Four Ways to Avoid Feeling Like a Failure

So! Everyone I know right now seems to be having a quarter-life crisis. Some people don’t feel like they’re good enough for their field. Some got through 5+ years of education only to find out they hate the nitty-gritty of their field. Still others just don’t know what they want to be when they grow up despite being old enough to pay for their own insurance. Whatever the cause, a lot of people feel like they’re a “failure,” despite any and all achievements. Here’s how I’ve co

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

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

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, find out everyone is just humoring you, find out that your doubters were right, end up completely dest

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 these times are going to result in negative consequences. It’s the way life works. I

4 Reasons to Stick with Music

I will be completely honest here: one of the strangest but most predictable events of my musical school year is the annual Fleeing of the Freshmen. This event, as regular as the tides and sad like lemmings, occurs around the end of first semester. Freshman who were only three months ago bright-eyed and bushy-tailed head to their advisers’ offices, and for a million reasons drop their music majors and switch to something else. It might be class loads that they don’t like – “Ho

How to Handle Failing an Audition

If you are, were, are going to be, or even considered being a music major in college, then you know the fear of Not Getting In. (Heck, in broader terms this applies to college in general, too.) It’s the fear of finishing the application, of doing the audition,  of getting through everything, and then being told, “I’m sorry, but we had many wonderful applicants this year and you were unfortunately not chosen.” Or even worse, just getting a form letter. Or worst of ALL, just ne