This Client Spotlight features Mr. Melvin Llord of MyMusicTalk. Being a saxophone player myself, I was interested to checkout MySaxTalk, a community of around 1500 saxophonists, to see how musicians interact online. Growing up, I played in bands from grade school to university, and even took private lessons at a local music shop for many years. With the shift of goods and services to the Internet, it makes sense that you can now study an instrument and interact with students, teachers, and enthusiasts without even leaving the house.
In February of 2011, Mr. Melvin Llord added more instruments to his solo sax act and started MyMusicTalk to offer communities for piano, guitar, bass, and drums.
SocialEngine: What made you decide to create communities for musicians? Were you surprised at the initial success?
Melvin Llord: I went through many struggles as a young musician, but I understand that they were very necessary for me to eventually connect the dots and combine all my skills and experiences. I have been blessed to work with great companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Hewlett Packard and US Army. One of the things that I’ve learned on my previous jobs is that you have to think big. With that said, our initial success is only the beginning. I believe that I can make a difference in the music industry, that is why I founded MyMusicTalk Corporation.
MyMusicTalk gives us the opportunity to reach out to thousands of musicians of all levels, and provide educational resources to those who can’t afford to study at a major University. MyMusicTalk provides an alternative to Facebook or Twitter, which provide great social entertainment, but very little education. Most importantly, it is a great opportunity to be a good role model to the younger generation of musicians.
SE: Tell us a bit about your educational services. How popular are your online workshops and private lessons? How do you intend to work closely with schools and universities?
Melvin: A few months ago I was able to take private lessons online with my favorite saxophonist of all time, Mr. Eric Marienthal. This wouldn’t be possible if I had not created mysaxtalk. Very soon after this, other important legendary saxophonists offered to teach on our website. Some of the names include David Liebman, Tom Scott & Tim Price among others. We have professors in several countries including Germany, Brazil, Peru, Puerto Rico & USA. Our websites allow any student around the world to take lessons with some of the most recognized musicians in the world. This technology was just incorporated to myguitartalk and mypianotalk.
We have also started discussions with various universities which have expressed interest in using our website as platform to recruit international students. We are currently negotiating and developing our strategy to reach out to more educational institutions.
SE: How often do you have events with professional musicians such as the free Questions and Answers session with David Liebman, winner of the Downbeat and Jazz Times 2011 Critics Poll for Soprano Saxophone?
Melvin: We offer FREE online workshops every 2 or 3 weeks. For the last 3 months, Selmer artist and clinician Cory Barnfield has donated of his time to offer group saxophone workshops. These workshops have been very educational and the group of participants continues to grow.
David Liebman is one of the great jazz legends of all time. He donated a little of his time to meet our members and answer some jazz and saxophone questions. This weekend we will have a 2nd event with him and we hope to continue offering this once per month.
SE: What advice can you give SocialEngine users who wish to connect with their niche community? Obviously a drummer or a guitarist is a very targeted audience.
Melvin: I would encourage all SocialEngine users to use your area of expertise to give back to the community. You must offer something of value that a user cannot find on Facebook or Twitter.
Many people have asked me, “Why not have just one social network for all musicians?” If you think about it, do we need another MySpace? Our business model is more complex than other social networks, but the content of each of our websites has a much higher value for each member and sponsors.
SE: So is there a MyMusicTalk band? What types of interactions are you intending your members?
Melvin: We have discussed the idea. The content and forums of all websites are currently being managed by a professional music educator. We are considering in the near future a Live Concert with a selection of featured artists from our websites, but I cannot give you all the details yet. Just stay in tune, because that is definitely in plans.
SE: What future plans do you have for your communities, and what are your expectations for the next few years?
Melvin: Our main focus is to continue adding valuable resources for all musicians. This would allow us to continue growing but also keep our members actively involved. This 1st year we focused on the development of the websites and the business model. As of today we have around 5,000 members but our goal is to reach at least 30k members in the next 12 months. We also plan to create communities for brass, woodwinds, strings & vocals in 2012.
SE: So why SocialEngine for this project?
Melvin: I considered many platforms, but SocialEngine gives me the most flexibility and good support for a very reasonable price. They have a very knowledgeable and creative staff that continues to improve the platform month after month. Selecting SocialEngine as our platform was one of the best decisions that we made. I want to thank everyone at SocialEngine for a wonderful CMS platform and the great support that they have offered us.
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