Recently, I have done a lot of traveling, both on the road and in the air. I have become very familiar with the contents of my iPod-consisting of over 80% music and the other 20% videos, apps, and other files-during these travels. One feature of the iPod, however, that I hadn’t explored much in the past was the option of listening to podcasts. Despite the large volume of music I have, I have been listening to spoken-word podcasts almost exclusively during my trips. I subscribe to and download the podcasts using iTunes, and have configured the software to transfer the five most recent episodes of each podcast whenever I sync my iPod. The podcasts I currently subscribe to are:
- GeekBrief with Cali Lewis (the only video podcast)
- Music Tech for Me with Keith Mason
- Musically and Technically Speaking with Brenda Muench and Carol Broos
- MusTech.net‘s Podcast with Dr. J. Pisano and Darren Morton
All of these podcasts share fantastic thoughts on their specific subjects, and explore their niches with excitement and vigor. Many of these presenters also have blogs in their niche, which are the premier blogs on the subjects. The content is fresh, exciting, and extremely useful to the target audience.
This got me thinking, though. What makes these blogs and podcasts so successful is the appeal they have to their target audience. This is not a surprise; most successful ventures in any field are successful because they cater to the audience that they are designed for.
My blog, however, is unique in the fact that it has a few target audiences: namely music educators and people just generally interested in my life. Perhaps my blog’s readership isn’t as high because I don’t have a specific focus, but I like it this way; I have the opportunity to write about whatever comes to mind, without having to worry about turning away readers by writing an “off-topic” post. Another unique feature of my blog, especially the Music Education Blogger side of it, is that some of my posts discuss aspects of teaching music, while I haven’t ever actually held a job as a teacher! I try to bring as many ideas and thoughts as I can to the table considering my lack of experience, but I can’t by any means be considered an “expert” in that field, like Dr. Pisano could in the field of music technology, for example.
So what am I an expert in? Realistically speaking, nothing, but I feel I have a lot of experience at actually being a collegiate Music Education student. I’m not claiming to be an expert at the content we learn in our collegiate courses, but instead I am referring to my knowledge of the experiences that Music Education students have in the collegiate level, and my involvement in the field from a collegiate perspective. Is there a market for collegiate Music Educators who are interested in more information about opportunities to take advantage of, or other suggestions for their specific demographic? I think there is; there is a even professional organization dedicated to this-the Collegiate Music Educator’s National Conference (CMENC). CMENC is the collegiate sub-organization of MENC-The National Association for Music Education, and is the umbrella organization for the FCMENC chapter at UMiami, on which I currently serve as President-Elect.
I don’t want to add another “category” of posts on my blog, though; I fear that writing on too many more subjects increases the risk that people interested in one specific topic will be turned away by the likelihood that a new post will not be on the topic they’re interested in. How, then, can I share my so-called “expertise” on the topic of being a collegiate music educator with other like-minded people?
My idea: I am thinking about starting a podcast on collegiate music education. The podcast would have an extremely loose schedule of being updated once a month, with the decision on when to do a new one being dictated by me and my schedule. Included in the podcast would be tips for college music education students on subjects such as time management and choosing a school, interviews with professors or other professionals with information to share about the music education degree process, and updates on opportunities for music education majors. Each episode of the podcast would be roughly 10-15 minutes in length.
One concern of mine is the time commitment that this would entail, but I am confident that the flexibility of the schedule, and the fact that I could post on my own time, will allow me to share my experiences with everyone while still taking care of my other obligations.
What do you think? Do you have experience publishing a podcast? What advice would you give? Are you a college student? What topics would you be interested in hearing discussed? Please leave your thoughts in the comments!