• Articles

    Are you waiting for crumbs or taking action?

    Do you know what is meant by the phrase “a sense of urgency?” Most classical musicians don’t. Like I used to, most performers have two settings – on or off.  Panic, or ‘I need to think about it’ (aka analysis paralysis). OCCASIONALLY one of those options is appropriate, but in my experience, it’s often the middle ground that is best – I need a considered result sooner rather than later.  I learned that the sooner I deal with something, the better the outcome.  Will I miss out on something else, something better?  Possibly, but I also learned that once a decision has been made, I need to stick to that…

  • Articles

    Why we take any gig that comes our way

    Just take this moment with me: Even if you’re really busy today, just breathe and relax for a moment… Imagine with me a world in which we are living our dream lifestyles. The house, the land, the car, the traveling, the instrument, the concert venues, the gifts and letters we receive from fans… Nice, huh? Imagine that you don’t have to worry about paying the bills. You have become so efficient at booking gigs that pay well that you don’t have to worry about your mortgage payments, sending your kids to private school, or buying first-class tickets to get to Europe.  In that life, imagine your car overheating, and steam…

  • Articles

    Are you teaching others to not value live classical music?

    So many classical musicians hate their job. Why? Well, first, which job?! Many musicians have multiple careers which, as we recently explored in my Facebook group Building Profitable Performing Careers, is not what drives success (reminder: multiple careers is different to multiple streams of income).  Doing several different activities like performing, teaching, administration, and a variety of non-music work is a left-over strategy from the 90s that has proven time and again to NOT WORK. So let’s focus our conversation on performing. Many classical musicians hate many of the performances they participate in. If performers aren’t too tired and distracted by their portfolio careers, then one reason might be because…

  • Articles

    Do you want to become an expert auditionee or an expert performer?

    How much have you invested in auditions? And I mean time away from your loved ones, practicing excerpts, dealing with nerves, training to become an expert auditionee, risking damage to your craft by over-practicing the extremities of your skills, as well as the actual expenses involved. Auditions are like school exams: You learn how to pass them and you’ll get excellent grades, but how will being an expert examinee help with life? One of the biggest complaints I hear from classical musicians is the amount of time, energy and resources they spend auditioning, rather than income-producing activities. There is nothing wrong with taking auditions – it’s the old way classical…

  • Articles

    How to attract very dedicated and advanced students

    Why are we talking about teaching? Because it’s actually one of the most common complaints I hear from musicians… one of the biggest causes of false optimism and hope I hear performers convince themselves they love doing. And many actually do! I still love helping those who ask for my help. Really love it. After all, I’m a Conductor, a.k.a. Maestro, translated: teacher. But I did not enjoy it when my primary income was from teaching whatever percussion students I could get, or teaching every teenager in a school as part of their weekly curriculum. And now I see myself in thousands of budding classical musicians who get diverted and…