How to Set Yourself Up for a Growth Spurt This Summer

Ah...summertime. For some, it's a time to go on vacation, grill in the backyard, soak up the sunshine, and relax. But for many musicians, it's the time of year when they immerse themselves more deeply in practice, rework or strengthen specific skills, learn new repertoire, or attend workshops or festivals to further their musical experiences and training. We often start off the summer with grand intentions, and it's easy to feel like we have plenty of time. But the weeks fly by pretty quickly,…


How to Change the Future (For Better or Worse)

Winter Slade wanted something special for her 7th birthday. In lieu of presents, she thought it'd be cool to have people donate to a charity geared towards protecting endangered animals. Sounds like a sweet thing to do, right? While excitedly sharing her plan with friends, she overheard several of her friends' parents dismiss the plan with a different "s" word. They thought it was "stupid." Sure, the amount of money she might be able to raise would be trivial. And perhaps most of the money…


Are Competitions Good or Bad?

There are hundreds, if not thousands of music competitions around the world, ranging from small local competitions to the high-stakes "career-launching" variety like the Van Cliburn or Tchaikovsky competitions. The question of whether these competitions are ultimately good or bad for both musicians, the industry, and the art itself have been debated for years. Like any complex issue, both sides have some valid points (here's one person's take, complete with fun anecdotes and corresponding links…


How to Care More Without Putting Too Much Pressure On Yourself

Have you ever driven to the mall on a cold wintry weekend morning with two screaming toddlers in the backseat, and circled around the parking lot fervently hoping for a parking spot near the front? And have you ever noticed that as soon as you give up and resign yourself to a crappy spot near the end of the row, get out of the car, and strap the kids into the stroller, the perfect spot opens up right by the entrance? This sort of thing happens all the time - and not just in parking lots. It…