The Six Kinds of Music Major

First seen on my Patreon! In my nearly six years of post-secondary education in music, I’ve discovered that there are six easily identifiable kinds of music major. Not every student fits one of these categories, but you’ll see these people on the regular, regardless of your school The Basement-Dweller: I don’t mean to use this in the pejorative sense. Instead, I mean that this kind of music major lives on a cot in the basement of the music building. They are so dedicated (and

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 Music Research

So you may have a research paper coming up. You may just want to know more about music. If you’re interested in getting more info on music, then here are the tips that’ll get you results. Free to anyone: Guide to Using Music Libraries: This one includes a lot of things specific to my school, but everything outside of stuff regarding the campus is universal. It contains guides for using a library, how to search for stuff using databases, useful links, music databases, and more

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

New Year’s Resolution: What All Music Majors Should Make

The new year is almost upon us. Last semester is finally over, and grades have (hopefully) started rolling in. If you didn’t get the grades you wanted this semester, the new year is a great time make a resolution to start new habits. Here are six habits to help your grades grow in 2018! Schedule your study time. Take the time to actually create a schedule, first and foremost. Then, once you’ve got all your classes and obligations written down, add in time every day for studyi

7 Holiday Study Moods

Winter finals are soon, as are the holidays! Combine the best of both worlds and use some holiday study moods to get you ready for everything. Pine-Scented Pals: Earl Grey, Leslie Odom Jr’s Christmas album, writing essays with your best friend. Fa la la la friendship! You can motivate each other! Solstice Scenester: Your favorite Starbucks holiday drink, sitting on that comfy velvet couch every Starbucks has, reading the most impressive looking textbooks you have. Gosh, you’r

How to Finals Prep Like a Pro

Finals are approaching. Projects are getting assigned, concerts are drawing near, and cold dark weather is making it harder for anyone to have any motivation. How can a poor college student do any finals prep with all of this going on?? Like this! Organize ALL your deadlines. Post-it notes are your friends here. Get a nice chunk of wall and write a post-it for EVERY DEADLINE OR PROJECT OR PRESENTATION between now and break, then put them up in order. Take extreme satisfaction

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 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 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

How to Make a Schedule and Stick To It

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 are ways to make it easier to be disciplined. Be realistic

Top Ten Tips for Freshmen

Anonymous asked: Hey. I’ve been following your blog for awhile. Super cool and informative! I’m going to be a freshman in college this fall and I’m kinda nervous (like anyone would be) I’m gonna major in Music Ed. Any tips for incoming freshmen??? Congratulations on getting in! Honestly, that’s a great question. Here are my Top Ten Tips for Music Freshmen Schedule in time to practice. Practice is no longer something you can do for twenty minutes when you get home from school.

5 Ways to Feel Better in 5 Minutes

I know at least one person who has lost all motivation because summer has begun. There’s something about not being in a regular, structured environment full of like-minded peers that just kinda brings people down, you know? However, you don’t have to succumb to feeling gross now that summer is here. Remember, self-care is important! Here are five tips that can be completed in five minutes and make life feel a little better. Wash your face. It doesn’t have to even be a full wa

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

5 Tips to Have a Successful Jury

First seen on my Patreon! Juries are upon us. It is the time of panicking freshman, smug recitalists (because they don’t need to perform a jury), and general Stress in the music department. However, that doesn’t need to be the case. Juries are not a horrible trial placed upon innocent musicians – instead, they are a celebration of the hard work and learning you’ve done this semester. Here’s how to make sure you celebrate it well. Remember you are prepared. Your entire semeste

Fall Study Aesthetics

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been in the mood for fall since about July. When you consider that midterms are in a week, and my window was frosted over this morning, I think that it’s time for a study moods post about the best season. Each mood can be done individually, or you can do all seven over the course of a week! The PSL: Drinking a PSL, at a Starbucks, listening to the hum of people around you and writing an essay. This is the most Basic Fall Mood. I know I certain

How to Buy Textbooks (A Beginner’s Guide)

It turns out that textbooks are like, HELLA expensive. Just, so expensive. So costly. Too much. A student who has their first semester of Many Required Textbooks can really face some sticker shock when it comes to getting their books. But fear not! Here are some tips to HALVE your textbook costs this semester! Check your school’s library for books before you buy them. A lot of textbooks are held at your school’s library, as are books for “supplemental reading.” Go online and

Four Ways to Improve Pit Classes

Most people end up taking at least a couple pit classes in college – yes, even musicians. It’s a rite of passage, almost. A ritual. Imagine: You sit in a room with three hundred other people. You watch the Elder in front of you, listen to their words, write down what you can and hope to remember the rest. There will be a Test. Those who pass the Test will be allowed to move on and learn deeper, more arcane knowledge, while those who don’t may be rejected entirely. That sounds

Seven Study Moods to Start School Strong!

Semester begins, for me at least, in about two weeks. Academic stuff is already beginning to fill my plate, with graduate school applications starting to be due in MID OCTOBER, jeegus. This means that it’s time for my first STUDY MOOD post of the new school year! These are all ways I like to study – they keep me focused and grounded in what I’m trying to do. Pick your favorite, or try one a day all week! The Gardener: Drinking mint tea, drawing mind maps in a nature-filled sp

How to Survive Week 1

So college starts again soon. Like, really soon. My sister has a countdown until she moves in – she has 25 days. However, a lot of people don’t really think beyond the whole “school is starting up again aaaaaaaaaaaaah” panic to figure out exactly how they’re going to handle that first week back. It’s an important week – starting off strong will give you a good foundation for the rest of the semester. How should you do that? It’s funny you asked, because I’ve been spending som