Need clearer direction in your career?

Do you ever wish someone could help you see all of your options as a professional musician, and help you successfully achieve your full potential?

That's what musician's coaches are for! Here are some of them.
  • Valerie Kampmeier: Has testimonials and offers complimentary evaluation session.

  • Rick Goetz: Specializes in strategy and business planning for musicians.

  • Kelli: Explains what coaching can do for you, and she gives a free sample session.

  • Chris Coward: Helps performers as well as songwriters and composers, and provides a free coaching session.

Photo from http://www.truenaturewellness.com/s/individuals/2/


How to know if you're doing enough (or not)

We all want to get more done, and at the same time we all want to have more free time.

So how are we supposed to know if we're doing too much or too little?

Author Dave Navarro mentions in his manifesto More Time Now that we just have to ask ourselves the following question.

How many things do you regret not having accomplished, attempted or experienced over the last ten years?

Answer it honestly, and you'll know just how you're doing.

Picture from http://cutcaster.com/photo/800895787-time-passing-clocks-and-gears/


How to create an online choir

In case you've missed it, this video is a must see for all of us!


Should you tell how much you make?

At some point in our life, we've all worked the same job as someone else in the same company, such as two clarinet players in the same orchestra, or two music teachers at the same camp.

When that happens, the question of how much each person makes tends to come up. Should we share that info with each other or not?
  • YES: When you are in your job for the long haul, the information will definitely be helpful in future negociations.

  • NO: When you are in a short-term gig, you won't be able to make use of the information. When one of you realizes that they are being paid less than the other, it will create resentment.

    However, if one of you is not sure what the going rates are, it's ok to tell how much you both make once the gig is done, for future reference.

Picture from http://freelanceconsultingadvice.com/page/2/


Are you a live musician?

Many ads ask for live musicians for events.

But what are performing musicians that are not live?

Picture from http://gheecheeni.wordpress.com/


6 resources to find a sub

We all need subs at some point or another, so here are the 6 resources that make finding a sub much easier when your regular subs aren't available.
  1. Friends' recommendations: Ask your musician friends to help you pass the word along by posting what you need on facebook, and by sending them an email to be forwarded to potential subs.

  2. Local universities and conservatories: Find a local university that offers degrees in music, and contact the chairman of the department you need. Tell them precisely what you're looking for, and ask them to pass your email around to anyone they judge qualified and interested.

  3. Craigslist: Craigslist works best for bigger cities, but there are some great musicians looking at the ads on there, and it's free so there is no reason not to give it a shot. 

  4. Local musicians' union: Simply search for the local AFM website, and look for a representative's phone number and email address. There is sometimes a special page designated to hire musicians, where you just have to fill in the form with your needs.

  5. Online listings: Online listings are a great resource, such as pianoaccompanists.com, violinist.com, and gigmasters.com.

  6. Musicians' websites: Do a Google search of musicians in the location you're looking for, and take a look at their professional websites to see if any of them would suit your needs.

Picture from http://www.encore-editions.com/wanted-a-substitute/canvas


Why it's ok to not always be productive

Do you ever find yourself practicing your instrument and feeling that you're not getting anything done?

Here is why it's completely ok, from the following excerpts from an article on productivity by Jason Fried published in the latest edition of Inc.

"A few weeks ago, I was on fire." "Every day, I felt as if I were accomplishing two or three days' worth of work. I was in the zone, and it felt fantastic."

"It lasted about three weeks. And then I found myself back at my old pace. Instead of being super productive, I was sort-of-productive. Some days, I felt as if I barely accomplished anything."
"So what was wrong? Nothing at all."

"I believe it's perfectly fine to spend some of your time, maybe even a lot of your time, not firing up on all cylinders. Full capacity isn't always great for your mind."

"Motivation, productivity, efficiency- these things are not constants. In my experience, they come in waves. They ebb and flow, and there's no sense in fighting it. The key is to recognize a productivity surge when it appears, so you can roll with it."

"I think about work the same way I think about the weather. Sometimes it's snowy or rainy or foggy at work. When that happens, I stay 'inside'- and take care of the busy work, the boring stuff, the small things that need to get done."

"But when things warm up, it's time to head 'outside,' to get creative, focus on the interesting problems, and ride the wave of creativity as long as it lasts. It may be days, weeks, even months."

Photo from http://www.123rf.com/photo_4815489_music-instruments.html


Should musicians go on vacation when they don't have gigs planned?

For regular 9-5 workers, a period of no-work means vacation. So when a musician has an upcoming period of no-work, friends and family assume that musicians are free to go on vacation as well.

However, for freelance musicians, a period of no-work ahead of them simply means that gigs will come in at the last moment. 

If they were to leave for vacation, they would have to turn down those last minute gigs. And a gig turned down once means less gigs offered in the future.

Picture from http://www.portableathlete.com/2010/11/acupressure-to-relieve-vacation-stress/
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