Review of the Musicademy year

Review of the Musicademy year

In the tradition of a round robin Christmas newsletter, we thought we’d share with you some of the highlights of 2010 for Musicademy.

January saw us going to Breakforth Canada for the first time. Breakforth is North America’s largest worship event. As well as a booth selling DVDs, Andy taught a number of guitar and band skills seminars and it was great to meet some of our Canadian customers. We’re back again in January 2011.

We continued to invest time and resources into our website and newsletter. The blog area is very important to us and we now have some 500 pages there of free resources, advice and articles. Its always wonderful when people take the time to comment on any of the posts – we love reading what you think and over the year we’ve had a fair number of posts that have sparked either intensive debate or some great suggestions. I particularly liked the discussion on the following:
Should set lists harmonize with the sermon?
Worship leaders – stay on the melody (please)
Gear confessional – guitar amps
Drum screens – cage free or free range?
The best of 2010’s new songs
Summer festival worship – are we stuck in a rut?

We have done lots of worship events during the year and not one event goes by without several conversations with people who say how much they love the products, and particularly value the newsletter and blog. We’re so pleased you like this aspect of our work. We love creating it.

We’re able to run the blog and newsletter as free resources thanks to continuing sales of our DVDs. So thanks to anyone that has purchased those this year. In November we launched a new webstore which we think presents the products in a more logical manner, now offers free shipping as well as additional savings when buying more than one item. There’s a nice customer rating and review facility. We know that prospective customers really value reading these so if you’ve something to say about any of our products simply click through to one and leave a quick rating. The new store launch eas remarkably trouble free (although we’re still working on access to the members area and auto generated shipping notification emails). We have a workaround for the members area – if you need access plese just email us.

We launched a Facebook “fan” page during the year which has proved really popular. If you “like” the page you will get Musicademy updates direct to your Facebook wall which saves you the trouble of having to click through to our website looking for new stuff. We’ve found that many people are happier commenting and “liking” articles there rather than on our blog and that’s fine with us. We also try to add in plenty of Facebook-only links there which relate to items in the news on worship, or other websites that we think you might like. We’re planning more Facebook mashups for 2011.

We’ve been working hard filming, editing and releasing new instructional DVDs. These have included:
Intermediate Electric Guitar DVDs
Advanced Worship Bass DVDs
Advanced Worship Keyboards DVDs
Harmony & Backing Vocals in Worship – our best selling DVDs of 2010 and winner of Worship Leader Magazine Editor’s Pick
Rhythm Revolution – a drum book and CD by our friend Dez Minto.

In the pipeline for 2011 are “How to play by ear” – a DVD teaching you how to play by ear, understand chords – great for arranging and song writing too plus creating more Worship Backing Band backing tracks. We’re also planning on creating a lot more of our individual “song learner” lessons teaching you how to play guitar, keys, drums and bass to a wider range of worship songs. We’re also hoping to finally crack the “Band Skills” DVD. This will be a big project teaching the skills needing for playing together as a worship team. Its quite a complex thing to plan, let alone film so hopefully we’ll manage to get that one completed too.

November and December have turned out to be the biggest months ever for us in terms of product sales. We’ve introduced a lowest price guarantee on our webstore as well as a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. Hopefully these help people make up their minds to give our DVDs and online lessons a try. To further persuade you we’ve put a couple of our DVDs at half price. Improvisation skills for orchestral instruments and our original Intermediate Guitar Box Set.

We have a huge thank you to say to all the people that we’ve worked with over the year. Matt, Tim, Andreanna and Jon who have worked with us on our DVDs. Lindsay, Clare, Emily and Mark who have provided much needed admin support (Lindsay is joining the team on a regular basis in 2011 as our new administrator in addition to her book keeping duties). Olly and the team at Media Lounge and Neil and the team at Predictive Intent for their patient work on our websites as well as Kris Morris.  And to our team of guest bloggers – most of whom have written far better, and more popular articles than those we have penned ourselves – Tim Martin, Jamie Maxwell, Tom Barber, Jamie Brown, Vicky Beeching, Mia Fieldes, Kim Gentes, Lesley Fellows, Lex Buckley, Steve Weeks, Mike Sessler, Dan Wilt, Bob Kilpatrick, Paul Twelftree, Tim Bowdler, Jonny Baker and I’m sure some others that I’ve inadvertently missed.

And of course a huge thank you to you for reading the blog, commenting on posts and using our DVDs.

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and 2011.

Andy and Marie at Musicademy