Dear 1999

It’s hard to believe, but here we are, at the dawn of a new decade.  Personally, the past 10 years have provided a wild and exciting ride.  During this period I got married, had a child, built friendships, travelled four continents, pursued a host of musically fulfilling projects, got a university gig, worked with talented students, and...

Hallelujah–Silent Monks!

It’s not often that a group of monks bring down the house at a holiday concert.  Especially if they’ve been sworn to silence.  Yet, that’s exactly what happens here.  Please enjoy this rendition of 100% mute monks performing Handel’s Hallejah Chorus.  (OK, maybe they’re...

More Important than Talent, Training, Intellect, and Good Looks…

You gotta have talent. Great training can help.  Brains and vision are crucial. And do add some sizzle to the steak…   …But that’s not enough. These elements, alone, rarely work.  In fact, you’re missing the most important ingredient.   P E R S I S T E N C E We often give up far too easily, even when a potential winner is...

The Working Musician: Full-Time Orchestra Member

Tens of thousands of classically trained musicians dream of obtaining full-time employment in a top-tier orchestra.  In some cases, they believe this is the only desirable prospect available for achieving a successful life in music (though anyone who has read The Savvy Musician surely understands that many other exciting and feasible paths...

The Success Formula for Selling Music

This presentation by TechDirt founder Michael Masnick, featuring 280 Power Point slides in just 15 minutes, hypothesizes why Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails has been so successful.  The formula he derives is simple: Connect With Fans (CwF) + Reason To Buy (RtB) = The Business Model ($$$$)       Masnick explains his choice to study...

The Christmas Miracle–10 Years Later

Below are several clips from the a capella vocal group Straight Note Chaser.  Not only is the music fun, but their unlikely rise to success illustrates the power technology can play in determining success for musicians. Straight Note Chaser was formed as a group of mostly non-music majors at Indiana University, Bloomington in 1996.  Members...

The Rule of Four

Of course!  You chose music in order to pursue meaningful and gratifying work. Sure, paying your dues and taking on a fair share of lame gigs along the way is permissible.  You might even temporarily accept a “day job” to, you know, help out with the bills. But this is all leading somewhere. Somewhere important.  Ultimately, the vast...

This Holiday Season, Give the Gift of Success

If you have friends, students, colleagues, or family members who are musicians, why not give them a present this holiday season that helps them achieve greater professional success?  Or maybe these ideas can be added to your own wish list:              Success-Oriented Books.  This inexpensive and helpful gift can range a number of...

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