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New Subscription Program Aims To Finance And Create Visibility For Music Preservation As Profession

Announcement! Starting this month, I'm offering a subscription program that delivers regular content and benefits to subscribers. The following points offer an overview. If you have any questions or concerns beyond the information provided, please contact me. I hope you'll support this important and necessary next step in my career towards building a sustainable pathway to professionhood for music preservation!


Why did you decide to launch a subscription program?

In order to build credentials and create awareness of music preservation as a profession, I've offered my platform and its many opportunities as a public service largely without monetization for years. General audiences and professionals alike have been beneficiaries of my work without fees, paywalls, ads and affiliate marketing.

The following examples demonstrate the meaningful impact of my efforts on music history and heritage across sectors, reaching both general and specialized audiences. They speak to the power and importance of music preservation as a field-oriented profession that connects directly to the public and its practitioners:

  • Educators have incorporated my content into their school curricula.

  • Trade magazines and academic journals have published my research.

  • Communities have increased tourism traffic and revenue from my work at landmarks.

  • Museums have exhibited my projects in both classical and popular music genres.

  • General audiences have accessed exclusive content, contests, events and exhibits.

Maintaining an open access resource for the purposes of reaching a larger population has meant forgoing a vital income stream. It has also exposed my writing, research and ideas to occasional plagiarism. Moreover, it has inadvertently devalued my work, music history and heritage and the profession for which I'm advocating.

Aside from the time and effort I've invested to create, develop and deliver public facing content, the actual work behind it has often been gratis or underfunded. Pay equity has been a systemic issue for arts professionals for centuries and the exploitation continues, particularly in non-profit work culture. This is why it's especially important for us to add value, not further devalue, the professional work of music preservation.

The sacrifices I've made to create an innovational portfolio forms the foundation of trust and credibility that I have today. It's the bedrock of my new subscription program. And with this announcement, I'm asking those who care about the cause to reciprocate, so that we can make greater strides without delay. This is a campaign to build recognition and assign social, cultural and economic value to this crucial work.

Is your subscription program for everyone?

Yes! My subscription program is for everyone who has an interest in the musical past and its guardianship. I'm offering three plans that suit the widest possible range of subscribers, from the casually curious to the professionally committed. All are welcome and encouraged to subscribe!

What are the plan options for subscribers?

Three subscription tiers give different levels of access. The Enthusiast plan is a free plan for those who may be new to my work and/or unable to purchase a paid plan, but still want to be connected through this limited access option that includes email list news and updates. The paid plans are modestly priced, offer a 7-day free trial and can be canceled anytime. Unlike the free plan, both paid plans provide subscribers with new and regular content. The difference between the Supporter plan ($5/month) and the Preservationist plan ($10/month) is three benefits: my complete archive, new subscriber-only forum and monthly subscriber bonus.

Why is your content worthy of a subscription?

I'm one of the only professionals providing an informational, scholarly and human-interest driven narrative about music history and heritage through the contemporary scope of fandom, industry, performance, popular culture, tourism and preservation. Whether virtually or physically, I operate in the field as a scholar-practitioner where my work has a direct influence on the relationship between audiences and the music of yesteryear.

I take an approach to historical subjects as they live and breathe in our world. I blend history and research with practical application to address the disconnect between the esoteric nature of academia and the one-dimensional and short-sighted consumer model of the music business. This is music preservation as I define it and much depends on its ability to become an established part of the arts and culture sector.

What can I expect from your content?

The subscription program will be instrumental in building conversation and community around the content I publish regarding music preservation, its projects, practices, objectives and actions. Some of my articles will be influenced by clients, narrating my work in film, music landmark initiatives, exhibits, events, concerts and other activities. Some articles will contain interviews and other exclusives that transport and immerse the reader while others will address current issues or suggested topics from subscribers on the forum.

My archive for The Chronicles of a Modern-Day Mozartian will remain open, but all new posts will only be previewed on that site and have a permanent home here through offered subscription plans. While W.A. Mozart and the pioneering artists of mid-century popular music have been a focus, I have an appreciation for various eras and genres in both classical and popular music. This new subscription program will give me the opportunity and incentive to expand into new areas which I find exciting!

I applied the knowledge and experience I gained from my Mozart specialization when I began to work in other genres. It was a valuable lesson. The purpose of my work is beyond any one artist. Although musical eras, cultures and audiences differ in many ways, the universality of music and musical nostalgia are homogenizing forces.

Whether I'm dealing with the 1750s or 1950s, I've found that my approach to music history and heritage as a preservationist requires a similar formula. And if I can bring diverse audiences together in a singular voice to support the efforts of music preservation while promoting cross-genre exchange, our case is stronger and all the better for it!

What can I expect from the forum?

I created the forum because I want to develop an engaged readership. Participation is optional, but I hope subscribers will choose to activate this benefit. It's an informal space to connect with other subscribers, ask questions and create discussions about articles and related topics. I'll be inviting guest interviewees and contributors to join us there, pending their time and interest. Access to the forum is only included with the Preservationist plan ($10/month).

Can you give me some examples of the monthly subscriber bonus?

The monthly subscriber bonus could be a downloadable resource, discount code, contest, virtual e-learning opportunity, behind-the-scenes exclusive or other content delivered to your inbox and the forum. It's only included with the Preservationist plan ($10/month).

How will my subscription make an impact?

I can't emphasize enough the importance of your subscription! It will make an impact in the following ways:

  • Remuneration - provide a regular income for my content and quantify its production.

  • Protection - protect my Intellectual Property through gating content and limiting access.

  • Definition - define this new interdisciplinary profession and its real-world impact.

  • Promotion - promote the importance of music history and heritage in our lives and communities.

The concept of music preservation as I define it through field work, is new, so there is no road map. There are no jobs, no networks of peers and mentors, no traditional systems in place to offer funding, resources, representation and support that most professionals take for granted. I don't have a safety net. I'm on my own. Like most independent arts professionals, I've had a regular job while pursuing my career, but as I made gains, it became clearer that I could no longer divide my time. The work demanded and deserved more of me, and rightfully so.

With no conventional and established way to earn a living as a music preservationist, I've had to create it while working within the confines of an inadequate and antiquated funding apparatus. It's based on the whims of chance and charity: a narrow lottery of competitive grants with unrealistic conditions and the fickle generosity of high-net-worth donors who contribute for social status, tax breaks and other incentives while trying to exercise power over beneficiaries. The arts and culture sector is ailing at the hand of this system, including our music history and heritage. So, I decided to create a subscription program.

Subscriptions will provide regular compensation for my writing, research and field work that informs the articles accessed by subscribers. These earnings will help establish an income along with revenue from services and project contracts. Generating income from my content will help quantify the uncharted territory that is music preservation by attaching financial value where it didn't previously exist. We deserve a salary just like any other professional.

New studies indicate that arts and culture funding has declined significantly in recent years because new generations of potential donors are increasingly disinterested. I'm not surprised. The stigmas surrounding the arts and acts of preservation, their benefactors and beneficiaries, are robust deterrents. While bygone music is readily accessible, the history and heritage behind the music is inaccessible.

In polls I've conducted with general audiences on social media, most have never heard of music preservation and aren't aware of opportunities to support these efforts. They'd be disheartened by the news that a local music landmark was demolished, but wouldn't have known they had the power to stop the wrecking ball through volunteerism and fundraising. We need to do more to address barriers, so that music preservation can welcome more investors and music history and heritage can enjoy more victories!

My hope is that the success of this subscription program will serve as a case study demonstrating interest and demand in music history and heritage through the agency of a public funding model. Inclusive, representative and powered by small donors who are invested because they believe in the cause and are fulfilled by it. The evergreen allure of the musical past ensures its stewardship, if only we open the door to its full potential.


The content on this site belongs exclusively to its creator and author, Sherry Davis. It is protected under the Copyright Act of 1976 and all subsequent amendments to copyright law. An excerpt or image may not be reproduced without consent. Please contact the author to request permission.

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