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Don’t Be Like Your Teacher

young man playing guitar“Music making is a never-ceasing process of change and progress.”
–Jacqueline du Pré, cellist (The Musician’s Way, p. 205)

We musicians seldom achieve expertise on our own but seek out teachers to inform our growth.

Although good teachers influence us in countless positive ways, it’s crucial for us to forge our own artistic paths and not merely imitate our mentors, especially in today’s evolving music industry. Continue Reading

10 Reasons to Pursue a Graduate Degree in Music

“If you’re dedicated to becoming a professional, you have to prepare to compete in the marketplace.”
The Musician’s Way, p. 300

If you aim for a career in music, your educational choices will profoundly affect your future.

Here are 10 guidelines to help musicians make informed decisions about graduate school. Continue Reading

November 2014 Newsletter

“No matter how musically advanced you become,
you’ll encounter passages that defy easy mastery”
-The Musician’s Way, p. 54

The November 2014 issue of The Musician’s Way Newsletter brings together more than 20 articles and resources of interest to musicians and music lovers.

Musicians will find tools to improve practice and memorization along with an announcement about a powerful online resource published by the New World Symphony. Continue Reading

3 Ways to Build Concert Programs

Flutist playing outdoors“Concerts need contrast – and lots of it.”
-The Musician’s Way, p. 210

In previous articles, I’ve explored avenues to design concert programs that can attract diverse audiences.

In this post, I offer tips to construct attractive programs primarily using your current repertoire.
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3 Traits of Successful Concert Programs

Flutist playing outdoors“Memorable concerts don’t merely deliver what’s expected; they also take audiences beyond what they can envision.”
-The Musician’s Way, p. 211

We classical musicians have it in our power to attract hordes of enthusiastic fans.

And one of the most effective ways we can do so is to offer innovative concert programs that make listeners hungry to hear us. Continue Reading

How Not to Pursue a Music Career

Image of cellist playing alone in wheat field“Probe every aspect of what ‘being a successful musician’ means to you.”
-The Musician’s Way, p. 302

If you aspire to a career as an independent musician, you’ll find lots of “how to” advice online.

This post takes a reverse approach: I highlight 12 unwise moves that are common among young performers.

I hope it will inspire you to enthusiastically pursue your musical dreams.

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February 2014 Newsletter

“When we generate positive emotions, we ignite creativity.”

The February 2014 issue of The Musician’s Way Newsletter coalesces more than 20 resources for performers, educators, and arts administrators.

You’ll find articles about boosting creativity, enhancing music practice, navigating the music business, and much more. Continue Reading

Get Real about Music Careers

Close-up photo of violinist in orchestra“If your concept of success is restricted to being an international soloist or performing with a major symphony or opera company, then you’re probably headed for difficulties in life.”
-The Musician’s Way, p. 300

There are ample opportunities for musicians who fill diverse roles in today’s music scene. Problem is, vast numbers of young musicians singlemindedly strive toward careers that are unlikely to exist for them. Continue Reading

October 2013 Newsletter

The Musician's Way book cover“Your imagination with programming can make the difference between your becoming either a busy performer with an eager audience or one who performs little.”
The Musician’s Way, p. 216

The latest edition of The Musician’s Way Newsletter compiles diverse articles and resources for music lovers.

There are guidelines that help performers practice effectively and be more creative. News items are included about important developments in the music industry.
Continue Reading

How to Avoid Excessive Student Debt

“There are over 7 million borrowers in default on a federal or private student loan.”
-Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (August 2013)

Student loan debt has reached crisis proportions in the US.

Not only are millions of borrowers unable to make their loan payments but the total amount of outstanding federal student loans has ballooned to more than $1 trillion. Continue Reading