Building Your Portfolio Career Part 1: Imagining the Mix

Portfolio career is the term used to describe a professional path involving multiple streams of income. This profile is commonly adopted by artists of all stripes. I, for one, have developed a portfolio career, and wouldn’t have it any other way.             Advantages of a portfolio career include: The opportunity to control your own activities and schedule A flexible framework for reaching...

Back to School Challenge

Here we are again, at the beginning of a new school year full of promise. Hopefully all of you involved with this academic ecosystem are rested, rejuvenated, and rearing to go. Within a matter of weeks or days, urgent deadlines will start to emerge with ever increasing frequency. Stress levels will rise, your to-do list will grow long. All good stuff, mind you. But to cope with such demanding expectations,...

Powerhouse Website Suggestions

As part of a May 21, 2011 Facebook event hosted by the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, I invited music teachers to submit their websites for observation and critique.  Thanks to all who participated. No matter what kind of art you make, I hope these comments provide inspiration and direction for your own website.          OUTSTANDING FEATURES The following section focuses on positive...

The Savvy Music Teacher Scavenger Hunt

Attention music teachers!!! On Saturday, May 21 2011, I am hosting a Facebook event sponsored by the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy (NCKP), focusing on issues relevant to private music teachers.  Please feel free to join in on the conversation and advice by clicking here.  Our schedule is as follows:          9 AM EST     Introduction and questions posed to you 12 PM EST   The...

Artists are Indispensable! But Are You Truly an Artist?

When reading Seth Godin’s latest book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?, I was delighted to learn that “Our economy now rewards artists far more than any other economy in history ever has.”  Wow!!!  As someone who has devoted much life energy to helping artists maximize professional and personal success, this assertion definitely caught my attention. Of course, the word artist has many meanings. ...

Dumbing Down or Smartening Up?

It’s been an exciting week!  Since my article What Professional Orchestras Should Learn from YouTube was posted, many conversations have erupted, debating the question of whether initiatives embraced by YouTube’s Symphony Orchestra are appropriate and helpful for professional groups. As is the case when any significant institutional change is proposed, reactions ranged wildly.  Many were...

What Professional Orchestras Should Learn From YouTube

These days, when symphony orchestras make national news, the topic is usually not a happy one.  Yet one group has received a very different kind of coverage: the YouTube Symphony Orchestra (YTSO).  Culminating in a performance at Australia’s Sydney Opera House on March 20, 2011, this experiment has generated unprecedented buzz and excitement. True, when considering professional orchestras and the...

This Summer, Build Your Career with the Savvy Musician

Though it may be hard to believe, with snow still melting on many of our sidewalks, summer is rapidly approaching.  This season—when school is out and many gigging scenes slow—is an ideal time to reflect on your career trajectory and strategically plan the path forward.  If you’re so inclined, I’d love to help you plot that journey at one of the following events.     SOUNDSCAPE July 6-18,...

Music for Ice – Now That’s Cold…

If you think about it, just about anything can function as a musical instrument.  On this website, we’ve featured performances on sea shells, carrots, bicyble seats, and apartments.  But what about frozen water?  As it turns out, ice is good for much more than cooling your margarita.  Please enjoy the following videos of beautifully sculpted ice instruments.  Not surprisingly, these experiments...

Want Big Impact? Think Small

Most musicians and musical organizations truly hope to make a big impact.  And why wouldn’t they?  The potential benefits are numerous: more money, opportunity, reputation, personal fulfillment, and meaningful legacy bestowed upon the world. But many of us buy into the false equation that big numbers equals big impact.  The more people, the better.  As a result, bands spam their e-newsletter out to...

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