Ep. 142: What exactly is… ASCAP and what does it offer music creators and consumers? with Alex Shapiro

Singer songwriter


What does ASCAP stand for, what does it do, and what does Board of Directors member Alex Shapiro wish more laypeople and musicians knew about it? We discuss what sets ASCAP apart from other performing rights organizations, and benefits including a Wellness Program, music production bootcamp, and improving your confidence as a music creator.


Those of us who make music and listen to music (which is most of us) have seen many, many times these five capital letters: ASCAP. Most of us see them so often and understand so little about them that they kind of become like the “wallpaper” of music visuals – they just sort of blend into the fine print and we don’t really give much thought to them. I’ve taught piano lessons for 30 years, and I don’t think I’ve had ONE conversation with students about what those letters stand for.

I have with me today a member of the ASCAP Board of Directors, Alex Shapiro. Alex holds the Symphonic & Concert writer member seat on the Board of Directors of ASCAP, and also serves on the board of the ASCAP Foundation. Alex has woven a dynamic composing career with avid pursuits of wildlife photography, non-fiction writing, and a devotion to advocacy. Her works are heard daily in concerts and broadcasts and can be found on over thirty commercially released recordings from around the world.

Alex Shapiro


We discuss:

  • The many places we see the letters ASCAP.
  • What IS ASCAP and what does it do?
  • What is unique about ASCAP, compared to other Performing Rights Organizations (PROs)?
  • What are the benefits of ASCAP membership?
  • What resources does ASCAP offer to music creators?
  • What Alex would like more music consumers tounderstand about ASCAP and… what she would like more music creators to understand about ASCAP.

Connect/Other Resources

Other episodes we mentioned or that you may enjoy:

In-Episode Promo

Ultimate Music Business Summit 2023


Alex shares an excerpt from the first movement of her second wind symphony SUSPENDED, titled AIRBORNE, which is a frenzied opening statement about the ills of our society. This is in keeping with the theme of activism in her life, through involvements in organizations and through statements through her music.

In addition to the excerpt we hear in this episode, Alex has shared with our show’s listeners the entire 5 minute movement here!


by Alex Shapiro (2021)

Movement 1 of the symphony SUSPENDED

Published by Activist Music LLC (ASCAP).
Commissioned by Kappa Kappa Psi, National Band Fraternity, and Tau Beta Sigma, National Band Sorority, for the 2021 National Intercollegiate Band. 
Live premiere, July 13, 2021 at the DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Dr. Cynthia Johnston Turner, conductor.

Closing Words

Thank you so much to Alex for sharing that excerpt of “Airborne” – and for sharing the full movement with us in the show notes! There are tons of links in today’s show notes to all the resources we discussed in today’s episode, as well as a transcript of this episode and related episodes you may enjoy. A link to the show notes page is included in the episode details right in your podcast app.

You can always connect with me on email (mindy@mpetersonmusic.com), Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Until next time, may your life be enhanced with music.

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