Blogs

Music is So Flippin’ Hard: Adversity Training for Musicians

Image of a tree extremely bent from harsh winds

We have spent thousands of hours in practice rooms and countless hours alone composing, practicing, and pursuing funding.  Music is hard. But we can use the adversity training idea to fully embrace the challenge that music, and the surrounding industry, brings to our lives.

Define Inspiration

Closeup of Jim Stephenson sitting in front of his piano, struggling in front of a piece of score paper that is marked up with various things crossed out and a section labelled "Bad"

Let’s consider the case of this article. The title occurred to me in an instant, and within that instant, I knew I had enough ideas to fill an article. Up until that point, I honestly had absolutely no idea what I was going to write about. I am not claiming that it is a “divinely inspired” title, as that would be a little presumptuous. But the fact remains, it came to me when I needed it, so that I could meet my deadline.

Pursuing Diversity: New Voices, New Sounds

Street Crowd

Surrounding ourselves with a diversity of people will help to make us smarter and more creative. Building it into our projects will continue to result in innovative works and better music. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do.

The Pun is Mightier than the Portmanteau

Orchestra performing with some players dressed in Santa Claus costumes.

I was told after I wrote it—by a (perhaps too) “serious” musician—that BasSOON It Will Be Christmas wouldn’t get played much. Well, it gets played at least a dozen times annually and has been played by many top orchestras, such as the symphonies of Atlanta, Houston, and Pittsburgh.

Power of the Project-Based Life

jenga playing

To thrive in the 21st century, we need to rethink our philosophies around how we conceive of success and our methods of making money. What would it look like if we all changed the way we view our careers? What would music schools look like if we changed the way we message vocation?

Choosing the Three-Letter Response Over the Two-Letter One

The concert at the Congregation Shaar Hashomayim showing the members of the orchestra in front of a film projection and the audience.

There was a very distinct point at the beginning of my composing career when a decision changed absolutely everything for me. My future would take time to pan out, of course, but at the moment when I chose the three-letter response instead of the two-letter one, an entirely new career path was set into motion.

The Case for Radio

Car Stereo

How do you define radio in this day and age of digital platforms? If you were in charge of a new music radio show, 24/7 stream, or podcast, what would you include?

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