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

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

4 Ways to Tell If You Should Turn Down a Gig

I’ll be completely honest: I’m relatively new to the world of paying gigs. My undergrad was not in a good location for classical performance, so pretty much all of my performances were unpaid, just to get something for my CV. However, now that I’m in a new city, I have MANY more performance opportunities, as well as a ton of unpaid gigs that just seem super fun. How’s a musician to choose? Here’s how to decide when to take or pass on a gig! Is it worth your time? Literally, i

How to Make a Schedule and Stick to It

I have a Patreon! Please consider supporting this blog. 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 ar

How To Intern

If there is one experience that will unite every college student I know, it’s that of the internship. Every single person who attends my college has to do something along the lines of a semester-long apprenticeship at a company vaguely related to their major, getting paid peanuts (or nothing!) for the ‘experience.’ Interning is a lot of thankless work sometimes. However, just because it seems kinda pointless doesn’t mean you can’t get something from even the dullest internshi

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 way to “get into” the music industry, and as

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 would be spending 19 hours in class a week, and then studying for an additional 57 hours. Each week. Th

How to Network Well

Something I’ve been asking a lot of music professionals recently is, “What even is networking?” I usually ask this shortly after asking questions like “How was your day?” and “Did you know that I wrote a book?” The answers I get, in order, are usually, “Fine,” “No! I’ll go buy it!” and “It’s just making friends with people.” That’s really all that networking is, honestly. It’s a stereotypical business term – something opaque and confusing and a little intimidating that distra

You Are Valid

Music is one of the toughest majors out there. Not just because of the classwork – although I can tell you, that part is tough too. No, it’s tough because of the sheer number of people you’ll meet who do not believe in it. There are hundreds of thousands of people out there who will sit through a movie with an amazing soundtrack (written by musicians, performed by instrumentalists), sing to the radio on the way home (playing music written and performed by musicians), go to th

How to Write Professional Emails

So it turns out that writing emails to someone More Adult than you is the worst thing in the world. It doesn’t matter if they’re a teacher, an employer, or just someone you need to communicate something to – it is the worst. HOWEVER, that does not mean you can’t do the thing. I went from basically tearing up any time I had to do this thing, to only doing so for really really hard email. Which I will call an improvement. Here is how to properly write a Professional Email: Open

4 Reasons Why You Should Be Friends with Your Classmates

Hey, did you know it’s good for you to be friends with your fellow students? I’m always surprised when people are shocked about this. It may be something about the majors I’m in, but many people I know were genuinely surprised at how many career musicians got to where they are today based on the people they know. It’s something business majors have pounded into their skulls, but music majors are never really taught. That, combined with the innate competitiveness (and therefor

How to Start Teaching

Most musicians end up teaching at least a little, in order to help make ends meet. Some teach as their primary source of income. The thing is, to the young musician, there is no real guide to how to start teaching in the first place. It can be confusing to begin, I know, but as someone who has started teaching recently (look at the top of the page! There’s my teaching stuff!) I promise that you can figure it out. Find a teaching space. Before you even begin to think about tea

Best Jobs for College Musicians

It turns out that being a music major doesn’t always result in lots of income, you know? Especially not when you’re still in school. So if you are anything like me, you’re looking for another way to earn some cash on the side, to fund your caffeine addiction. From some In-Depth Research (asking my music friends about their jobs and how much they liked them) I have come up with a list of some of the best jobs you can get as a college musician! Desk Job Receptionist (hotel or o