Magazine article Strings

J

Magazine article Strings

J

Article excerpt

You'll need more than dazzling technique to make it as a musician

1 Practice!

If this sounds too obvious, consider that this may be the last time in your life you'll have four or more hours a day for practice. Even if you land your dream music job right away, you won't have as much time for personal practice as you used to, whereas if you have to get a nonmusic job to pay the bills while you build your music career, finding the time and motivation for practice will be even harder. Develop efficient practice habits now, and put many, many hours of double stops and études into your "practice bank"-you'll be glad you did.

2 Develop your marketable skills

While it's important to learn solo repertoire, you probably won't get a job just by playing sonatas. When you're a newbie in the profession, your bread and butter will be orchestral subbing, gigs, and private studio teaching. Work on orchestral excerpts will be orchestral subbing, gigs, and private studio teaching. Work on orchestral excerpts as part of your daily practice, listen to as many recordings of the whole work as you can, and study full orchestral scores until you know all the other instrumental lines. Seek mentoring from professional orchestral musicians as you prepare for your auditions. Take a class in orchestration and arranging so that when a bride-to-be asks your gigging quartet to play a pop song at her wedding, you can easily transcribe and arrange it. Ask experienced private teachers if you can observe their teaching so that you can learn effective teaching methods. Build a teaching studio while you're still studying, and you'll have a ready-made source of income when you have to start paying off those student loans.

3 Learn some nonmusic skills, too

Study financial literacy, including budgeting, investments, and debt management. …

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