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Riley Music Academy Music Cast: The Pros and Cons of working with others

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The Pros and Cons of working with others


This week I’ve been reflecting on the idea of engaging with others.

First of all, a bit of backstory: I joined a band when I was 17. It was a progressive rock band with 4 other musicians, the oldest of which was 10 years my senior. They taught me a lot about music, life, having a good time and occasionally getting into trouble! I loved how the band worked as everything seemed to flow organically and every musician’s input was valuable. It was a true example of a fully functioning conglomerate. As it was my first real taste of life in the music scene, I naively thought that I was destined to work in a group and for a while, that was the only way I could work. All other projects I have undertaken have been similar to this first one.

It wasn’t until the group disbanded that I realised that I would have to work on my own to get things done. I think in a way, I ended up overcompensating as for the last few years I have fairly stubbornly worked in isolation.

As always though, I feel a balance is needed. Here are a few pros and cons of working with others:


  • Delegating for more efficiency
  • Bouncing ideas around
  • Constructive input from peers
  • Musical conversation
  • Magical moments of improvised telepathy
  • Support and confidence (safety in numbers!)
  • Healthy interaction with other human beings!


  • Procrastination
  • Arguments/difference of opinion
  • More organising
  • Relying on other people
  • Paying for other peoples time
  • Restricted timescales
  • Democracy and diplomacy
This may make me sound like a totalitarian but the simple truth is that things are easier when you are just responsible for yourself! You get the work done and you do not have to bend to the will of others.

I was eating a sandwich in a coffee shop last week and I noticed this quote on the wall:

“If You Want To Go Fast, Go Alone. If You Want To Go Far, Go Together”

Do you agree?

I promised that I would give you some advice about the crowdfunding project that I have recently completed. Apart from the fact that I am bowled over by the generosity of people (including many readers of this blog, so a massive thank you to you), I have discovered that organising other musicians is like trying to place an octopus in a string bag. Of course, the more in demand the musicians are, the harder it is to confirm times for rehearsals and recording. What you lose in immediacy though is more than recompensed in creative input. What the other musicians offer will normally far exceed your expectations and take your work to a new level. The logistical nightmares are usually worth it in the long run. The journey is far more fun, as meeting up with like minded people is engaging and often hilarious.

I guess in conclusion, I feel a sense of satisfaction by working in isolation and steam rolling the workload but after a while I miss the banter and creative sparks that fly when I socialise. Life would be dull without friends and colleagues.

A good example of getting things done with the help of others is of course Crowdfunding. I am now a complete advocate. There is hard work involved both before and after the launch but if you get it right, its a very useful tool (I am talking more than just financial benefits). If you would like any specific advice on Crowdfunding then please get in touch.

Thank you again to all who have supported the project. I have a day of recording booked so far and I am in the process of notating all my charts to make them easier to digest. This is because I can’t nail down my musicians to rehearse (partly because Im booked up too, its not all their fault!, so we will have to hit the ground running when we end up in the studio.

Have a great week


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