13 Steps to a Happy Musical Life

Success is a common theme in The Savvy Musician universe.  Of course, there are many types of success: landing a job, performing well, writing a great tune, mastering a technique, getting noticed, going viral, attracting web traffic, moving audiences.  Yet some musicians accomplish many of these things, but still feel dissatisfied with their...

The Most Viable Instrumentation

The combination of instruments that make up an ensemble influences everything from timbral palette to literature available.  But from a business point of view, which instrumentations possess the highest potential of appealing to presenters and audiences?  Is it more viable to stick with standard combinations, or go out on a limb with a novel...

Challenging Conventional Wisdom

Each day, we make decisions based on conventional wisdom: what makes a good parent, where to spend money, why education is important, how to view politics, which activities lead to happiness and success.  We are unduly influenced by sound bites that dominate the news headlines, and seek simple short-term solutions to complex predicaments. The...

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

This hilarious video presentation, by cellist/composer and TSM artist Zoe Keating, answers the age old question “Should you quit your high-paying tech job to become a professional musician?”  While her talk is tongue and cheek, it does present some of the unique challenges that face touring...

Nonprofit vs. For Profit, or Both?

This year, I will begin inviting guests to contribute articles to The Savvy Musician Blog from time to time.  Today’s post comes from Melissa Snoza, flutist and Executive Director of the Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble. By Melissa Snoza I first became acquainted with The Savvy Musician’s David Cutler when he was doing research for his...

Why YOU Need a Website

Perhaps you’ve been toying with the possibility of a website, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. After all, there’s a lot going on in your life, and carving out the time necessary isn’t easy.  In the hierarchy of things, how important is this, exactly? For those hoping to thrive as a professional musician, the question is easily...

The Piano’s Newest Relative

The piano undoubtedly has many advantages over other instruments: the possibility of thick harmonies, complex textures, and a wide range.  But it also has limitations, especially in terms of  tuning and inflection.  During a performance, it is impossible to play notes “in between the keys.” Pianists are not able to perform...

23 Resolutions

A new year, and decade nonetheless, present an optimal opportunity to reflect, re-assess, and re-calibrate our lives.  As you jump into 2010, what resolutions do you have to advance your career?  Below are 23 (my favorite number) proposed resolutions to consider. Obviously, don’t resolve to do all of these!  It’s much more...

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