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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How To Intern

If there is one experience that will unite every college student I know, it’s that of the internship. Every single person who attends my college has to do something along the lines of a semester-long apprenticeship at a company vaguely related to their major, getting paid peanuts (or nothing!) for the ‘experience.’ Interning is a lot of thankless work sometimes. However, just because it seems kinda pointless doesn’t mean you can’t…

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How to Handle Messing Up

A lot of musicians are perfectionists. Surprise surprise, the kind of person willing to spend four hours practicing a day wants to be perfect! However, in college and in life, there are going to be times that you, for whatever reason, do something just really remarkably poorly. It might be a performance. It might be a project. It might be an assignment you have at work. And eventually, one of…

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How to Talk to Your Adviser

Sending emails is gross. Cold-contacting someone to ask for a favor is gross. Asking for help – gross. The thing is, when you’re in college and you need help, you need to do all of those things. Recently, a friend basically had heart palpitations over contacting their adviser about grad school stuff, and while understandable, it isn’t necessary! Advisers in general should not be terrifying people. They are literally getting…

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How to Network Well

networking meeting professional

Something I’ve been asking a lot of music professionals recently is, “What even is networking?” I usually ask this shortly after asking questions like “How was your day?” and “Did you know that I wrote a book?” The answers I get, in order, are usually, “Fine,” “No! I’ll go buy it!” and “It’s just making friends with people.” That’s really all that networking is, honestly. It’s a stereotypical business term…

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How to Write Professional Emails

So it turns out that writing emails to someone More Adult than you is the worst thing in the world. It doesn’t matter if they’re a teacher, an employer, or just someone you need to communicate something to – it is the worst. HOWEVER, that does not mean you can’t do the thing. I went from basically tearing up any time I had to do this thing, to only doing…

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4 Reasons Why You Should Be Friends with Your Classmates

Hey, did you know it’s good for you to be friends with your fellow students? I’m always surprised when people are shocked about this. It may be something about the majors I’m in, but many people I know were genuinely surprised at how many career musicians got to where they are today based on the people they know. It’s something business majors have pounded into their skulls, but music majors…

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How to Start a Performance Group

One of the things people think about when they imagine the college music experience is participating in small performance groups. They think about rock bands, chamber music groups, quartets, all sorts of stuff. However, at least at my school, there are far fewer groups than there are students. This is despite the fact that the first advice pretty much any music graduate will give is to perform in and work…

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How to Start Teaching

perseverance woman hands

Most musicians end up teaching at least a little, in order to help make ends meet. Some teach as their primary source of income. The thing is, to the young musician, there is no real guide to how to start teaching in the first place. It can be confusing to begin, I know, but as someone who has started teaching recently (look at the top of the page! There’s my…

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