Learn how to publish your music to iTunes or Amazon for free
(Plus 33 Quotes On Music)
by Eric Elder
I love to play the piano. But until I was 30, I only played for myself. I just loved doing it for the sheer joy of doing it. I loved figuring out the notes and hearing them come together to form songs. To think that the music I was hearing was coming out of notes I was playing was, in itself, fully satisfying. As Carlos Santana says,
“When you play from your heart, all of a sudden there’s no gravity. You don’t feel the weight of the world, of bills, of anything. That’s why people love it. Your so-called insurmountable problems disappear, and instead of problems you get possibilities.”
I was quite happy to just play for myself.
But one day a friend came over and heard me play. He said, “You wrote those songs?” I told him I did. He said, “You should record them!”
I didn’t know why I should record them. I just liked playing them. But he said he had some recording equipment and he’d be glad to help me record them. So we set up a time for him to come back, and a few days later he had recorded a dozen of my songs.
When he played back the tape for me, I couldn’t believe it. The songs sounded completely different! For the first time I was able to hear my songs without having to play the keys in front of me. It was a totally different experience.
As odd as it may sound for me to say this, the songs really touched my heart. I no longer heard them as “my songs” but just songs. Even today, when I hear other people play my songs, I don’t usually recognize them at first. I just love them. And somehow, they really minister to my heart in a deep way. When I first heard them played back, I thought, if they touch me like this, maybe they would touch others, too.
So a few years later I went back and recorded the songs again, this time taking a little more care to record them as best I could; then I posted them on my website. People started writing in to say how touched they were by the music. Some even said it was so relaxing that they turned on my music at night before they went to bed and woke up to it still playing in the morning (which makes me wonder how many people have actually listened to my music…they might just be sleeping through it!).
Music has the power to touch people in a way that goes beyond words. The Bible tells of a young boy named David who played the harp for a king:
“Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him” (1 Samuel 16:23).
Many times as I play the piano, I find it calms my own soul as well as the souls of those who listen. In the 16th century, Martin Luther said:
“Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.”
For me, music is like the oil that lubricates the engine of my life. Things just seem to run smoother with music, be more enjoyable. Of course, there are times when silence is golden. But the right music at the right time can change the whole atmosphere of almost any situation.
I remember walking around SeaWorld in San Antonio one day with my wife and young kids. As we strolled from activity to activity, everything seemed so perfect and calm and wonderful. I couldn’t believe it. Then I realized what was happening. Although the weather was gorgeous and we were truly having fun, I noticed that there was music playing everywhere we went. It was coming out of speakers hidden in the rocks in the ground that lined every path and trail in the park. It was like having a sound track synced to our lives, and it was beautiful.
Whether you’re a musician or not, I’m sure you can appreciate how music can touch people in ways that go beyond words. As Plato said:
“Music training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the secret places of the soul.”
If you are a musician, I’d like to encourage you today to consider sharing the songs that God has put on your heart with others. As I’ve shared my story about how I went from just playing the piano for myself to sharing it with the world, others have asked to me help them record their music and put it online, too.
Since that time, I’ve helped to record dozens of CDs and hundreds of songs. I love doing it because I love to see people come alive as they’re able to share their songs with others, and I love to see how others are blessed when they listen to those songs. I don’t do it for money. I just do it for joy!
So this week I recorded a short 15-minute video to show you how you can publish your music online on websites like iTunes, Rhapsody, Spotify, BeatsMusic and more. As an example, I show how I uploaded one of my sister’s beautiful piano recordings of “Amazing Grace” to CDBaby.com, who will then distribute it to other music services for digital streaming and downloading.
It’s a fairly simple process that you can do by yourself, and it’s fairly inexpensive, too. Sometimes it just takes watching someone else walk through the process and then you can do it on your own from there.
I’ve also posted a video previously that shows how you can publish your books and music on Amazon.com for free. This is especially useful if you want to print high-quality, physical copies of your books or music. Here’s a link to both videos.
How to publish your songs on iTunes, etc.:
How to publish CD’s on Amazon.com:
As a final encouragement, I’d like to share with you 33 quotes on music that my friend and partner in ministry, Greg Potzer, shared with me. Greg’s a collector of quotes extraordinaire, and his quotes on music are just as fun and thoughtful as the daily quotes he shares with you on this list. I’ve shared some of them already in the message above.
For those of you who have considered taking up an instrument or singing or songwriting for yourself but haven’t yet gotten to it, it’s never too late to start. As Michel de Montaigne, a writer during the French Renaissance in the 1500’s, said:
“There is nothing more notable in Socrates than that he found time, when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing, and thought it time well spent.”
I hope this message is helpful to you and that it inspires you to share your music with others. Only God knows how many lives will be blessed when you do.
P.S. You can listen to my music and the music of my sister and other friends anytime for free on The Ranch at this link:
33 QUOTES ON MUSIC
Compiled by Greg Potzer of “This Day’s Thought from The Ranch”
“Everything you do is music and everywhere is the best seat.” John Cage
“The greatest respect an artist can pay to music is to give it life.” Pablo Casals
“Jazz is the only music in which the same note can be played night after night but differently each time.” Ornette Coleman
“Music is the space between the notes.” Claude Debussy
“If it sounds good, it IS good.” Duke Ellington
A young composer once came to Mozart for advice on how to develop creatively. “Begin writing simple things first,” Mozart told him; “songs for example.” “But you composed symphonies when you were only a child,” the man exclaimed. “Ah,” Mozart answered, “but I didn’t go to anybody to find out how to become a composer!” David Ewen
“It’s taken me all my life to learn what not to play.” Dizzy Gillespie
“God created the universe in order to hear music, and everything has a song of praise for God.” Louis Ginsberg
“An instrument becomes an extension of the player’s own body.” Mickey Hart
“I can tell you much more about what a man is really thinking by listening to him play than by hearing him talk. You can’t hide anything in that horn.” Jo Jones
“Because I am a storyteller, I live by words. Perhaps music is a purer art form. It may be that when we communicate with life on another planet, it will be through music, not through language or words.” Madeline L’Engle
“I never practice, I always play.” Wanda Landowska
“Ouf! Let me get out; I must have air. It’s incredible! Marvelous! It has so upset and bewildered me that when I wanted to put on my hat, I couldn’t find my head.” Jean Francois Le Sueur (writing about Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5)
“Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.” Martin Luther
“Music comes to you at strange times but you have to be ready to catch it, because if you don’t she may be gone for good.” Wynton Marsalis
“Improvisation is not the expression of accident but rather of the accumulated yearnings, dreams, and wisdom of our very soul.” Yehudi Menuhim
“There is nothing more notable in Socrates than that he found time, when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing, and thought it time well spent.” Michel de Montaigne
“When I am completely myself, entirely alone, or during the night when I cannot sleep, it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly. When and how these come I know not, nor can I force them.” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
“I wrote more than three thousand songs, seven of them good.” Jack Norworth
“There’s this great line in a Chrissie Hynde song where she says, ‘When I first heard a song flying to the sun, I wanted to be one.’ You know, it’s not that you want to sing the song, it’s that you want to be one.” Joan Osborne
“If I miss one day of practice, I notice it. If I miss two days, the critics notice it. If I miss three days, the audience notices it.” Ignacy Paderewski
“First you learn your instrument, then you learn the music, and then you forget all that stuff and just play.” Charlie Parker
“If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.” Charlie Parker
“Don’t play the saxophone. Let it play you.” Charlie Parker
“Music training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the secret places of the soul.” Plato
“Music, to create harmony, must investigate discord.” Plutarch
“When you play from your heart, all of a sudden there’s no gravity. You don’t feel the weight of the world, of bills, of anything. That’s why people love it. Your so-called insurmountable problems disappear, and instead of problems you get possibilities.” Carlos Santana
“The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes- ah, that is where the art resides!” Artur Schnabel
“My music is best understood by children and animals.” Igor Stravinsky
“Music praises God. Music is well or better able to praise him than the building of the church and all its decoration; it is the Church’s greatest ornament.” Igor Stravinsky
“A wise friend of my father’s had said to me: ‘You should not go into music unless it is a compulsion. In the end, all you really have as a center is the music itself. Make sure that you have to be with it every day. If that’s true, the you should become a musician.’” Michael Tilson Thomas
“When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.” Henry David Thoreau
“Amateurs work until they get it right. Professionals work until they can’t get it wrong.” Unknown
If you like piano music, you can listen to our most recent CD we’ve recorded for use on The Ranch website called Tenderly, by Marilyn Byrnes by visiting this link. The CD features a baker’s dozen (13) beautiful songs songs such as “The Prayer,” “The Wind Beneath My Wings” and my personal favorite, “Can You Read My Mind” (from the movie Superman.) You can also get a physical copy of this CD in one of 2 ways: 1) Make a donation of any size to The Ranch from this link and we’ll send you a copy as our way of saying thanks, or 2) Just listen to the CD on our website for free, then write a 1-2 sentence review on Amazon from this link, and we’ll send you a complimentary CD as our way of saying thanks! (Just remember to email us your name, address and a link to your review.) Your reviews help to get the word out about the music so we can inspire even more people around the world, so thank you!