Tag Archives: Music Industry Workshop

Plan for Animal Abuse Registry to Protect Pets

Reggi Hopkins’ Blog Post

Reggi HopkinsAnimal abuse is a cause that often goes unnoticed.  Thankfully, animal rights groups are working to change this and make people aware of animal cruelty and abuse.  A California animal rights organization is working on putting together a database that will cover the entire nation in order to protect animals from vicious, abusive owners.

This project is looking to create an official “Animal Abuse Registry,” which would ensure that anyone convicted of animal cruelty would be forced to register with criminal justice services, thus prevent them from ever owning pets.  This system would also send out alerts to the general public as well as law enforcement as to where these registered animal abusers live, along with give animal shelters the ability to screen anyone who may be looking to adopt a pet for any past charges against animals.

The goal of the animal legal defense fund is to make people aware of animal cruelty and welfare, and to bring this issue into the light.  However, a good number of states are concerned with the costliness of creating this database.

As far as animal shelters are concerned, this registry would be of great assistance to them.  They want to find homes for the animals at their shelter, but they want to be sure the animal will be getting the proper love and care they need. Diane Lammerts, the director of operations at The Animal Foundation, says they often see terribly sad cases of unwanted animals neglected or turned lose, which often leads to them getting hit by cars.

This animal abuse registry would not only prevent pets from going to unsuitable homes, but would also allow others to easily report abusive behavior and have it taken care of by authorities.  Hopefully this registry takes hold and begins to grow across the U.S.  A lot of innocent animals could survive and enjoy their lives by way of this protective measures program.

via Reggi Hopkins: Animal Rights Activist and Environmentalist http://reggihopkinsmusic.net/2013/11/22/plan-for-animal-abuse-registry-to-protect-pets/


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Effective Interviewing for the Employer

Reggi Hopkins’ New Post

Reggi HopkinsHiring employees is a difficult process.  You are assessing a person on whether or not they would be a good person to work at your business in a matter of 30 minutes to an hour, when, if they get the job, you and your coworkers will be spending much more time than that with them.  More recently, employers have been realizing that hiring someone who fits their ideal employee perfectly on paper is not always the best decision.  Focusing solely on the skills of an individual can be a big mistake when hiring.  Skills are important, yes, but they do not automatically make a perfect employee.  One is also looking for employees who work well with others, are high in productivity and much more.

This is why it is important to have good questions ready when you sit down to interview a potential employee.  If you are asking someone to interview, you already know that their skill set is a match for what you are looking for.  You have already reviewed their resume, letters of recommendation, and any other documentation you may have required.  The interview is the true test of whether or not this person will be a cohesive component of your business.  In order to find this out, it is important to go about the interview the right way.

  1. Make the Questions Open-Ended-  Ask about how they have dealt with confrontations or any issues in their previous area of employment.  If the examples they give are all centered on how they could do no wrong or always had the best way or knew better than their boss, chances are this person will not be able to work very well in a setting that is already well established and functioning well.  This type of attitude indicates they do not take direction well and may cost you more time and energy than they’re worth.
  2. Multiple Interviews- Have other people in your business interview them.  Getting a few opinions on a potential employee can help a lot, especially if you will not necessarily be working directly with them.  Someone already in the department they are looking to join may be able to offer better advice on how they would fit in.
  3. Reference Check the Right Way- When getting in touch with previous employers or coworkers about a potential hire, be sure to ask about them as a person- how they operate in an office setting, what their attitude is like, etc.  These “soft skills,” can give you a good idea of how this person really is.

These three tips can help employers give better interviews and thus hire and retain better employees that can help build and develop their business.

via Reggi Hopkins: Entrepreneurship and Business Development http://reggihopkinsmusic.com/2013/11/21/effective-interviewing-for-the-employer/

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Women in the Music Industry are Making Some Noise!

Blog Post by Reggi Hopkins

Reggi HopkinsChicago has always been a force in the music industry.  Countless independent record labels, pop-up venues, and popular record stores have been a strong foundation for artists looking to make it, and Chicago is always looking to support and promote its own artists.

Lately though, which may come as a surprise, is the number of strong female artists up-and-coming on the Chicago music scene.  Record labels, music stores, and various other music-related businesses are being run by females in Chicago.

The director of “Girls Rock! Chicago,” which is a music camp for young girls ages 8-16 is directed by Melissa Oglesby, and is meant to teach girls to express themselves creatively, trust their instincts, boost their self esteem and make them aware of their community needs by way of rock music.  Oglesby says the program is incredible in that these young girls uplift one another and are able to find themselves as musicians and as individuals.  Not only that but they area also given female role models by way of their camp counselors, who teach them music and mentor them.

Melissa Oglesby acknowledges that the music industry can be a tough place for young women to get involved in, but through programs like Girls Rock, young women are able to come together and learn from one another- learn music, learn strength and learn to collaborate with one another.

With a bunch of strong women in the community, such as Nan Warshaw, the co-owner of bloodshot records, Kelly Nothing, of Animal Kingdom (an up-and coming music venue), and Heather West, the owner of Western Publicity, the women of the Chicago music scene are a force to be reckoned with.  They are driving the business today, and in the future we can only expect to see these women continue to develop and grow the industry.

via Reggi Hopkins Music Page http://reggihopkins.org/2013/11/20/women-in-the-music-industry-are-making-some-noise/

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Video Technology Helps Nebraskan Music Students

Reggi Hopkins’ New Blog Post

Reggi HopkinsMusic should be accessible to all students.  However, for those living in extremely rural areas, it can be very difficult to find the quality of teaching needed to guide them in learning an instrument, not to mention a wide variety of instruments that students may be playing.   Areas of Nebraska have recognized this problem and have come up with a solution to begin to help these students by video conferencing their students with specialized music instructors at the Manhattan School of Music in New York.

In a small town called Neligh, the school band was able to have one of their students qualify to make the all-state band, something that has not happened in 12 years.  Along with school band practice, this gifted young clarinet player took weekly 50-minute video sessions with an instructor at the Manhattan School, enabling her to take her abilities to the next level and succeed in her goals.

At another Nebraska school, Kearney High School, eleven of the students in the band made the all-state band, a whopping double the number of students as in previous years.  The band teachers say they owe it to the specialized, direct instruction.

The video technology that is connecting these students and instructors is called Polycom.  These machines are made for videoconferencing and have an omnidirectional microphone built in, which helps for eliminating background noise and allowing the focus to be completely on the music instruction, with little interruption.  The sound is crucial because of the nature of the lesson- focusing on fine-tuning and perfecting musical sound and ability.  Other video-chat programs cannot offer this same quality.  Similarly, an HD camera allows instructors to zoom in, so they can better instruct students on their physical technique with an instrument.

The dean of distance learning and recording arts at the Manhattan School of music said it best, “We’re able to leverage 21st century technology to keep music alive.  This is a phenomenal way to do it, and the folks in Nebraska get it.”  Thanks to this technology and the coast-to-coast camaraderie, students are able to better themselves at their instrument and become the musician they had always dreamed of being.

via Reggi Hopkins Tech Page http://reggihopkins.net/2013/11/17/video-technology-helps-nebraskan-music-students/

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Dash Delivers Success

Reggi Hopkins’ New Post

Its not everyday that you can stare into your garage and see something that could bring in revenue of up to $4.6 million dollars.  Thats essentially what Phil Dumontet did.  It’s never easy when starting your own business and Phil Dumontet succeeded with flying colors.  Phil started a company called Dashed, a food-delivery service, upon graduating from Boston College.

It’s very admirable to go for it when he already had something more concrete set up.  What I mean by this is he had a contract to work with AT&T, an established company where he knows he will receive a paycheck at the end of the day, and he passed on AT&T and went on his own to pursue his own business where there is no guarantee he gets paid.  It takes a lot of hard work, perseverance, and dedication to really get your own business moving and he did…with his bike.

People today need to look for opportunities more closely.  It’s one thing to check on monster.com or LinkedIn but another to do your own research.  Phil noticed a delivery service in the Boston area that went under.  He saw an opportunity.

Phil took his mountain bike and turned it into a company, Dashed.  You have to see the value in what you own.  Not everybody looks at a bicycle and sees money, but Phil did.  He wanted to specialize in speedy service.  In cities, a car can be hard to park so Phil looked elsewhere.  He did what many people might not do, he thought smaller.  He turned to bikes and scooters.  Bikes and scooters are easier to park when making deliveries in a city.  People care about a speedy service.  They want their hot food while its still hot.  Phil’s plan delivers on that.

His company has done so well that it has expanded to four more cities: Providence, Philadelphia, Hoboken, and Baltimore.  You have to admire Phil for his hustle.  To put a delivery service at the young age of 26 in five different cities is remarkable.  He’s had an unbelievable 2,984% growth in a three year span.  You have to really stay on your toes and recognize a need.  With a lot of demand coming from colleges in Connecticut, Phil plans to expand there this year.

Overall, Phil Dumontet has done something remarkable.  He turned down guaranteed money to start his own business with his mountain bike.  It ultimately paid off in the end for him as he’s now further growing his business which brings in millions in revenue.

via Reggi Hopkins: Entrepreneurship and Business Development http://reggihopkinsmusic.com/2013/10/24/dash-delivers-success/

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Sustainable Initiatives at Colleges

Reggi Hopkins’ Blog Post

The Harvey Mudd College has launched a major sustainability initiative.  What Harvey Mudd College is doing is eliminating the use of toxins on campus and turning to InstaFlow.  InstaFlow is a compact, intuitive device, providing highly-effective cleaning and sanitizing solutions.  This movement is aimed to reduce the college’s carbon footprint and save tens of thousands of dollars through InstaFlow.

A lot of cleaning products on campus are changing to products produced by GenEon Technologies Engineered Smart Water.  The Smart Water is created through a technology that converts natural minerals and water into a safe, non-toxic cleaner and sanitizer.  This cleaner is proven to be 80 to 200 times more effective than chlorine bleach.  In addition to this product, InstaFlow will provide Harvey Mudd College with non-toxic glass cleaner and a heavy duty cleaner/degreaser that perform like traditional products but without harmful side effects.

The initiative does three things for the college.  First, it positively impacts the environment.  Many schools and communities are “going green” in an effort to help save the environment from all of its pollutants.  Secondly, it decreases chemical exposure to students and faculty.  By cleaning up the school in such a way, it gives off a more fresh and inviting look that makes students and faculty want to come to school.  Lastly, it saves the college money.  A college has a lot of expenses it incurs, from staff to facilities to maintenance.  With extra money in its pocket, the school can allocate more money to other areas that need to be addressed or that they want to improve.

Harvey Mudd College has a great reputation.  Located just 35 miles from Los Angeles, California, the college is recognized as one of the country’s top math, science, and engineering undergraduate colleges.  The school, as attractive as it already is to prospective students, only makes it reputation greater by launching this initiative.  With more money for the school to spend, look for the college to become even more reputable in the near future.

via Reggi Hopkins: Animal Rights Activist and Environmentalist http://reggihopkinsmusic.net/2013/10/23/sustainable-initiatives-at-colleges/

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Universal Music Groups’ New Innovative Business Plan

Universal Music Group may have its hands on the next great business idea.  With YouTube bringing you hits like Gangnam Style and Harlem Shake, UMG is now looking to capitalize on those songs.  UMG wants to begin a new label, All Def Music, to market and promote these internet sensations.

This is a brilliant move by UMG.  If you YouTube Gangnam Style, you will find many different varieties of the video all of which having millions of views.  The Harlem Shake trend had millions of teams, offices, universities, kitchens, etc. providing their own rendition of the video and putting it on YouTube for millions of people to check out.  YouTube is the number one video site that users go to, and UMG is at the forefront of turning in those views for dollars.

Many of these YouTube stars know what they are doing, putting themselves out there to gain exposure.  Hoping some talent agent who they can’t find, finds them.  UMG is trying to get into a potential gold mine and they will need to do it with the right team.  I believe they are set up for a bright future with the team they have assembled.  UMG is working with Russell Simmons, veteran hip-hop exec Steve Rifkind, and the founder of children’s YouTube Network AwesomenessTV Brian Robbins.

Many people think that to rely on YouTube sensations may be a huge risk, but UMG goes beyond just YouTube stars.  They focus on emerging artists as well.  One of their clients is Spoken Reasons, who has more than 1.3 million YouTube Subscribers.  Other more established artists they work with are British singer Alex Day and British bass-music brand UFK.

The fact that YouTube is known globally is a huge asset to UMG.  It essentially cuts down on their talent search in terms of attending shows across the country or visiting another country to see an artist play.  From one remote location on the planet, they are able to identify a potential client from millions of miles away for as long as they have uploaded their video to YouTube.

Overall, Universal Music Group has the potential to explode as a new record label.  With YouTube being a great outlet to reach musicians, the possibilities for UMG are endless.  I think the label has brought on some great leaders in Russell Simmons, Steve Rifkind, and Brian Robbins to help steer this label in the correct direction.  At any moment, the next Gangnam Style video can be upon us, and I think UMG will capitalize on it.

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