What To Do When Music Shouldn’t Be Your Career

Something that a lot of prospective music majors discover in their first year or two at college is this: a music career isn’t for everyone. Music is mentally, emotionally, and physically demanding. It is incredibly competitive. There is absolutely no guarantee that you’ll ever “succeed” in a performance career, no matter how good a player you are. You might lack the stamina or dedication or sheer cussedness required to audition…

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5 Tips to Have a Successful Jury

First seen on my Patreon! Juries are upon us. It is the time of panicking freshman, smug recitalists (because they don’t need to perform a jury), and general Stress in the music department. However, that doesn’t need to be the case. Juries are not a horrible trial placed upon innocent musicians – instead, they are a celebration of the hard work and learning you’ve done this semester. Here’s how to…

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Terminology – A-Da

If there’s one thing I’ve gotten scolded for in my lessons, it’s failing to know the definition of a term in my sheet music. Even beyond that, it’s embarrassing to be corrected on a piece of terminology that you thought you knew the meaning of! With that in mind, I’m beginning to compile a list of basic music terms that every musician should know. If you see one that isn’t…

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Do’s and Don’ts for College Audition Repertoire

Auditioning​ for college is probably one of the most nerve-racking​ things a musician will do in their career. However, the rep you choose can go a long way to making you feel better about it! Here’s some do’s and don’ts for choosing your audition repertoire to show off your skills. Do: Choose rep you are confident in. This is honestly the most important rule. If you aren’t confident in your…

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Public vs. Private vs. Conservatory

There are several types of post-secondary education available to musicians. The main forms of official education fall in two general categories: liberal arts universities, and conservatories. Universities can be further divided into public and private schools. They all have benefits and drawbacks, and with roughly 5300 schools in the US, there’s going to be one out there that fits your needs. University Overall, universities are focused on providing a diverse…

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How to Use Break to Love Music Again

After a semester of spending your life incredibly focused on music, it can be really, really tempting to spend your whole winter break ignoring your instrument. After all, you just spent 14ish weeks living and breathing music – sometimes the thought of spending your vacation working with your instrument seems awful. However, if you want to keep improving, it’s important to not bail on music your entire vacation. Instead, use…

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How to Tour a School

The following article is taken verbatim from my book, How to Music Major: Surviving the College Search! It’s on Amazon and all other places ebooks are sold. There’s lots of stuff in it, drawing on my own experience and my friends’ knowledge of getting into and succeeding at the whole College Dealio. If you have topics that you’d like to see included in the next book, What to Expect Freshman…

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The Importance of the Brain Vacation

So yesterday, I bought a fish tank. I probably should not have, because it ate up all my free time yesterday, and it was expensive, and it’s going to take regular maintenance until I decide I no longer want fish. It was silly, and unnecessary, and maybe a little weird, and it doesn’t even have fish in it yet, but I love it. My fish tank is a good example of…

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What to Bring to Competitions

There’s a big statewide competition coming up for me and members of my studio, and all of the freshmen are starting to get jittery. Recently, one asked me, “Like, what are we even doing? What do I need to bring? Help!” I had the same panicky feeling my freshman year (and honestly still do, shhhh). Luckily, I now mostly know what I’m doing, since I’ve been around the block a…

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You Are Valid

Music is one of the toughest majors out there. Not just because of the classwork – although I can tell you, that part is tough too. No, it’s tough because of the sheer number of people you’ll meet who do not believe in it. There are hundreds of thousands of people out there who will sit through a movie with an amazing soundtrack (written by musicians, performed by instrumentalists), sing…

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