Five Essential Job Skills You Can Learn in Any Major

There are a lot of majors out there that supposedly “don’t have jobs.” You may have heard that you “can’t just get a job at the Philosophy factory,” or that tenure-track professorships are going away. Fair enough. However, unemployment is currently at a decade low, which means all these philosophy and music and history majors are finding work somewhere. How? Well, my guess is that a lot of them know how to convince employers that their skills are useful. Here are five job ski

The Six Kinds of Music Major

First seen on my Patreon! In my nearly six years of post-secondary education in music, I’ve discovered that there are six easily identifiable kinds of music major. Not every student fits one of these categories, but you’ll see these people on the regular, regardless of your school The Basement-Dweller: I don’t mean to use this in the pejorative sense. Instead, I mean that this kind of music major lives on a cot in the basement of the music building. They are so dedicated (and

4 Reasons Not To Panic in Undergrad (or grad, or postgrad)

First seen on my Patreon! I took 156 credits in 8 semesters during my undergraduate career. That’s an average of 19.5 a semester, and most music classes didn’t offer interim options. I spent my entire undergrad deeply overloaded. Why? Because I had this deep, ingrained idea that once I graduated, that was it. That was my chance, and I wasn’t going to get the opportunity to learn this stuff in the future. I have the same urge now, in my master’s, which isn’t surprising conside

How to Music Research

So you may have a research paper coming up. You may just want to know more about music. If you’re interested in getting more info on music, then here are the tips that’ll get you results. Free to anyone: Guide to Using Music Libraries: This one includes a lot of things specific to my school, but everything outside of stuff regarding the campus is universal. It contains guides for using a library, how to search for stuff using databases, useful links, music databases, and more

Seven Common Musician Complaints and How Not to Have Them

Musicians complain. A lot. If you’re a musician, and have complaints, I’ve developed a little FAC (Frequently Answered Complaints) for you to refer to when times get tough. Here’s seven common complaints musicians have, and how to stop having them! Practice sucks/is hard. Schedule it, make it a habit, and don’t push yourself too hard. The fewer decisions you have to make to get to the practice room, the simpler practice becomes. Stop when you can’t focus, and come back to it

New Year’s Resolution: What All Music Majors Should Make

The new year is almost upon us. Last semester is finally over, and grades have (hopefully) started rolling in. If you didn’t get the grades you wanted this semester, the new year is a great time make a resolution to start new habits. Here are six habits to help your grades grow in 2018! Schedule your study time. Take the time to actually create a schedule, first and foremost. Then, once you’ve got all your classes and obligations written down, add in time every day for studyi

7 Holiday Study Moods

Winter finals are soon, as are the holidays! Combine the best of both worlds and use some holiday study moods to get you ready for everything. Pine-Scented Pals: Earl Grey, Leslie Odom Jr’s Christmas album, writing essays with your best friend. Fa la la la friendship! You can motivate each other! Solstice Scenester: Your favorite Starbucks holiday drink, sitting on that comfy velvet couch every Starbucks has, reading the most impressive looking textbooks you have. Gosh, you’r

How to Finals Prep Like a Pro

Finals are approaching. Projects are getting assigned, concerts are drawing near, and cold dark weather is making it harder for anyone to have any motivation. How can a poor college student do any finals prep with all of this going on?? Like this! Organize ALL your deadlines. Post-it notes are your friends here. Get a nice chunk of wall and write a post-it for EVERY DEADLINE OR PROJECT OR PRESENTATION between now and break, then put them up in order. Take extreme satisfaction

4 Ways to Use Perseverance to Get What You Want

Perseverance is probably one of the most important skills for musicians artists creative people ANYONE to have. And when I call it a skill, I mean it. It’s not a trait. There isn’t a magic switch that makes some people “more perseverant” than others. There’s simply a difference between how people rank their priorities, and how much they’re willing to do to actually make their desires a reality. A more perseverant person often is just a person that is better at figuring out wh

How to Handle Fear of Uncertainty

So I realized the other day: I’m an adult. I’m like, old. In a year and half, I’ll be entering the Real World finally, and I’ll need a for-real source of income, not just my campus job. This was an uncomfortable realization, to say the least. Most musicians’ careers aren’t likely to fit the “traditional” trajectory that people imagine. That uncertainty is nerve-wracking. Here’s how we can all handle it! Take up a side-hustle. Something that helps me keep my anxiety under cont

5 Ways to Cut Drama from Your Life

I detest drama. It’s gross. Drama is uncomfortable and awkward and makes me want to pack my bags and move away. However, no matter where you go to school, or work, or live, conflict is going to come up. There’s always someone in your surroundings who attracts drama like a weird magnet, or personalities that don’t mesh well. Here’s how to handle those uncomfortable moments without spontaneously combusting like you want to. Think before you speak. Would you say something if the

How to Change Your Class Schedule After School Starts

Choosing classes is hard. There’s tons of requirements for music majors, and a strict order in which you need to take most classes. Plus, gen eds are a pain in the butt and are sometimes actively painful. (I dunked my face in ice water for thirty seconds for a bio class once and it HURT.) Unless your advisor is a miracle worker, I guarantee that at least once in your college career you’ll need to add or drop a class after semester starts. Because you forgot about it, or becau

How to Handle Being Sick During School

If there is one thing I excel at, it’s doing my schoolwork even when I’m sick as a dog. This is because I have the immune system of an infant squirrel, and catch colds like Ash catches Pokemon. I just GOTTA catch’em all. However, after long experience, I can promise you it is possible to keep on top of schoolwork. Yes, even when your head and sinuses are full of cotton wool. Be kind to yourself. Being sick, by definition, means you’re not at full capacity. Trying to be high e

What Is a Graduate Diagnostic Exam

So, friends. I’ve been busy recently, and not writing a lot. I have just moved 80% of my belongings by volume a hundred miles (the other 20% are coming this weekends). I have started a new job, and I have done like 7 orientations for graduate school. And scariest of all – I took a thing called the Graduate Diagnostic Exam. Dun dun DUNN. I’ll admit, until I took those two tests, I really had no idea what I was getting into. I’m a hardcore overachiever, and it was super stressf

How to Shut Down Haters

The thing about being a music major (or any artsy majors) is that haters love to rag on you. There’s something about “unpractical” majors that causes people to think that they have the right to tell you you’re going to Fail horribly Be eternally broke Never succeed at any of your dreams Literally live underneath a bridge and eat mold to sustain yourself. Fortunately, none of that is true. When it comes to responding to the the people who think telling you this is okay, I can

How to Make an Awesome First Impression at College

School starts soon. Yeah, stop screaming, it’s a fact, chill. With a new school year coming up, there’s a great opportunity approaching: the chance to make a BOMB first impression on all your new classmates. This is especially true if you’ve transferred or if you’re a new student! I’m starting grad school in the fall, and so I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this recently. Here’s how we can both make an amazing first impression on our new peers! Be Humble. Everyone you

How to Be a Scholarship Boss

I’m starting a second blog – a real, honest-to-God not-Tumblr blog, about money and saving and getting out of school debt-free. A lot of the content there is going to be similar to this post. Keep an eye out for more information, coming soon! Scholarships are some of those things that no one – NO ONE – ever values enough. A scholarship, no matter how small, is usually going to be some of the best value-for-time-spent that you’re going to get in your life. Even if the only sch

How to Practice In Spite of Everything

Anonymous asked: I’m preparing for college auditions right now and I have a problem that is even more relevant now. I want to be practicing a lot more but I have always had a problem with practice because I am constantly tired. My doctor can’t tie it back to an actual cause, and has suggested some lifestyle adjustments. While this helps a bit, practicing my instrument always makes me really tired after a few minutes. I love playing and I just don’t know what to do. Anonymous

How to Make a Schedule and Stick To It

The question I received recently from tumblr user @life-of-mack was this:  “How to make a practice/work/school schedule and stick to it?” That’s certainly a tough venture, sometimes. The short answer? Discipline. If only it were so simple, right? If the only reason we don’t stick to schedules was because we didn’t realize it takes discipline to do so, then the world would be a much more organized place. However, there are ways to make it easier to be disciplined. Be realistic

Top Ten Tips for Freshmen

Anonymous asked: Hey. I’ve been following your blog for awhile. Super cool and informative! I’m going to be a freshman in college this fall and I’m kinda nervous (like anyone would be) I’m gonna major in Music Ed. Any tips for incoming freshmen??? Congratulations on getting in! Honestly, that’s a great question. Here are my Top Ten Tips for Music Freshmen Schedule in time to practice. Practice is no longer something you can do for twenty minutes when you get home from school.