Business

Jumpstart Your Music Career with These Helpful Tips

Jumpstart Your Music Career with These Helpful Tips

The beginning of a new career is an exciting time, full of energy, motivation, and possibility.

Maybe you’re taking that first step from music student to music professional, newly-printed diploma in hand (or in the mail - sometimes these things take a while).

Or maybe you’ve been working for a few years and are ready to make a change and set off in a new direction.

Maybe you’re in between things: trying to figure out what you want to do and what kind of musician you want to become, or maybe you’re beginning a second career later in life.

Wherever you are today, and wherever you hope to be in the next few months, here are 5 helpful tips for getting started:

How We Structure Our Freelance Work Retreat (+ a Free Workbook!)

How We Structure Our Freelance Work Retreat (+ a Free Workbook!)

Every spring, my husband Steve and I set aside a few days for a work retreat.

We’re both music freelancers, so this is a time for us to take a step back from our businesses, reflect on the successes and challenges of the past year, evaluate what’s going well and what could be improved, and do some creative planning for the year ahead.

Often, we try to tie this in with a short getaway (because by March or April, we usually have a pretty bad case of cabin fever). In the past, we’ve found affordable rentals on Airbnb (a business expense!) within an hour’s drive and bring our dog Rory, our laptops, a few books, and food and snacks for a few days. 

A Holiday Sale!

A Holiday Sale!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year:

Christmas music on repeat (currently listening to Brooklyn Duo Christmas), Thanksgiving dinner with all our favorites (pass the cranberry sauce, please!), and a cozy weekend in, snagging all the best online deals.

I’m thrilled to be hosting my first-ever holiday sale this week - starting now! I put together three exclusive holiday bundles for you, available for a limited time only.

9 Time-Saving Tools and Tactics for Busy Music Teachers and Directors

9 Time-Saving Tools and Tactics for Busy Music Teachers and Directors

One thing I hear over and over from church musicians and music educators (well, everyone, really) is that there never seems to be enough time to get it all done.

Time to teach
Time to rehearse
Time to write
Time to practice
Time to be with family
Time to be a good friend
Time to read
Time to exercise
Time to learn

26 Leadership Skills and Traits for Church Music Directors

26 Leadership Skills and Traits for Church Music Directors

What does it mean to be a leader? And what does it take to be a great one?

Leadership has been defined as “the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal.” (source) Thus, a leader is one who inspires and directs that collective action.

This requires a certain set of skills and character traits, though experts indicate you can learn and develop these skills with time and experience. You don’t have to be born with all of these skills and traits to be a great leader.

Top 10 Résumé Tips for Professional Musicians

Top 10 Résumé Tips for Professional Musicians

A résumé is a professional document representing who you are and what you’ve done in your career.

It shows your qualifications, skills, education, and experience, but it also demonstrates other less-obvious things, like attention to detail, organizational skills, commitment, and even creativity and innovation.

Your résumé tells the story of who you are and what you do.

Now, in terms of look and feel, résumés often follow some sort of template. This varies by industry: some use color blocks and bold fonts, even photos or icons to showcase their work and experience.

Top 10 Posts of 2017

Top 10 Posts of 2017

These last few weeks of the calendar year are always some of my favorite - time to reflect on a year well-lived and make big plans for the year to come.

Here are a few fun facts from this year:

2017 By the Numbers

Blog posts written: 81
Online courses created: 2
Online workshops created: 4
Videos recorded: 31
Emails written: too many to count!
Site visitors: 125,000+
Page views: 295,000+

7 Things I Didn't Learn in Music School

7 Things I Didn't Learn in Music School

8 a.m. theory classes, 1-credit ensembles, concerts, performances, listening exams, and 10 p.m. practice sessions.

Ah, music school.

I’ve spent my fair share of time in music school: from my undergraduate degree in Piano and Organ Performance to a Master’s and Ph.D. in Music Education, I think it all adds up to 10 years (but who’s really counting?).

And yet, despite all that schooling (and all those recitals and term papers), there were still many things I didn’t know when I started building my career; things I had to figure out on my own and learn with time and practical experience.

2017 Reader Survey Results [Infographic]

2017 Reader Survey Results [Infographic]

Last month, I put together my first reader survey and I'm honored that so many of you took the time to respond and give feedback!

More than anything, I want to create content that's helpful to you, so I asked you to tell me more about yourself and the work you do and to share your greatest rewards and biggest challenges.

I also asked for your thoughts and ideas for the future: What would you like to read about? What would help you in your ministry or teaching? How can I serve you better?

2017 Reader Survey

2017 Reader Survey

Reflection is vital to learning, growing, and success. 

It works hand-in-hand with action, a constant cycle of doing followed by observing and evaluating our work, our relationships, and the choices we make.

We all know it’s true.

But so often, we get caught up in the doing part - creating, teaching, and playing (especially at this time of year) - and don’t make time to stop and reflect.

Today, I'm taking a step back to reflect on my business goals, blog content, offerings, and ways I can serve you better.

And I'd love for you to be part of that process. (Think of it like a virtual coffee chat.)