Currently Browsing: Career

Everything I Know About Business, I Learned at the Conservatory

by Brian Pertl My guess is that the title of this blog caught your attention, because it seems so incredibly unlikely. The world of business and the world of music appear to have very little in common. What on earth could playing a Mozart symphony have to do with leading a budget proposal meeting? Most of us would say, “absolutely nothing at...

Balancing Family with a Career in Music

“Is it possible to successfully raise a family and have a career in music?”  There’s a question that perplexes many aspiring and emerging musicians.  My answer…absolutely. If you truly want these things out of life, unconditionally YES!  Of course, building a great career in music is never easy.  Nor is having a family.  But the best...

One in a Million

Written by and posted on Seth Godin’s blog: The chances of a high school student eventually becoming first violin for the Boston Philharmonic: one in a million. The chances of a high school student eventually playing basketball in the NBA? About the same. In fact, the chances of someone growing up and getting a job precisely like yours,...

The Working Musician: Military Jobs

With the possible exception of saxophonists and euphoniumists, few musicians dream of a military career. Yet this path can provide a dependable income, solid benefits, and varied opportunities. “This is a good four year job for just about anyone. It can be a GREAT 20+ year job for many,” explains Michael Mench, Commander of the US Air Force...

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 musicians.         Share and...

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...

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 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...

Writing an Approach Letter

In my recent post Career Mentorship: The Lost Education, I argued the benefits of seeking out individuals to serve as role models and coaches when it comes to career related issues.  The article generated a lot of questions, which I will address in this and future posts.  What’s the best way to make initial contact with a career mentor,...

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