Reading recommendation: ‘Gender Disparity in UK Jazz” by Sammy Stein

Gender disparity in the British musical scene is at the core of what motivated our director Millicent Stephenson to create Cafemnee, when back in 2014, she realized how appalling the differences between male and female musicians were both in terms of numbers and opportunities. Ever since, Cafemnee has been one of many efforts by different people across the country to change the situation, and now, thanks to the research and work of Sammy Stein, these are compiled in a book called ‘Gender Disparity in UK Jazz – A discussion’.

This book provides a clear vision of the current state of the jazz music scene in terms of gender equality, and we recommend it to understand the circumstances and be able to think of informed solutions to move forward. You can find it in Kindle at Amazon UK or elsewhere at just £2.00 as an eBook, £15 as a paperback.

Sammy Stein also interviewed Millicent as part of the research for her second book, ‘In Their Own Words’, which was scheduled to release at the beginning of the year but was moved due to the pandemic and is set to become available in the next weeks. We will keep you informed about it, if you are interested in finding out more about women in jazz.

Coventry is the UK City of Culture 2021, and that’s good for musicians.

Millicent was part of the process to sign a memorandum of understanding between Coventry City of Culture Trust, Midlands TUC Cultural & Leisure Committee and the trade unions Equity, BECTU and the MU. This memorandum contains the agreements reached on the terms of engaging professionalactors, performers, musicians, creatives, and technicians, looking forward to the fact that Coventry is the UK City of Culture 2021. Among other things, it ensures professional musicians engaged for the celebrations will be paid at better than MU rates.

The memorandum of understanding is going to be available soon, we’ll try to share it here as soon as we have it. We strongly recommend you to check it out and learn about the opportunities you could get with Coventry next year, and the conditions of work you can expect from the celebrations.

If you want more information about what being the UK City of Culture means for Coventry, you can read their statement after being awarded with this recognition back on December 2017.

Learn About Copyright In “Time For My Music”

Next Wednesday 11th November, the community group Time For My Music will have the monthly topic discussion via Zoom, and this time we are going to talk about copyright. The specific themes that we will touch are:

– What to copyright
– When to copyright
– How to copyright
– Is saying ‘I don’t own the rights to this song’ enough? 
– Who is PRS and PPL and how do they relate to copyrighting?
– What about studio work, are my lines copyrighted?

If you are a woman in music and you are interested in learning about copyright and other essential topics to successfully build a career in this industry, consider joining Time For My Music to have access to the talk and all the other resources we offer. We look forward to welcome you with open arms!

What Does It Mean To Be A Menopausal Musician?

October 18th was established as World Menopause Day to raise awareness about the issues, experiences and challenges that this natural stage of life brings to a bit more than half the population of the world, yet is hardly spoken about and even considered a bit “taboo”. To contribute to this campaign, Millicent wrote an article for the Musician’s Union to shed some light over life as a menopausal musician, and it begins as follows:

“It was during an MU Committee meeting where we were informed that temperature checks would be part of COVID testing for musicians entering rehearsal rooms and Studios, that I laughingly said, “What about us women of a certain age? We do get a little hot from time to time. How will it tell if we are warm from a flush or COVID?”

We chuckled but it was for serious consideration. It was comforting to hear that those with an elevated temperature could take a seat, cool down and retake the test, hopefully passing with flying colours.

But I did wonder whether some women may dread temperature checks because they may not want to explain their health if they feel they will be subjected to detrimental treatment or capability procedures at work.”

We invite you to read the full article on the MU website and share it with fellow musicians, no matter their gender: even if you don’t experience something yourself, it is always positive to be informed about it to know how to better support your peers and create good working environments!

Drink, Chill and Chat with the Community Group on Oct. 31st.

Our next Drink, Chill and Chat event on the community group Time for My Music will take place on Saturday 31st October, from 10:00am to 11:30am. It is a Zoom meeting in which the members have the opportunity to catch up, share experiences and comments, and overall have a friendly conversation about music and the music industry while enjoying a hot beverage.

To join us, be sure to acquire your membership before the date comes. You can find more information and book your place in the Time For My Music website.

12pm until 1pm on AffinityXtra Radio station today

Episodes 7, 8 & 9 of ‘Success Beyond The Score’ podcast, insights and tips to help you find your way in the music industry is airing today, Tues 20th Oct, 12pm until 1pm on AffinityXtra Radio station today.

The replay is this Sunday same time if you miss today. https://www.affinityxtra.com/

The Journey Of A Menopausal Musician

“Femininity is cherished and exploited in the music industry. Producers make their fortunes by selling a version of feminine sexual perfection and we see this through comments such as ‘You sound ok but you just don’t have the right look’ which is mentioned in TV music competitions. The winner goes through a complete make-over with additional air brushing to personify ultimate beauty and achievement. But then, years later, what happens when the menopause hits?”

This is one fragment of the article our director Millicent Stephenson wrote for the Musicians Union in occasion of World Menopause Day, October 18th. In it, she talk about how, despite whatever Hollywood or the industry says, it is not the end of any career, including music. Let’s get informed and share this information with our peers, no matter the gender, so we can spread awareness and have better working relationships! Click here to read the whole text.

One Website, Everything You Need For Your Music Career

Our creative director, Millicent Stephenson, has dedicated many years to provide fellow musicians with all kind of resources to help out navigate the tricky and difficult path that is building a career in this medium. With the arrival of the pandemic, Millicent doubled her efforts so more artists could see a way out of the crisis, which resulted in a new wave of advise in different formats and, as a consequence, the realization of them being too disconnected from each other. To solve that, all her endeavours have been put together in a single website: www.successbeyondthescore.com

You may recognize that name as the title of Millicent’s podcast, which currently has a whole season online and available in SoundCloud, iTunes, Mixcloud and also appears every two weeks in the radio station AffinityXtra, but the website is more than that: it also includes Millicent’s free booklet and the access to our community group Time For My Music, that offers safe spaces, forums, a library of resources and more.

We expect this new website is more practical for you to make consultations, read, ask for help and interact with Millicent to grow your brand and achieve your goals in the music industry.

‘How To Improve Your Stage Presence’ forum this Wednesday!

One of the perks of being a member of ‘Time For My Music” is that you can vote every month for a topic of your interest to be discussed in the Zoom forum with experts. September’s chosen theme was ‘how to improve your stage presence’ and we are going to talk about it on Wednesday 7th October from 7:30pm to 9:00pm.

Members sent us their specific questions for the subject and we cannot wait to have them all resolved and discussed for everybody’s benefit in a couple days. If you are interested in joining, you still have time to purchase your membership to the community group. Watch the video on the landing page to learn more about all the good things that come for only £25 a month and hop on the train to a successful music career surrounded and supported by fellow female musicians!

In Need of Support? Check ‘Help Musicians’

The hardships that this strange year has brought us made more relevant than ever the vital importance of having a support network in our profession. It is difficult to open the path alone; we need both creative and business advice, we need guidance in a lot of side aspects that come with what we do. We need to take care of our mental and physical health along the way, we have to keep and eye in our finances. It is normal that, sometimes, everything gets a bit too much.

Help Musicians is an independent UK charity created with the aim of providing exactly that support in times of need but also in times of opportunity, so every musician has what they need to reach their goals. We advise you take a look at their website to see what they are currently offering due to the pandemic and in general, as we believe some of you could find very beneficial programmes to get back on your feet now that the restrictions have been softened.

This is the organization’s website. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter, where you will be able to keep up with their work and recent news.

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