How to Set Goals in Music

set goals hand writing list

An anonymous person asked: I don’t know if you’ve written about this but how do you set goals? With there being so many different things to work on (ear training, sight singing, technique, composing, arranging, playing with others, etc) I’ve been having trouble actually making (or maybe tracking) progress in any of these areas. Great question! It’s simple to set goals, but not necessarily easy. The thing is that goals…

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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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Stress and How To Deal

Stress is a given in college. At some point in your college career, you are going to look at your responsibilities and the amount of time you have available, you will do some math, and you are going to come up with a time deficit so large you’ll cry. It happens to everyone, whether it’s because of Too Many Commitments, or just run of the mill procrastination. Even if you…

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Battling Insecurity

The biggest demon of most musicians is a feeling of insecurity. It’s the creeping (or blatant) suspicion that you are literally the worst musician in the world — or at least nowhere near as good as you “should” be. It can also manifest as the idea that you’re going to: get laughed at by your peers, be a complete failure at everything you ever attempt, be revealed as a fraud,…

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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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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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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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How to Ask for an Internship

Internships are the bane of the Millenial’s existence. The average internship is essentially a means of getting either a coffee-runner or drudge-worker for dirt-cheap or even free. Meanwhile, the intern themself is usually paying for rent and food while doing said drudge-work for free (or possibly even paying for it!), all in the hopes of one day, maybe, eventually getting a job. However, the internship is still considered a prime…

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