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

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

4 Ways to Create a Supportive Environment

There’s a connecting thread that runs through all of my experiences in music. Basically, it is MUCH more fun to be a part of a group that’s filled with positivity. However, a lot of musicians, instead of building each other up, become a little catty about people they don’t like. I wrote about this recently, in a post about what NOT to do at rehearsals, and I’ve been noticing the difference more and more over the course of the semester. The groups that make it a point to have

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 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 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 Boost Self-Confidence

proanotherworkgress asked: How do you work on having more self-confidence in yourself as a musician and in your work? Basically how do you prevent yourself from selling yourself short? Confidence is such a huge and delicate part of being a good musician. Without it, plenty of talented individuals with great potential end up dropping their musical dreams, convinced they’re awful. With too much, other musicians sometimes burn bridges or blow auditions because they don’t prepare

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 a thousand times and get rejected 997 of that 10

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 manage to keep your schedule flowing kind of smoothly, there’s other sources of stress that will sneak up

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 couple times. There’s a couple important things to keep in mind about most competitions: They are all-d