SubscribeStar Saturday: Spring Jam 2023 Review

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

Subscribers:  the annual TPP Summer Reading List will be posted soon (sometime this month—maybe next weekend!).  I’ll also be getting back to my series on Washington, D.C., this month as well.

Another Spring Jam is in the books, and I think it was the best one yet.  I should probably write that behind the paywall, but I’d like everyone to know.

Regular readers will know that in October 2020 I launched the TJC Halloween Spooktacular (I’d done a “Spooktacular” at a coffee shop in 2019, but that was a very different event), a Halloween concert on my front porch.  That first front porch Spooktacular featured two opening bands, followed by a couple of sets from my friend John and myself.  It was a rousing success, but in retrospect, it was too long (three hours!) and needed some streamlining.

Of course, in The Age of The Virus, everyone was starving for live entertainment and social interaction after being cooped up inside with Netflix and takeout for (by that point) seven months, so I could get way with a bloated bill.  It was a success, and most folks stuck around until we wrapped up sometime after 9 PM.

While I don’t think I’ve ever repeated the success of the first Spooktacular in terms of attendance and cashflow, I do think I’ve improved the formula somewhat.

The biggest change came when I made the Spooktacular and the spin-off Spring Jam into a recital for my private music students.  Following the doldrums of Summer 2020, when I had just one piano student every week, my private lessons empire ballooned to around twenty lessons or so each week (occasionally fewer, often more).  That has been a major financial and musical blessing, but it also means I have enough students to put on a pretty good recital, even if some students can’t attend.

With this latest Spring Jam, I think I have gotten it down to more of a science—but a fun science, like playing with magnets in the seventh grade.  There’s still the fun, relaxed, DYI-spirit of the event, but everything seems to be running more smoothly.

Like playing an instrument, practice makes perfect.

To read the rest of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.


Gig Day VII: TJC Spring Jam III

It’s time for another front porch concert!  This event—the TJC Spring Jam and Recital—will be the sixth Front Porch concert I’ve hosted (I think), and I’ve learned quite a bit from the others, including the last Spooktacular.

This year marks the third Spring Jam, which has become a popular event with my private music students.  These front porch concerts started out as a way for my buddy John and me to play gigs during The Age of The Virus, when nobody was open for live music.  I realized that if I wanted to play in front of a live audience, I’d have to circumvent the hysteria and become the venue and talent.

Gradually, the concept morphed from a self-indulgent concert into a recital for my private music students.  The Lord has really blessed me—far beyond what I deserve—with a large clientele of private music students (around twenty-two at the time of writing, working out in practice to anywhere from twenty-to-twenty-four lessons a week), so it made sense to offer a couple of recital opportunities a  year for them.

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Gig Day VI: TJC Spring Jam II

It’s time for another front porch concert!  This event—the TJC Spring Jam and Recital—will be the fourth Front Porch concert I’ve hosted (I think), and I’ve learned quite a bit from the others, especially the last Spooktacular.

This year, instead of inviting another band to open the concert, I decided to make the first portion into a recital for my private music students.  I’ve been teaching private lessons for years, but have never done a recital, so it was high-time to give my students and opportunity to share their considerable talents.

The recital element also brings with it a built-in audience:  the students naturally come with their parents—and, potentially, grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, family friends, etc.  More people means more merch sales, and possibly more tips and donations.

For this one, though, I’m not playing up the moneymaking aspect too heavily.  Yes, I hope to recoup some of my expenses for food and such, but the point is more to celebrate the hard work and talents of my private students.  If I sell some t-shirts and paintings, well, all the better.

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SubscribeStar Saturday Post “The TJC Spring Jam” is Posted!

Dear Readers,

I have been writing like the wind today.  I have finally caught up on all SubscribeStar content from the past couple of weekends.

You can now read “The TJC Spring Jam” if you’re a $1 a month or higher subscriber.

It’s a detailed rundown of the concert, including the major tunes played, the in-depth financials, and the organization of the concert.  Learn from my mistakes and successes!

Also, Sunday Doodles LXXXII is up, too!

Thanks again to subscribers and regular readers for your patience.  It’s been a wonderfully quiet day at home—literally, I’ve only gone outside to check the mail and to cut some oregano from my garden—so I’ve gotten a ton of writing done today.

It’s good to restore order to the blog!

Happy Reading!