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Features July 17, 2019

The Circle of Music Life: With work comes rewards

Michael Di Iorio
The Circle of Music Life: With work comes rewards
All illustrations by Sarah Bryant

It’s that time of year again songwriters and musicians, your APRA Performance Reports are due on July 31. If you’re wondering what that means, we’ve got you covered right here.

Essentially, your Performance Reports are the key to kickstarting your musical circle of life. Without them, there is no such cycle. Now you may also be wondering what the term ‘Circle of Music Life’ means, but fear not. Jeremy Neale, songwriter, singer, musician, and APRA AMCOS’ newest ambassador, has covered it all in one quote.

“Performance Reports can be exchanged for money. Money can be exchanged for goods. Goods can help you feel great. When you feel great, you have the energy to write more songs. These songs can then be performed. The Circle of Music Life.”

Seems easy enough right? You trade one thing for another and keep on doing so in an endless cycle of reward reaping. This way, hard work never goes to waste.

APRA Performance Reports are due annually on July 31, and encompass all of the gigs you’ve played over the last 12 months. Then, the powers that be pay you your hard-earned royalties in November.

However, let’s break down these simple steps in the Circle of Music Life, to uncover just how important and beneficial it really is.

Step 1: Performance Reports for money


Whenever you or your band performs songs that you wrote in public, you are entitled to royalties. Your Performance Report ensures that you get everything you are rightfully owed.

While it may not be enough to buy a luxury island in the Bahamas, an APRA royalty payment can go a long way in supporting your rent, or more importantly, funding your career in music.

As the first step, it is crucial to submit your reports when the time comes, otherwise, the rest of the cycle can’t continue, and that’s where the real fun is.

Step 2: Money for goods


Tim Tams, petrol, a new Grand Piano, the umbrella term of ‘goods’ covers it all. Whatever you do with your APRA royalty payment is up to you – the world is truly your oyster.

Step 3: Goods make you feel great

Retail therapy is alive and well, and everyone knows there is no greater feeling than buying something you want. An even better feeling is buying or putting money towards something you need.

Once you’ve used your money towards something, you will be overwhelmed with a feeling of accomplishment or small victory – and it’s only up from here.

Step 4: Feeling great gives the energy to write songs

Now that you have this buzz and feeling of excitement, you can write new songs! By utilising your money in the ways that you desire, you now have that boost of energy and feeling of success that can be poured into your craft. All the best songs, be they moody or upbeat, come from a place of purpose.

However, that purpose can be obscured at times when it feels like you don’t get rewarded for the work you do. This is but one of the reasons why the Circle of Music Life is so important.

Step 5: Songs can be performed


Although an obvious step, this is also the most crucial in the cycle. It’s where everything ends and starts anew.

With the new songs that you have written, you can now perform new material for the masses to consume. Not only will this bring forth income, but every performance that you do will stack up for your Performance Report.

See where this is going?

Once the report is ready to be handed in, the Circle of Music Life can begin again. Each time, your craft will become stronger, and your Performance Report will reap you greater rewards. All that you need is to take that first step towards musical success and happiness.

Songwriters and musicians, don’t forget to submit your Performance Reports before the cut off date of July 31. For more information head to

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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