While I was writing yesterday’s post I came across an article about the flute students at UNCSA. They wanted to take advantage of the fact that Sir James Galway would be in town to play a concert with the Winston-Salem Symphony and hire him to teach a master class at the University of NC School of the Arts. The students were told there was no money in the budget for another guest artist at the school. What really struck me was how professionally the students handled this dilemma (there being no money left in the budget is a very common occurrence these days). I’m often asked what I think about musicians being asked to play for free or a reduced rate. Musicians are usually asked this because there are not enough funds left for the event when it comes around to hiring the musicians. The students obviously knew the value of the master class and so they owned the problem and solved it by raising the money. There is a huge lesson to be learned from these students. Before I hire anyone, I ask them their rate or I research what their rate should be and I always figure out how to get the money or, if that person is out of my budget, I go with someone who might be cheaper for various reasons. There are some musicians who are free or cheaper for reasons, but then there are some who are more expensive and usually for good reasons. Always be a professional when hiring a musician or any artist, do your research about a musician’s rates and then do the right thing, don’t pass your money problem onto the person you want to hire, be a professional and own your own problem and figure out a way to solve it. You wouldn’t offer a top chef the same rate a fast food company would pay it’s cooks. Here’s the article… I think it’s great!