Mar 30, 2019
Hey everyone, I thought it would be good to take a few minutes to give a quick update on the podcast and some of the things that are coming down the pipeline.This is podcast episode #20. That might not seem like a lot but from the production side of things, it is a small milestone in the podcasting world. If you have listened to every minute of every episode by now you have listened to nearly 1,068 minutes or 17.8 hours of content! That’s a lot of content!! I set the personal goal of trying to release once a week since starting the show in the Fall of 2018 and I am not too far off from that. I think that weekly releases are just right for the intent of the show and it gives you the listener the right amount of information to listen to over the course of a given month.
I will let you in on some of the back-end stats because it is very exciting - the listenership for the podcast has grown significantly over the past few months. Each month continues to set new records in terms of downloads and episode views; that tells me that there is continued interest and hopefully value in what I am publishing. The growth tells me that word is spreading AND that you are coming back for more, each and every episode. Regardless - thank you for listening and subscribing to the show! This means a lot and it lets me that this venture is a worthwhile resource for our community.
Now a little into the business side of things. I have mentioned this in previous episodes, but there is a small amount of operating overhead to run the podcast. These expenses are minimal but they are a constant reminder that few things are free in this world. Being thoughtful and considerate of you as my listener and knowing full well that advertisements can significantly detract and hinder a podcast experience, I have thought long and hard about how to mitigate the hosting expenses and I have a few ideas. Some of these have happened since episode one but others are new and will start in the coming episodes.
First - On this episode and episodes going forward I am going to draw more attention to books and other resources mentioned in the show. The Band Director’s Lounge is an Amazon affiliate which means that if you use our links to click-thru and purchase certain products, the podcast will get a small percentage of that purchase. This does not add anything to your price tag or inflate your prices at all - Amazon just shares a portion of its sales with its affiliate. The margins are very low but the idea is that many small purchases will help whittle down our operating expenses. If you want to help support the podcast, please use the book links found in the show notes of all episodes. The books are also listed in the “Books from episodes” section of the website and some of the most recent book recommendations are shown on the right hand column of the website. Once you click-thru you can continue shopping for other amazon products, just consider clicking through The Band Director’s Lounge first as this will help us out!!
Second - I have found a couple of products that have been immensely useful as a band director that I would like to draw direct attention to. These will be shared in the form of short advertisements read by myself during podcast episodes. I know that you are here for the content and not these advertisements so I intend to be respectful of your time AND to only select products that I have found useful. As of this episode, the products that will be talked about on the show will be advertised as an affiliate. This means that The Band Director’s Lounge will only receive support if purchases done by listeners, not just by listening to the advertisement. I will not be representing products that I cannot stand by or items that I think are not worth your time. I know how precious your time is because I know that music educators are busy people and I will continue to be respectful of that.
Third - If you or someone you know would like to simply donate to the podcast to help cover some of our expenses, this can be done through paypal. The link to the donation page can be found here: paypal.me/pools/c/8dpQAkgwuQ. I set this up understanding that some people like to support things monetarily in the form of a donation. If this is you or anyone that you know- THANK YOU!!
The first product that I want to mention goes by an odd name but I think is extremely useful to people in our profession.
Hearing loss is a real fear for many band directors. I think that we all know a long-retired band director who did not escape the band room or marching field trenches with all parts of their hearing. Thankfully great hearing protection these days is not that expensive.
If you are looking for quality and cost-effective hearing protection, consider Eargasam Earplugs. These earplugs reduce all frequencies evenly, allowing you to still hear blaring trumpets, whispering flutes, and booming bass drums but just at softer and quieter volumes. Their discreet design allows them to be worn without drawing attention to your ears. Each set comes with two different sizes large and small ear canals. They are easy to remove from your ears and come with an aluminum carrying case that can be clipped to your keychains making them easy to carry with to pep band events or concerts.
I personally bought custom-molded earplugs from an audiologist back in college. These have been great! But they set me back about $150 out of pocket - a small price for putting some protection between my hearing and my drumline’s rimshots. Eargasam Earplugs run about $35-$40 and work just as well - these are perfect for directors who want affordable hearing protection and depending upon your insurance provider - some providers and HSA’s cover the cost.
Use this link in our show notes to purchase your set of Eargasam Earplugs and your purchase will help support The Band Director’s Lounge. Check out the website to see all of the styles available today.
Okay enough about money, back to useful and relevant content for you! I have a long list of potential show guests and I am slowly but surely working through these awesome directors and arranging times to interview them, however I need your help.
If you know someone who would make a great guest on the show, please consider nominating them through this google form. This form will help me in processing nominations and more importantly in guiding my interview. I have received some nominations over the past few months but I am needing some more information about setting up their interview. If I know a little more about why you think a particular director or band program is special or unique, then I can craft questions to focus on that. The worst is when an interview feels more like a game of minesweeper or battleship instead a focused conversation. In addition, this method will help me connect with directors outside of MN more as I will have an “in” with how to approach them about their programs. By the way, if you know of a great program but don’t know the director very well, you can simply nominate the program too! Many of the fields in the form are optional but just remember that the more information that you share with me, the better I can be about contacting them for the show.
Please nominate guests and programs here.
Don’t worry, this week’s interview is being released concurrently with this episode so you are not going to be duped for an episode. Thanks for taking a moment to hear about what is going on with the podcast. Please continuing nominating and recommending directors and programs and sharing the word about this podcast! This is a fun project for me and I am glad that you are enjoying it.
Alright, time for you to cycle to the next episode. Thanks for listening! We will see you back here next time in The Band Director’s Lounge.