Confessions of a Social Media Flunkie

Okay, so I'm one of those people who "gets" things pretty easily - I picked up music as a little kid by walking up to a piano and just playing away the songs I had been humming from the radio. I really never "applied myself" (as my teachers and parents described it) to my studies. Learning came easily, and as soon as I discovered I could wait until the last minute to turn in the assignment or study for the exam and still get a respectable grade, that was my modus operandi. I could run fast, jump high, swim long and hit the ball as far as anyone.

The road to here.....

Throughout my life this has been the norm. When I returned to my boyhood home from New York City in my early twenties, dejected and burnt out on making music a "career" I took a job with the local piano dealer demonstrating pianos and organs at the mall during the Christmas season. Discovering that I had a knack for sales I took a management position with a national piano and organ manufacturer - the same company whose products I had just sold a ton of a few months before. While working my way up the corporate ladder may have been financially satisfying, I knew inside that better things were awaiting.

Tapping into my sales background, I opened retail gift stores, then European-type tanning salons, beginning in the midwest, then crossing to Colorado, and finally landing in San Diego. In the meantime I had begun satisfying a love for art and design. Graduating from the Design Institute of San Diego, I moved to Palm Springs where I worked in retail and interior design for several years.

But my love for music kept gnawing away, and one day while listening to some beautiful soothing 'new age' music on the television I thought, "I can do that!"

The next thing I knew I had a degree from one of the most prestigious contemporary music schools in the country, Berklee College of Music in Boston. I had finally landed in the genre and milieu where I belonged. All the bouncing around trying new endeavors could finally stop! While becoming a successful composer and recording artist hasn't always been easy, it has been a path that felt 'right' - right from the beginning.

The cyber jungle out there..


In the midst of all the music making a world was swirling around me consisting of computers, cyber paradigms, smart phones, social media networking... and on and on. I figured I could 'get by' with a phone, a good computer and tons of music in my head. Because I had garnered prestigious awards early on in my music career I figured that I would just keep releasing good albums and my "star" would begin shining brightly. WRONG! It has taken me several years to finally understand that being an independent musician involves as much work behind the scenes - promotion, research, trial and error, administrative and technical - as the effort to make the music in the first place.

Forgive me...

So, dear reader - please be patient with me as I post (or mis-post) crazy facebook items and try to imbed a link when nothing comes out. When I put a hashtag in front of something that makes no sense please know that I'm in accelerated learning mode right now.

I beg your forgiveness for not being up to snuff with all this Instagram/Spotify/Pandora/Soundcloud/Pinterest Universe.

I've decided to take an accelerated musician's Social Media & Promotion BootCamp to insure that I am 'up to date' with all this crazy virtual world. I'll never again have to call myself a Social Media Flunkie!

Jeanne Duerst