clicks on illegal download sites increases by 10%, the clicks on legal downloading sites increase 0.2%. The study’s authors, Bertin Martins and Luis Aguiar, offered a series of possible reasons for this behaviour. In the past, the most common argument supporting illegal online downloads has been that many consumers like to use illegal downloads as “try before you buy” copies.  Another possible reason given by Martins and Aguiar is that those who participate in illegal downloading were not going to buy any product in the first place, and thus represent no loss of revenue because they weren’t going to buy any product.Another finding that disagrees with the music industry’s collective opinion is that when clicks on legal streaming websites increased 10%, clicks on legal digital retail websites had a corresponding increase of 0.7%.  The study also concluded that those who download music illegally consume more than twice as much music products as those who do not participate in illegal downloading. Many of those in the study tended to click through more to sites such as iTunes, Soundcloud, Vimeo, and YouTube, using multiple portals to access both free and paid music. The music industry, which has long contended that piracy is partially responsible for a decrease in profits over the last decade, was swift in its rebuttal. According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), both the research and its message are not only invalid, but could cause more damage to the industry. Recently, international statistics have indicated that global music sales are headed in an upward direction, but the IFPI is adamant that illegal downloading and piracy still damage the music business by providing free product, thus removing the necessity for consumers to buy those products. Danny Achurch, musician, music teacher, and owner of Monster Music, offers a unique perspective on the current debate over the validity of the report. According to Achurch, “The report has some good points, but appears to jump to an unreasonable conclusion. As a musician, I believe that musicians should be well paid for their product. Recorded music is one of those products, and is one of the few products that can give the performer market leverage by providing passive income.” Achurch continued, “I have heard all of the arguments contending that piracy and illegal downloads don’t affect sales, and I can see how someone could come to that conclusion. However, it is my contention that, if the market is flooded with free product, it devalues the product that people are charging money for.” Achurch concluded, “I do not ever want to see music become devalued.” Monster Music is a network of music teachers in Australia.They provide violin, guitar, singing, and piano lessons in Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, and most Australian cities. For more information, please call 08 9335 8881 or visit their website: http://www.monstermusic.com.au/ “Big Four” Music Promoter Michael Coppel Advises Future Generations: “Don’t Be a Promoter” 2013-03-28T02:16:54Z big-four-music-promoter-michael-coppel-advises-future-generations-don-t-be-a-promoter Perth, March 28, 2013 - Michael Coppel is a giant in the Australian music industry. He is one of Australia’s top four music promoters, and is currently President and CEO of Live Nation Australasia. Generally, when Michael Coppel talks, everyone in the music industry listens. Coppel was recently interviewed by Billboard about the current state of the live music business in Australia. Coppel’s answers were definitely an eye-opener for everyone who cares about the music business in Australia. Live Nation Australasia is currently promoting Pink’s 42-date tour of Australia, which is producing staggering numbers. The tour, which kicks off 25th June of this year, has already sold 450,000 tickets. This includes 16 dates in Melbourne at the Rod Laver arena.  The 450,000 tickets would be a great number anywhere, but are mind-boggling when you consider that Australia’s population is roughly 22,000,000, and even when you add in New Zealand, a population is still less than 30,000,000. Doing the math, this means that one out of every 60 people in Australia and New Zealand combined have bought a ticket to see Pink.  While Coppel is very happy with these numbers, he says that tour in Australia can be problematic for artists who are not “triple-A” acts like Pink. According to Coppel, Australians are becoming more selective in who they see, and sales for second and third level acts have declined sharply from 1 to 2 years ago. According to Coppel, the fact that Australia’s dollar is high, compared to most of the world, has turned Australia into a high demand tour for international artists. However, those artists are demanding more money, and Coppel fears that Australian promoters will get into a bidding war to procure the artists that they want. Coppel also said that promoters are currently being pushed to buy 12 shows by many international acts, but only 6 to 8 of the shows are producing profits for the promoters. Coppel also lamented what he sees as a very saturated festival market, and the mergers between promoters to try and keep festivals alive. Danny Achurch, owner of Monster Music, a network of music and piano teachers in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, and most cities across Australia, agrees with Coppel, but would like to see Australian artists share a larger slice of the pie: “It is great that these international artists are coming in and making so much money, but we would like to see more Australian artists getting paid well, too. While we understand that we don’t have very many Australian artists who could sell out 16 consecutive dates in Sydney, there are plenty of Australian bands that would provide a great product for promoters like Coppel.” Achurch continued, “Ironically, while music festivals with international acts are failing at an unprecedented rate, smaller festivals, with well-defined themes and mostly Australian artists, with one or two international headliners, are very successful and are making money for promoters. I am a music teacher and not a math teacher, but mathematics like this are quite easy to understand.” Achurch concluded, “Promoters like Coppel should promote more Australian artists and bands; it certainly can’t hurt.” Monster Music is a network of music teachers in Melbourne, Perth, and across Australia. They provide guitar, piano, voice, and other music lessons in Melbourne, Perth, and most cities across Australia. For music lessons or more information, please call 08 9335 8881 or visit their website: http://www.monstermusic.com.au/. Digital Sales Carry Australian Music Business to Growth for First Time in Three Years 2013-03-21T02:05:30Z digital-sales-carry-australian-music-business-to-growth-for-first-time-in-three-years Perth, March 20, 2013 - Between the fall of the global economy and the rise of piracy, the music business has had a rough go of it the last few years. In Australia, as across the globe, music sales have been down and many in the industry wondered whether music would be able to recover. When the numbers for 2012 were tabulated, the Australian music industry finally got the news they have been waiting for the last three years: sales are finally up. According to a report from the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), Australia now has the sixth biggest music market in the world, and grew for the first time since 2009. According to ARIA figures, Australians spent $398.1 million on music in 2012 for a 4% gain over 2011. While physical music sales decreased slightly, digital music sales came through in a big way. Not only did people buy more digital products, but digital streaming services, such as Pandora, Deezer, and Spotify, made a significant impact on the market. In 2012, digital products accounted for more than 46% of Australian music sales. This represents a 25.3% increase over 2011, when digital products accounted for 36.7% of sales. In 2012, Australians purchased 110,419,156 digital tracks, which is nearly twice that of 2011. Digital streaming companies made incredible gains in 2012. Pandora nearly doubled their figures from 2011, and Spotify nearly quadrupled their sales.  Physical sales declined again in 2012, this time by 6.42%, but kept a majority market share at 53.7%. The sales of vinyl actually increased 70.1% over those in 2011 rising from 58,513 to 99,557. DVDs and music video sales were nearly identical to those in 2011. CD albums were responsible for the decrease, falling from 20,539,253 units in 2011 to 19,001,519 in 2012. The outlier in the statistics was CD singles, which managed to increase from 47,472 to 174,150 for a rise of 267%.  Danny Achurch, owner of Monster Music, a network of music teachers in Melbourne, Perth, and across Australia, is encouraged by the overall numbers, and believes that the music industry has survived what once appeared to be a severe threat to its entire business model: “This is some of the best news the Australian music industry has received in a long time. Between the economy, piracy, no help from radio, and the fact that today’s generation doesn’t buy nearly as many albums as the generations that preceded them, it looked like the Australian music industry is very close to being dead in the water.” Achurch continued, “I am very heartened and encouraged by the latest numbers. It looks like the music industry is finally evolving enough to keep pace with the habits of current listeners. This has huge implications for the music industry as a whole, but it is especially good news for musicians who want to be paid what they are worth for writing and playing music.” Achurch added, “It looked for all the world like piracy and file sharing were going to make it impossible for musicians to get paid for their work. Thankfully, the ARIA initiatives, along with the government’s cooperation, have helped the music business get back on its feet.” Achurch concluded, “Finally, after three years, it’s a great time to be a musician again.” Monster Music is a network of music teachers in Australia. For guitar, piano, or singing lessons in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, and across Australia, call 08 9335 8881 or visit their website: http://www.monstermusic.com.au/. Federal Government Takes Major Step in Supporting Live Australian Music Industry 2013-03-20T06:54:39Z federal-government-takes-major-step-in-supporting-live-australian-music-industry Perth, March 08, 2013 - Recently, Simon Crean, Federal Arts Minister, has been very busy removing obstacles that have hurt the Australian music industry in the past. The new National Cultural Policy, which was established to create at least ten years’ worth of support system for culture, creativity, and arts, is already creating a much better chance for Australian musicians and songwriters to reach the “next level.”Crean made a rousing speech extolling the virtues of Australian music last year at the Music Connects India conference, and followed it up by announcing that the government was going to provide $200,000 to help Australian musicians tour, both regionally and nationally.On 21st January, Crean “upped the ante” considerably, as he appointed Dr Ianto Ware, the National Live Music Coordinator of the Sounds Australia organisation. Dr Ware will serve as a consultant for the recently developed National Cultural Policy, but his main job will be to serve as an advocate for Australian live music.Dr Ware’s main function will be to make it possible for more Australian original songwriters and musicians to make the transition from local to regional to national to international. Dr Ware has developed many connections in the music industry over the years, not only working with state governments, local governments, venues, and artists, but he is currently the CEO of Renew Adelaide, and is also the founding director of Format Adelaide.The appointment of Dr Ware to the newly-created position isn’t the only thing being done, either. According to Crean, the Australian Government has earmarked $3 million to boost the live music scene, with a focus on industry innovation, live music skills, and exporting the music of Australian artists to other countries.According to a study commissioned by Brett Cottle, who is the CEO of APRA/AMCOS, and plays a major, behind the scenes role in Sounds Australia, venue-based live music could produce a boost of as much as $1.2 billion to the economy, putting Australian music in front of 42 million patrons, and creating as many as 15,000 full time jobs across Australia.According to Danny Achurch, founder of Monster Music, a network of music teachers based in Melbourne and Perth, with teachers across Australia, this appointment could have some far-reaching implications for Australian musicians: “We were among the first to criticise the Government for cutting funds for music in schools, so let us be among the first to congratulate the Government for really getting this one right.”Achurch continued, “This is some of the best news I have heard for Australian music and the musicians who create it in a long time. Australian musicians have long had problems getting airplay, getting exposure in the business, and making a living on a local level, what alone making it worldwide. We have had so many talented musicians and bands here, but only a comparative few have made it out of Australia. Mr Crean and Dr Ware have been champions in the corner of Australian music for a long time, and they are finally getting a chance to make a real difference.”Achurch concluded, “Everyone who ever picked up a musical instrument has dreamed of making it big someday. Thanks to these initiatives, it has just become more possible.”Monster Music is a network of music teachers in Melbourne and Perth, with teachers available Australia-wide. They offer music lessons for just about every instrument - guitar, drums, violin, piano, and more.For more information, call 08 9335 8881 or visit their website: http://www.monstermusic.com.au/. Study Shows More Music Downloads, Less Piracy, and More Legal Alternatives 2013-02-18T09:26:49Z study-shows-more-music-downloads-less-piracy-and-more-legal-alternatives Spin Magazine recently commissioned a music business study by Strategy Analytics. The study found that revenues produced by digital downloads increased 8.5% in 2012. As of recent years, the music business has seen revenues from music sales decreasing, partially due to millions of illegal downloads.Although the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has spearheaded much of the battle on piracy, the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) has been the most successful at discouraging piracy, instituting a “three-strike” policy. In New Zealand, the fine for a third piracy offense can be as much as $11,500.In 2013, US Internet providers are tentatively slated to institute the Copyright Alert System, in which their major Internet providers will start cracking down on users who share files on peer-to-peer networks.The main clearinghouse is the IFPI, which is based in Switzerland. They are enabling all of the recording industry associations, such as the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA), the aforementioned associations, and those from other countries not mentioned, to band together, stem the tide of music piracy, and let musicians start making money from all of their music again.In 2005, approximately 20% of those with an Internet connection were using the Internet for illegal downloads. In 2013, the number is expected to dip below 10%. As more legislation goes into effect, piracy is expected to decrease even more.With the battle against piracy taken care of, the industry is now looking at the largest trend that affects revenue: online music streaming. This is the legal alternative that is becoming the most popular, and has the most potential to ensure that musicians are paid all of the royalty fees they deserve.Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, YouTube, and Mog are all examples of streaming services which offer free and/or subscription-based online streaming. Pandora alone claims a 7% market share in the US, which is the world’s largest market. The music industry study in Spin also reported that up to 36% of everyone who has an Internet connection uses streaming websites to listen to music.Australians streamed more than 500,000,000 music videos in 2012. As more services begin to charge for online streaming, more money will go into musicians’ pockets.Danny Achurch, owner of Monster Music, a network of guitar, drum, voice, piano, and various music teachers based in Melbourne and Perth, thinks that the recent developments could usher in an exciting time for the industry: “The Internet age turned the music business upside down, and shook it until all of the change fell out of its pockets. The Internet changed how people buy and listen to music, and piracy threatened to prevent musicians from being paid even close to what they deserve for their recordings.”Achurch continued, “The recent anti-piracy measures are helping to turn things around, but the biggest factor may be that the industry is finally listening to the customer again. People would rather stream music than own it. If services charge monthly fees, and then pay royalties for songs as they are played, it will be like the golden days of radio all over again.”Achurch concluded, “The business has been hurting for a while, but has finally decided to embrace the Internet age instead of fighting it. Congratulations.”Monster Music is an online network of music teachers based in Perth and Melbourne, that extends across Australia into most cities. Call 08 9335 8881 or visit their website for more info: http://www.monstermusic.com.au/. Victorian Government Investigating Lack of Music Education in Public Schools 2013-01-11T02:23:33Z victorian-government-investigating-lack-of-music-education-in-public-schools Monster Music, a network of music teachers that offers music lessons in Melbourne, Perth, and most places across Australia, has reacted strongly to news that the Victorian Government has appointed a committee to investigate why music education is lacking in public schools.In a highly-anticipated and controversial post on the Monster Music website’s blog, Monster Music takes a serious look at the public school situation, and also covers last year’s $1.9 million funding cut at Australian National University’s (ANU) School of Music. Monster Music has been critical in the past of the public schools’ approach to teaching music, so the new post is no surprise to many in the music community.The Victorian Parliament’s Education and Training Committee announced the investigation in December 2012. David Southwick, chairman of the committee, wants to know “why kids aren’t taking music programs, why there isn’t more being offered,” and wants to find ways to encourage participation in music programs.Southwick cites research showing that music improves academic performance in many areas. He also believes that the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) has had a negative effect on music course offerings. He feels that schools become so focused on NAPLAN scores that they “teach to the test” instead of giving students a more-rounded education.Richard Gill, music director of the Victorian Opera, goes even further: “NAPLAN is a national disgrace and standardised testing is a national disgrace.”ANU’s School of Music has seen massive budget cuts. They recently decided to cut 13 full-time teaching positions in the School of Music, which will save the school $1.5 million in salaries. According to the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), ANU currently runs an $82 million surplus, and the money saved by cutting music teachers is going to be spent on new senior executive administrative posts within the school.Those responsible for the budget cuts, including ANU vice-chancellor Ian Young, feel that it is “too expensive” to teach students music, especially since a lot of one-on-one teaching is required. Due to a general trend toward budget cuts, universities prefer to run lecture classes with up to 100 students. This saves them a lot of money in salaries.Danny Achurch, proprietor of Monster Music, has been very critical of the way public schools teach music to their students, and feels compelled to speak out about what he sees as neglect on the part of the schools:“We are approaching critical mass when it comes to music education in Australian public schools. Administrations are always trying to cut their budgets, and it seems like the first thing to go is always music. Administrators use NAPLAN as so-called ‘justification,’ but their excuses fly in the face of any research concerning music and learning.”Achurch continued, “Music has been clinically proven to have a positive effect on literacy and numeracy, and is a major factor in creative thinking and socialising. So, any administrator who gets rid of music with the intent of improving NAPLAN scores is actually ‘accomplishing’ the exact opposite.”Achurch has suggestions for improving participation for schools that do teach music: “Even those schools that teach music teach songs that are so old nobody remembers them except music teachers, but they expect kids to relate to them. Kids want to learn the songs they like, not the songs administrators think they should learn.”Monster Music is a national network of music teachers in Perth, Melbourne, and most cities in Australia. They give music lessons in guitar, piano, violin, and other instruments. Visit their website for more information: http://www.monstermusic.com.au/ or call them at 08 9335 8881.