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 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

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

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

How to Start a Performance Group

One of the things people think about when they imagine the college music experience is participating in small performance groups. They think about rock bands, chamber music groups, quartets, all sorts of stuff. However, at least at my school, there are far fewer groups than there are students. This is despite the fact that the first advice pretty much any music graduate will give is to perform in and work with a small group. So, if your school suffers the same problem, you ca

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