Magazine / People

New book shares secrets to success in the music business

Cover of book "Lessons from a Street Wise Professor"Most music schools teach students how to perform on stage, but they don’t teach skills for performance in the business world. Ramon “Ray” Ricker (BME ’65) fills in the missing notes to help aspiring musicians avoid becoming starving artists in his book Lessons From a Street-Wise Professor: What You Won’t Learn at Most Music Schools (Soundown Inc., 2011).

Ricker is no stranger to the music business — he has worked in all parts of the industry for more than 50 years. His career has included gigs as a music professor, composer, arranger, studio musician and stage performer.

He has performed in hundreds of radio and TV commercials and was a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra for 38 years. Ricker’s arrangements have been commissioned by symphonies around the country, and his works have been published around the world.

In Lessons From a Street-Wise Professor, Ricker advises aspiring musicians on strategies they can practice to achieve success in their music careers.

“If musicians use entrepreneurial thinking and add it to high-level performance skills and artistry, they will not only survive but they will thrive in their field,” he says.

Ricker says musicians, artists and professionals in all fields should include entrepreneurial thinking, a strong positive brand, a proactive attitude, versatility, flexibility, business savvy, familiarity with technology, people skills and networking as instruments to achieve success, especially in this economy.

“If you have musical talent, and if you have worked hard to develop it, you have the building blocks necessary to create a career,” he writes in the book. “The first step is to be musically and technically solid on your instrument. You have to play! Add to that some entrepreneurial savvy and as Dr. Seuss would say, ‘You’ll be on your way!’”


Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *