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How to Display Professionalism

As someone who’s spent a decent chunk of her life in and around stage stuff, I’ve spent a long time getting exposed to various types of performers. It’s to the point where I can tell how long someone’s been performing and how seriously they take it from how they react when the director starts talking at the beginning of rehearsal. And boy howdy, have I learned to appreciate the people who are serious enough to sit down and listen. I love them with a fiery passion. These peopl

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

How to Handle Impostor Syndrome

“I’m not as good as my classmates.” “I have no talent.” “I don’t deserve this.” “I’m never going to succeed.” “If people knew how bad I really am, they’d laugh at me.” All of these great comments, and more, brought to you courtesy of Impostor Syndrome! The insecurities-recommended way to talk yourself out of a career in music! Try it today! Impostor Syndrome is, to put it in scientific terms, a great big ball of dumb. It’s that feeling of somehow being less “legitimate” than

How to Fight Audition Nerves

Auditions! They’re scary. That deserved a line break. Maybe a crash of thunder or something. Ominous music. That kind of thing. This drama is because auditions are basically the boogeyman of the music world – to quote Eric Whitacre, the rockstar of the choral world, “The terror of performing never goes away. Instead, you get very, very comfortable being terrified.” It’s true, honestly. I still get butterflies in my stomach before most performances. I used to brag that I didn’

Why You Should Take Lessons Over the Summer

Summer is a time of laziness. Golly gee, do I know that. However, that’s no excuse to totally ignore your instrument. In fact, summer being such a lazy time is actually a good reason to keep up with your instrument – being relaxed and having less pressure (read: not having juries!) means you can focus better on things. The problem is that during summer, there’s no enforced structure for most student types. There’s no class-practice-work-socialize-sleep kind of cycle for you t

How to Handle Self-Doubt

If there is ONE problem out there that every musician suffers from, regardless of age, skill level, profession, or whatever, it’s self-doubt. Self-doubt, I swear, kills more careers and opportunities and dreams than anything else out there. At least a third of the messages I get on my social media are about how to improve confidence, how to stop doubting the sender’s abilities, how to believe in themselves, how to stop beating themselves up about stuff. ALL of these things ar

Musical Burnout: How To Avoid It

Finals are basically over for most people, which means that burn-out may or may not be on your mind anymore. I know I feel amazing now that all my things are over, but if you had a rough semester, you might be feeling like you got hit by a truck and now you never want to play a note ever again.  Or, on the flip side, you had an awesome jury or recital, and now you can’t seem to make yourself practice. Both of those, my friends, are types of burnout. Burnout is rough. I was st

How To Be A Better Singer

What is your foremost priority as a singer? I’m gonna bet that, unless you are already literally the best performer in the world, your goal is something along the lines of “be a better singer.” The problem is, that’s a pretty gosh-darn vague goal. Just “singing better” doesn’t mean very much. Your first step is to sit and think for a bit. What do you really mean when you say you want to be a better singer? You need a starting point. You need goals. Setting Goals Do you want t

Improve Your Music Practice

Practicing is the 800 pound gorilla in the room when it comes to musicians and time management. It’s true. I know a some people who seem to have everything super together and get all their assignments and responsibilities done – EXCEPT practicing. They’re procrastinating their music practice by doing other things that are also technically “helpful” and “useful,” but are completely unrelated to their actual career goals. Yes, wonderful, their paper is now finished a week befor

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