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A Little Background

When I first started teaching, I received an advertisement from a company that offered to film my student’s performances and make DVDs for their families. I loved the idea of recording performances, but I wondered if the hassle of signing up, collecting payment, waiting for outside editing, DVD production, and delivery might be too big a barrier for some of my families. Having a copy of their performance would be great, but how many would commit to paying $20 for each one. There had to be a better way!

That’s when I decided to start filming performances on my own and upload those videos to YouTube free of charge. By using YouTube, I could connect with parents who couldn’t attend performances in person, and I could maintain an archive of past performances that families could look back on as their children grew. Sometime later I realized that performances weren’t the only things worth sharing. We were doing so many wonderful things in the classroom, and I wanted my classroom to be as open to families as possible. I started uploading songs, dances, activities, instrument pieces- everything my students wanted to share and everything I could manage to record.

Some time later I began to realize that parents weren’t the only ones interested in all that was happing in our music class. Teachers seemed to be interested too, and I started to see that I could help music teachers everywhere by simply sharing ideas. I kept uploading, and before I knew it I had a library of over 750 videos with an audience that was growing by the day!

The next challenge was figuring out how to organize my content so that teachers could actually find what they needed. In 2023 I decided to make a website, and it took about ten months to get the basic site up and running. I’m now doing my best to get the word out to as many music teachers as possible, hoping that the ideas I’ve had over the years can inspire and encourage others to try something new in their classrooms and for their students.

What now?

The mission of Bow Tie Music is to inspire people everywhere through an authentic, practical, and creative approach to music education. Doing this effectively requires the removal of barriers, especially for my main audience- teachers! Just as I decided all those years ago to not hire a professional company to record my student’s performances and sell DVDs to their families, so too I have decided that offering my content free to everyone is the most effective way of reaching those who might need it.

Still, the amount of time, effort and expense that’s required to start and maintain a site like Bow Tie Music is probably exceedingly more than you’d expect. I won’t go into the details, but you can know that offering these resources freely comes at an enormous cost to me personally. While I do make some money on YouTube views and partnerships, it doesn’t come close to the amount I have invested. I could recoup some of this by creating subscription tiers, pay walls, account logins, add campaigns, etc., but I know that teachers usually don’t have a lot of extra room in their budget, and I’d rather help as many people as I can for as long as I can.

If you believe in the mission of Bow Tie Music, and if you’d like to support my work so I can keep doing it for as long as possible, you can send me a tip at Will Doublestein (buymeacoffee.com). I am incredibly honored and grateful that you’d consider sending anything my way!

-Will Doublestein

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If you believe in the mission of Bow Tie Music, and if you'd like to support my work so I can keep doing it for as long as possible, you can send me a tip at buymeacoffee.com/BowTieMusic. I am incredibly honored and grateful that you'd consider sending anything my way! 

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