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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How to Handle a Bruised Ego

First seen on my Patreon. Musicians have to walk a careful line. On the one hand, it takes a certain amount of ego to believe that you can and should get up and perform regularly. On the other hand, the ego is a terribly fragile organ, easily bruised when watching performances by, say, someone two years younger but much more accomplished than yourself. It stings, and that’s okay. Here’s how…

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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 Help Others

So the election happened, and a lot of people I know are currently, actively scared about how things are going to go for the next four years. The good thing is that there aren’t a lot of people in the top government who actually like Trump! Plus, you know, Clinton won the popular vote! So overall, the world might not be as bad as it seems. However, it’s probably not…

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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 Handle Working During School

It is an unfortunate fact that most college students are obligated to work at least some during the school year. It’s not easy to do, either. A full course load is designed to be roughly equivalent to working a full-time job, in and of itself. Most schools recommend studying for a class at least three hours per credit. If I actually had the time and will-power to do that, I…

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Four Healthy Meals from the Cafeteria

It’s like a fact of life that no matter how good your school’s dining halls are, you will hate them by the second month of your freshman year. However, that doesn’t mean switching to a take-out and vending machine diet is a good idea. That is how you get scurvy, folks. No, you should probably stick with your cafeteria as much as possible, especially if you have a meal plan.…

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