Jazz educator hopes award provides boost to marketing | nnbusinessview.com

Jazz educator hopes award provides boost to marketing

NNBW staff

Erika Paul Carlson has her fingers crossed that national recognition will provide a sales spark for a jazz-education product targeted toward young children.

“Scat’s My Bag,” developed by Carlson’s Jazz Q Music Education Services in Sparks, was honored a few days ago by National Parenting Publications as one of the best new music products for children.

Carlson squeezed hours out of her schedule as a jazz vocalist and educator to create “Scat’s My Bag,” which came to the market in late 2006.

And, boy, did she need to squeeze a lot of hours.

She estimates that she put 1,500 hours into writing the music and storybook in the instructional packet and that was before she brought the Erika Paul Trio into the studio to record the CD that’s part of the product.

So far, the payoff has been slow to develop. Carlson says she’s sold about a quarter of the initial run of 1,000 book-and-CD instructional packets that were manufactured.

Most of the sales, she says, have come after presentations by the jazz trio in classrooms or elsewhere around town. “Teachers and the kids have seen how it works,” she says.

But other sales, either through her company’s Web site or the handful of catalog operators who have been intrigued by the “Scat’s My Bag,” have yet to take off.

The challenge, Carlson says, is explaining a product that seeks to introduce jazz to children as young as 8. Most music education programs don’t introduce jazz until young musicians are in middle school.

“My goal is to fill a void,” Carlson says.

The recent award, she says, provides credibility for the product with teachers and parents as they consider purchase of the instructional packs. They retail on Carlson’s Web site at $34.99, with a discounted price of $29.99 for orders of five or more packs.


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