David Hennessy talks to JP McIvor about his music school that teaches promotion and internet skills important for music careers in addition to musical skills.
A London-based Dublin singer-songwriter has established a new music school that teaches not just musical technique and skills but also gives them the tools to survive in the music world. JP McIvor’s London Music Factory aims to fill a void that other music schools lack, teaching pupils how to promote themselves, create websites, write press releases and other important parts of the business side of working as an artist.
“When I finished school, I could play guitar very well but I had no idea how to promote myself as an artist,” JP begins. “For the last six years,
that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been teaching myself how to do that. Our ethos is shaping musicians so I want to create people who can go out into the world and become a selling artist. We offer workshops in digital marketing, how to set up your own website, how to use social networking effectively, sending press releases out.
“This is the kind of stuff that labels will do for you if you get signed but labels won’t sign you now until you’ve actually gotten up the charts, until you’ve done something significantly yourself but in order to get there, you need to know this stuff definitely.
“I want to get people who learn music to get their head around that as soon as possible, to get over that cringey feeling of having to sell yourself online. Me, as a musician, I just couldn’t stand the fact that I had to start a Facebook page to sell my music. It took me a while to get over that and it slowed everything down so I wanted to provide a platform where kids can get over that and get a head start really.”
Originally from Foxrock in Dublin, JP came to London to study music in 2005. He is currently based Kentish Town. He established the London Music Factory in August last year but has been teaching for six years. Currently working on his debut album, JP has had success with his last EP, Plastic Land, going to No 1 in the singer-songwriter chart in Ireland in 2013.
JP continues: “Just being talented on the instrument is about 30% of it. I know some fantastic players who are in great bands but they don’t have a clue how to do a press release or send it out. This is stuff I’ve only really gotten used to in the last year or two.
“There’s a lot of opportunities for musicians now, it’s about utilising the opportunities that are there because you can do a lot with the internet.”
All London Music Factory tutors, a 13 strong team, have DBS checks and are legally certified to teach any age.
The London Music Factory offer a free trial lesson, no obligation, for first time bookings to allow pupils to feel comfortable with their teacher before they pay for a lesson.
For more information, go to londonmusicfactory. co.uk or call 020 32879587.