Melissa Ferrick / Blog

Shift--Artist to Educator

Shift--Artist to Educator As may of you know, I started teaching at Berklee College of Music four years ago. My love for teaching and this institution has grown to a degree I really never thought possible. Along with teaching, I have been releasing records and touring, writing for film and TV, and then doing as much “family life” as possible with any time left over. This has proven to be too much. At this time in my life I am interested in focusing on my future as a participant in higher education both as a teacher and this fall as a student. I have been accepted to the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Arts in Education division to obtain my M.Ed. I cannot begin to describe my excitement to study amongst a cohort of educators and artists from all over the world at the best university in the world. I could never have imagined, even ten years ago, that this would be an option for me. In light of my acceptance to graduate school, my full time teaching at Berklee, my family life, and my writing life based here in Boston I will be taking a break from playing live shows from Aug. 13th until the summer of 2018. I hope everyone who has supported my live shows, my music, and me personally over the last twenty six years can appreciate and celebrate this new path that has opened up for me. I have worked very hard for a very long time to get here. Please know I will miss playing live this coming year but I am honestly about to invest in myself and in what I now find to be the most rewarding work I have ever had the opportunity to do. Please join me at one of the remaining show if you can—the Jamaica Plain one is outdoors, free, and there’s a kids band on right before me. Thank you for everything and thank you for supporting my desire to further my education in order to lift up, educate, and love our next generation of artists. Forever grateful, Melissa Ferrick

April 22nd Northampton MA

April 27th Portland ME

May 7th Needham MA

May 26th & 27th Provincetown, MA

June 24th Providence RI

July 6th Shirley MA

Aug 9th Plymouth, MA

Aug 13th Jamaica Plain, MA


De-cember a time to declaw, decree, declare, and descend deeper into being. Thank you each one of you who have shown up at a show, bought a copy of my newest album, booked me at your venue, played my music for others, and or supported my efforts to exist as an artist this year. Thank you


In response to the *mostly positive messages i have been getting about my need to cancel playing at Michigan Women's Festival this past Saturday night, I have found it necessary to clarify why i needed to call Lisa Vogel on Thursday to tell her I wasn't going to be able to preform. So, here it is ....In 2004 i had a partial tear of a tendon in my left shoulder from playing the guitar, which at the time "required" surgery .- I opted to get a second opinion and was given a cortisone shot which caused me to have a allergic reaction,...not fun...but it did reduce the swelling enough to allow me to heal . Since then, because of my playing, I have been diagnosed with bursitis in my Left shoulder, and re-tore the same tendon again in 2010. With pain management, ice, and rest (rest means not playing) the tear has repaired itself twice and the bursitis has been an ongoing issue i have to deal with as it flairs up intermittently. On tuesday and wednesday I had rehearsal with some musicians for my Record Release show in Boston which was Friday the 31st of Aug. I woke up on Thursday the 30th barely able to lift my arms. I did all of things I do to treat the pain..basically LOTS of ice. At this time, because Michigan was the next week, I also saw a Reki therapist three times hoping the pain would subside enough to make it feasible to play Michigan. At this point both of my shoulders were in pain and the pain was different in my Left shoulder than it had ever been before. I saw my PCP on Wed. and was scheduled to have an MRI on the Tuesday after Michigan thinking at this point that i would be able to make it.In hindsight, this was probably a mistake on my part, i should have called Lisa then and canceled. On Thursday on my way out of town I couldn't take it anymore - the weight of my arms on my body was almost unbearable. The car was pulled over and I called LIsa. We agreed it wasn't the human thing to do to put me through this in this type of pain, and at this point fear, of tearing or having already torn something else. I hung up the phone and went to the MGH Emergency room. Saturday ,was the MRI of my Left shoulder and Monday was the Right. The Left shoulder showed a labral (cartilage) tear, bursitis, and inflammation of the tendons the Right Shoulder MRI shows Bursitis and inflammation of the tendons. I am seeing an Ortho in Boston on Sept.4th unless there is a cancelation and i can get in earlier. I am on a strict regiment of Advil and Tylenol and Ice ice ice . I will play the shows I have scheduled baring any increase in pain . I have been on this advil/tylenol management and ice regiment since Tuesday the 11th when the Left shoulder MRI results came back so I am hopeful some of the swelling will calm down by the next run of shows that i have. I will most likely be performing sitting down and certainly will make sure to take the very best care of myself that I can. Thank you for your concern, best wishes, and understanding. I am receiving top notch care here in Boston and feel confident my Doctor will be able to assign me to a capable physical therapist so i can get these shoulders better. Being in constant pain is exhausting, depressing, and anxiety producing. Any self employed musician will tell you, we don't get sick days, we don't have paid medical leaves, so please understand when I do have to cancel a show it is because i really can't play it is not a decision I take lightly. If I have to have surgery it will be a huge blow to my everything - i don't want to think about it. I want to not be in pain anymore I want to be able to play without hurting myself more. In the meantime i really appreciate your kind words and as for the folks who have "turned my CD's into coasters" or "will never buy one of my CD's again" or tells me "i should grow a pair" - I only hope no one does this to you when you are injured. All my love to all the well wishers, the land, and LIsa Vogel for her understanding and grace. thanks, melissa

Feb. 2015

sitting at my kitchen table uploading a video and rearranging some online presence an i noticed that this reverb nation blog thing hasn't been written in since Sept..WOW,..this is an easy way for me to blog via this site so i will try to check in more often. I am "in the studio" recording my new record for release this Summer (2015) and i am getting really excited about the songs. Going in i have 10 strong tracks so i feel confident about the content and i had a wonderful initial Art Design conversation last night with my old pal Brian G. The new photos are in from Shervin and i feel really good about those too. I am currently still writing and teaching and touring and am looking forward to spending all of my energy on just promoting this record come May/June/July etc,...i just nailed down the PTWon dates for memorial Day Weekend this year so excited to be going back to the Art House. As well this summer i am really looking forward to going to Nova Scotia for a festival in July and of corse Michigan Womyn's Fest in Aug.! I hope everyone is surviving the winter with a smile and i am really excited to get this record out. If you'd like to help me with the funding of the recording go this link and click on the paypal button to make your contribution. Thanks so much Melissa http://melissaferrick.com/video/ar-membership-right-on-records/


Happy September! My birthday month, the new semester for my students at Berklee, and the re-launching of my label, Right On Records set for Sept.15th. :)))) I have been writing a whole lot this summer and am so excited to start putting out new music! am most likely going to be doing this song by song, and then compiling the "singles" into an album release on CD and hopefully limited edition Vinyl. All of this of corse will be sorted out via Right On Records with your help. This summer was one of the bet summer;s i have ever had in my whole life i swear, i feel like everyday i was saying,..."isn't the weather just amazing!" I somehow made it through teaching and touring all summer without getting sick, or missing any shows or classes so that's a HUGE bonus and makes me feel like i am starting to really balance the teaching and touring life a bit better than i did in 2013. I have to say I am a little nervous about the re-launch on the 15th I have NO idea if this is going to work, but I have to continue to live in the most authentic way I can, so I am going to be asking for your help in a way i don;t think any other artist has yet, I look forward to hearing what you all think about it come Sept 15th I hope this blog finds you all happy and healthy here's to a wonderful Fall See you soon Melissa

Nancy Belanger
Nancy Belanger  (almost 3 years ago)

Your fans are always here for you Melissa and wish you all the luck with the relaunch. Can't wait!!!

Tomorrow is April

So, tomorrow it's April so i thought i'd write a wee blog to say well hello spring and where are you Sun? Today in Boston it was a balmy 36degrees, raining ice pellets and demanding another day of NOT being able to open my windows to let in some fresh air around here. I have had a very busy and inspiring two weeks. Last week i spent 4 days Producing Alix Olson's new Record at Signature Sounds Studio's in CT on a small farm with engineer and all around great guy Mark Thayer. Alix and I got to stay right there on the property adn spend our days and night creating music, playing with Mark's dog "booboo", making past dinners. I slept in a room so quiet I felt like i was in outer space. (hmm maybe outer space is really noisy?) Anyway,..I continue to teach at Berklee one day a week and between producing Alix and another project I am working on with my Drummer Dave Brophy I have played shows in Cape May NJ, Penn Sate, and Bearsville NY so needless to say i feel fulfilled and fully tiered:) Its funny how tired equals good these days. It seems the more active I am in my life the less things noticeably go "wrong" It's nice to feel attached and unattached. This weekend I am playing in ME and NYcity and then next week mixing Alix's project back in CT. Hopefully by the middle of April the sun will come out for a little while, dry everything up around here and I can get to some seriously NON metal work of racking up winter leaves. I hope everyone is well, see you soon. melissa

You want to use my music?

As this seems to be coming up a a bit lately,(meaning i keep finding my songs being used without permission or clearance) I want to let you all know If you want to use my music in something that is going to be distributed, say via a web site, or youtube, or an indie movie, or a local cable tv show, or a big tv show, or indie movie you are making or your friend is making and you love my music and you think, "I wanna help Melissa out and put her song in this" AWESOME,Thank you, you need to obtain a sync license for the recording and a licensing clearance for my publishing first. Fee's for usage can be negotiated - Being a songwriter is a wonderful job, but it's still a job and we deserve to get paid. But this isn't just about money, at it's root it's about the legality of it, songs are © and if people keep allowing a song copyright to be "deemed invisible then what's the next thing we deem invisible or unnecessary to honor? Artists pay to have their songs copyrighted, we also pay someone to oversee and collect any royalties due to us. So syncing, or placing a song is one, if not the most, real way an artist get's paid a little bit of money. Certainly placement can also gain exposure to audiences an artist like me may not have had the opportunity to reach without this placement, but any company that "places music" behind film, tv, etc professionally should be well aware they need to get a license and Sync on all the songs they are using, lately however it would seem some of these company's are simply trying to get away with not clearing the songs in short they are trying to get away with not Paying, they are deeming the copyright meaningless.This is especially apparent to me on youtube. Licensing is the life blood of songwriters. I understand that exposure is a great thing, but exposure is also something people can actual die of (this is a metaphor). On top of this, and my biggest pet peeve, is that without getting clearance I have no ability, no creative control, as to how and where my music is being used. My song can end up in a video i find offensive, or used in a commercial for a product i do not support, or for instance the backdrop of your "spring-break movie" filled with images i find offensive and now my music is aligned with it - I had no choice to be in your movie or not and my music and voice are now the unwilling soundtrack to your life on youtube, this is one of the reasons why artists get publishers or administrators of their catalogs, to protect them ethically and financially. Recently, there have been a few cases in which i have had to utilize my Publishing Administrator to protect my songs and my reputation, i think mostly out of pure "i didn't know i had to do that" - so this post is to let you know you DO need to get clearance to use my songs, and to let you know if you are in the entertainment industry and thought you'd get away without clearance you were wrong. I own all of my songs and most all of my recordings. I am blogging about this pretty serious matter because I believe in ©, I believe it stands for something. I am protective of the over 180 songs I have written and published, this is my life's work. I have spent 21 years writing songs and making records. The second deal I signed was an Administrative Publishing deal with Wixen Music Publishing in 1993, this is longest in tact relationship I have in this business and i am honored to have my catalog there. I, along with my administrator, have spent a lot of time and money protecting my songs and my integrity. If you want to use my music in something as the backdrop, as the theme song, as the emotion setter behind the "long shot of dusk over a mountaintop" AWESOME and thanks, please get a license. You can download licensing/clearance forms via the website listed below. Randall Wixen, Wixen Music Publishing http://www.wixenmusic.com

oh hello winter 2014

ok so i am back in full swing here on reverbnation meaning i am using this porthole to supply all my touring writing record making info. Its a few days away form spring and its;s STILL SNOWING,..annoying but true,..i am a true New Englander,..when there's snow i complain,.when there's no snow i complain:),..it's the same in the summer when it's hot,..one of the things i like most about folks form around here is how passionately they complain,..it's like the worst thing in the whole world and underneath it all you know they are just fine, a kind of understanding that we will make it,.we just want everyone to now how terrible it is right now kind of a thing. ...hysterical. These days i am writing (a little) playing shows most every weekend and teaching part time at Berklee. I have a busy summer coming up and i am looking forward to making another record some time this year,...probably in the winter of 2014. I ahve two new cats in my life Watson and Amelia, theya re brother and sister and have Main Coon in them as evident by Watson's fetching abilities and both of them are Obsessed with water,...being near it playing with it etc,...Watson also does this amaing thing where he jumps form teh ground onto my shoulders,...and then walks around with me,..crazy! i ahve never had a cat like this before and AMelia is soooo sweet and little and just the smartest thing ever. Indie however is NOT amused,..:) but i catch her touching noses with them, brushing up against them, she can't fool me i do think these two little ones are in a lot of ways bringing joy to Indie's former "alone" life...the transition is just what it is,..a transition,....(insert metaphor for my life) So, on the front of "to be honest here",...i came up against a health thing last late summer into fall of 2013 that i kept very private because i was afraid and I didn't really think it was appropriate to talk about i on a public level, but at this point as i am doing so well and have this under control i will say this,...I was diagnosed with a heart condition, it is common, it is not life threatening, but it seems it may be the root of a TON of my anxiety, panic issues for years,...this new found condition i have is called PVC's (Pre mature Ventricular Contractions) and i have a lot of them every day throughout the day,....my feeling them is being controlled by a mediation that has honestly changed my life. I have never felt better i have not had what one panic attack since i started taking this heart med in Oct. i have also effortless just stopped picking my nails. I guess the thing about this is that i am dealing with some sadness around the years i went without this diagnosis, the years i went to different doctors - thoughts about my thyroid, my diet, my stress level, PTSD, depression, etc...etc..when now the realization comes,...who is to say my heart hasn't been doing this all along,..grasping for enough blood to pump, which sends stress hormones to my brain and sends my brain into a panic because, my heart isn't pumping! whatever i guess ....i just am feeling a bit like i wish someone had thought to check my heart when i was 29,...now i feel like i shouldn't be revealing all this,..crap. Well - to anyone in the past that has delt with something like this, meaning something that takes a long time to figure out - i guess this little rant may be helpful, because it will prove that you are not alone. So, here's to a spring filled with joy and feeling organized! Those are my hopes - things in my house are "in order" and that feels good, this year i want to get better at staying true to who I am and how i feel i want to trust my instincts more and treat myself with more compassion. I hope everyone is well, and I am forever grateful for your support of my music.

Sally D. Dena
Sally D. Dena  (over 3 years ago)

So glad to hear that you are doing well. Here's to a great and organized 2014! Looking forward to all of your new music and still loving all of your music that is already out there! Say hi to the kitties :)

Sally D. Dena
Sally D. Dena  (over 3 years ago)

So glad to hear you are doing well. Here's to a great and organized 2014! Looking forward to all of your new music and still loving all that you have already produced! Say hi to the kitties :)


Hey everyone i thought it was about time for a new blog,..yea,..almost 7 months later,..hahaha. well, here is summer and here i am half way ready to make a new record. I am coming up on the year anniversary of releasing "Still Right Here" and reflecting on what a wonderful,crazy,full,inspiring year it has been. thanks to everyone for supporting this last record. I can tell you that my new material and what i am "hearing" is almost a whole new bag of tricks..meaning ...i envision my next record to have more breath, more space, harder lyrics, starker roomier acoustic, almost like playing a show in an abandoned old barn with the smell of mold (growth). i am going to have to trust that you will like it, because it is going to be different,..very different the Still Right Here. I feel really good inside and out i feel a calmness i haven't had in a a long long time, i feel connected to the ground and more caring of my life and well being than ever before. I have internalized the fact that, i am a grown up and i love it:)


s0, its 2012,..what this means i don;t really know except that its a new year, the opportunity to start new and leave the old. 2011 was filled with joy and laughter, hardship and tears; like most years. I find it's easier to vamp on the hard times, but this year i am going to make a conscious effort to concentrate on the good times:) I am enjoying the winter months(even with no snow) to write, reflect, grow, cook nourishing food, spend quality time with my family and friends and hopefully write more. I have also taken out the paint brushes again, mostly to just allow myself to make mistakes and to see my thoughts and dreams in color. The spring doesn't seem far away, and i am looking forward to another year of letting go and letting in. I feel a deeper understanding of the whole "we only have today" concept and for that and even that alone, i am grateful. Happy New Year.

Gia  (over 5 years ago)

You are so sweet, Melissa. You're vulnerable, but unbreakable. I hope you have a wonderful 2012!

Barbara S. Abrahamer
Barbara S. Abrahamer  (over 5 years ago)

Great blog and reply...