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BiographyJessica Wilkins is a multifaceted musician with a diverse performance and composition career. Jessica currently resides in Los Angeles, CA as an active freelance oboist, private lesson teacher and owner of JDW Sheet Music. She has also launched a unique storytelling program incorporating solo oboe music with children's literature.
What inspired you to create your own publishing company?When I was in high school, my friends and I wanted to get together and play chamber music but none of us had any money. So I decided to take my old piano scores and transcribe them for the group. From that point on, I started to enjoy arranging music and performing my works at Eastman. By my junior year, I started to toy with the idea of selling some of music online. In June of 2013, JDW Sheet Music was born.
Did you run into any unexpected complications and if so, how were you able to overcome them?I think the biggest complication I have encountered so far was when I was trying to obtain an arranging license for a work by Astor Piazzolla. I knew beforehand that I had to contact the copyright holder and pay a fee but I underestimated how much it was going to cost. So I ended up paying way more that I initially thought but I definitely learned my lesson and did my research for next time.
Do you have any advice for current students on marketing your work?A lot of students think that if they can get their piece sold by a major publisher then the sales will just roll in. But more often than not, their music just sits there in a catalog left untouched. So my advice is to constantly be promoting your work through friends, colleagues, teachers, and online. Try to be involved with a variety of social media pages, music blogs and podcasts because that is the best way to connect with other musicians who are interested in performing new music.