Core Modules





"...the very idea of wrapping a ‘business’ around ‘art’ can be highly stressful..."

"...the very idea of wrapping a ‘business’ around ‘art’ can be highly stressful..."

What are the critical skills an
Artist needs to flourish?


With over 20 years experience as a business manager and accountant working within the music, sport and entertainment industries, Jacinta O’Connell from Calculated Business Consulting is known for her collaborative and straight talking approach when building, nurturing and growing her clients’ businesses. 

During her time in the industry she has worked with numerous artists including Silverchair, Powderfinger, You Am I and The Angels. Her current client base not only includes artists such as Gang Of Youths, Matt Corby and Jarryd James, but also record labels Future Classic and Cooking Vinyl Australia. Jacinta is also the business adviser and accountant for a variety of Australian booking agencies, artist managers and entertainment service businesses. She also has working relationships with music accountants worldwide representing their artists in Australia and providing her clients with inroads to worldwide industry best business practices. 


Often people embark on a musical career without contemplating the skills and mindset needed to survive the challenges and hurdles that the music industry generates. Artists by their very nature are often ‘high bandwidth’ and more sensitive to their environment than many others who choose more direct vocations. Whilst this fuels their creativity and allows for emotion to collide with creative thought and artistic output, it also means they can become more easily ‘overwhelmed’. Without tending to recovery appropriately, they can become stuck and if left long enough can become prone to illness. 

Secondly, the ongoing struggle at the intersection of commercial and artistic mindsets means the very idea of wrapping a ‘business’ around ‘art’ can be highly stressful and problematic. We layout an extensive platform for both skills to be developed and coexist without the need for one way of thinking to dominate that prevents the artist from reaching their potential. 

Within the ARTIST module you will learn:

  • Your music business is a campaign driven media company
  • Artistic resourcefulness
  • How to manage time & money within a creative framework
  • Financial & business structures 
  • Reverse engineering 18 months / 3 x years 
  • Generate a business plan and 12 - 18 x month campaign timeline




"...creativity is not so much a talent as a process that requires deliberate & regular activity to truly get sustainable results..."

"...creativity is not so much a talent as a process that requires deliberate & regular activity to truly get sustainable results..."

Why is a creative
process so integral? 


Jeff Crabtree is a speaker, author, filmmaker and multi-award winning songwriter and music producer. Currently he works at the cross roads of his long experience in both the arts and education. Alongside his wife Julie, he runs The Zebra Collective: Delivering unique insights to a worldwide base of online subscribers. This service is built on the combination of his and Julie’s research and experience into the effective management and leadership of creative people. This service not only delivers the latest ideas generated from their on-going research, but also curates exclusive interviews with world class creative practitioners including multi-platinum award winning music producer Charles Fisher (Savage Garden), veteran songwriter Chris Cester (Jet), independent artist/ singer/songwriter Kimbra, seasoned LA based Australian actor Peta Sergeant, Madison Avenue branding and advertising legend George Lois and luminary LA producer Hank Linderman (The Eagles, Joni Mitchell, Robert Lamm). 

Jeff will describe a new simpler model of the creative process, and show how creative people have different ways of interacting with the world as a result. 

He is also the author of ‘Living With A Creative Mind’ - an operating handbook for creative people. 


Most people begin their career whilst following their heart. In that context, creativity can be seen as a haphazard outcome connected to random events. In contrast, the needs of generating a business around creative output can be seen as an impediment to ‘real artistry’ and can lead to a highly unstable mixture of pressure, writers block, lack of focus and artistic failure. 

The latest neuroscience backs up what many long term artists know to be true - creativity is not so much a talent as it is a process that requires deliberate and regular activity to get truly sustainable results – Particularly within the framework of limited timelines and budgets. 

All SIGNAL participants are supported to develop and present at least 50 songs within a limited timeline. Focusing on implementing the skills and framework to capitalise on their creative mindset under high pressure environments. 

Within the VEHICLE Module you will learn: 

  • The 9 dimensions of the creative mind 
  • Defining your artistic manifesto 
  • Creative frameworks for high output 
  • Personal frameworks for artistic resilience 
  • Conflict & stress management 
  • Building & developing trusted support networks and community 




"The most important relationship you have as a artist is the one you establish with your followers & champions."

"The most important relationship you have as a artist is the one you establish with your followers & champions."

Why create an ecosystem to deepen
relationships with your fans? 


Alongside his work as the founder of The SIGNAL Agency, Tom has been a career musician for the past 30 years as the founding member of the NZ rock band Shihad.

Shihad have: 

  • Sold over 300,000 Records worldwide 
  • Secured 2 x Gold albums and 6 x ARIA award nominations in Australia 
  • In NZ have 9 x Platinum albums and hold the outright record for most chart hits (44), the most Number #1 albums (5),and the most NZ music Award nominations and wins 
  • Continue to tour with acts like Black Sabbath and in December 2015 played to over 70,000 people as part of their fourth tour with AC/DC since 1991

Further to this Tom is also a Producer and Artist Manager, recording and developing the careers of Calling All Cars (Top 20 Aria Debut, Triple J album of the week), Villainy (2 x Top 10 Album Debuts with #4 in 2015 and #8 in 2013 with the 6th most played track in NZ for 2012), King Cannons, Young and Restless (Triple J Unearthed ‘J Award’ winning album, Triple J album of the week), Strangers, The Getaway Plan, High Tension (ARIA Award nominated 2014) and as well as playing session drums for various artists including seminal UK post-punk band Killing Joke on their album Pandemonium (#16 UK album Charts #38 US Billboard Charts). 


Often artists stumble by having a ‘pre-digital’ mindset that holds out for a particular relationship (such as a label or manager) or specific event to catapult them into a career. What long term artists know is that the most important way to build a career is to concentrate on the relationship you develop with your followers and champions. 

Within the SIGNAL program, we help you put in place the necessary building blocks to capture, deepen and expand the relationship with the community of supporters who want you to win - In combination with developing standards for quality performances and material as the primary step in establishing trust with your audience. 

Within the TRIBE module you will learn: 

  • Building a community around your music 
  • Making it about your people first 
  • Attracting your real audience 
  • Projecting who you really are 
  • Developing and sustaining a cultural ecosystem




What does an artist need to
send their message far & wide? 


The brilliant thing about the music industry right now is that anybody can record a song in their bedroom, put it online and it can be a global talking point within 24 hours… But the problem with the music industry is that anybody can record a song in their bedroom, put it online and it can be a global talking point within 24 hours! 

There is more power to get your message out to the world within your smart phone than your average indie label had in the mid 1990’s. However, with these opportunities now open to everyone, the chance of your message cutting through is lower than ever. Within SIGNAL we focus on uncovering the unique and individual factors that draw people to you and help you define them within the context of a manifesto that can break through and stand out against the noise. 

Within the SCALE module you will learn: 

  • Leveraging your manifesto & scaling your culture 
  • How to scale word of mouth 
  • Patience, persistence and quality 
  • Playing the long game 
  • How to create impact through branding / visual, online and audio 
  • Social media as the new television 
  • Virtual reality 
  • How being available is new technology 





DIY? Or a team? Why are strong
partnerships so important? 


Tony “Jack the Bear” Mantz is the owner and founder of Deluxe Mastering in Melbourne. For over 3 decades he has been involved in many facets of the music industry but carved his niche as a mastering engineer working on a huge roster of Australian and international acts. He has been invited to many schools and events to talk to young aspiring musicians / artists / engineers & producers about how to get a foot in the door and more importantly how to get set up and thrive in it. His talks are raw yet passionate & authentic. They also bring home the home truths of the music business in the current market as well as dispelling some of the myths that have been misleading many for a long time. 


No matter if you are committed to a strong DIY ethic or are an artist that wants to concentrate on just music and performance, understanding how to choose the right partners to help you grow within your music business is a critical skill and one that can either tip the scales in your favour or make a hard situation even harder. Managers / Labels / Band Agreements / Publishers / Merchandise / Legal Teams / Touring Crew / Producers & like minded artists all represent team members outside of the act. Choosing the right people and knowing what you bring to the table - and how you can best work together - is an essential skill in developing and maintaining a sustainable career path.

You will learn about: 

  • The musicians bet 
  • Partnering to suit your personality, strengths and weaknesses 
  • How to bring the community with you 
  • The circles of the music community 
  • Eliminating an entitlement mentality and bringing something to the table first 
  • Driving your ecosystem to attract the right partnerships. 
  • How your culture, trust and quality define the ecosystem 
  • How to stress test a deal or relationship without being a dick 
  • Defining what you need verses what you want. 
  • The partnerships needed at each stage of your career