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From The Musician's Way Blog

Get Real about Music Careers. 7 strategies that empower aspiring musicians.
6 Ways to Identify High-Quality Music Teachers. Criteria to help students make wise choices.
Choosing Repertoire. How to pinpoint titles that fuel artistic growth.
Upgrading Your Practice Habits. "We first make our habits and then our habits make us." -John Dryden

Serving the Music

The Detroit Symphony is gaining strength thanks in no small part to the leadership of new concertmaster Yoonshin Song. The orchestra has also begun streaming concerts, as described by conductor Leonard Slatkin in a November article on the Huffington Post.

Magnificent Mistake

On November 26, 1963, Army Sgt. Keith Clark played taps for President Kennedy's funeral and cracked his sixth note, a mistake that resonated worldwide as a befitting cry from a wounded nation. Read more in The Washington Post.

Heeding Injury Symptoms

The difference between a minor ache and a severe injury can often hinge on a musician taking action at the first hint of trouble. See "Heeding the Signs of Injury" on The Musician's Way Blog.

Symphony, Orchestra, or Philharmonic?

Ever wonder about the distinction between the words symphony, orchestra, and philharmonic? Lucas Reilly parses the differences on the Mental Floss site.

The Practice of Practising

In his article The Practice of Practising, pianist Stephen Hough coins a potent maxim: "In practice an engineer, in performance a pilot."

Composer Gets it Done

Composer Jeffrey Nytch published an account describing the genesis, funding, and premiere of his first symphony. A valuable case study of music entrepreneurship applicable to artists working in diverse genres.

PR Tips from the Pros

Want to get press coverage for your concerts? Veteran artist manager Edna Landau taps the wisdom of experts in her article, "DIY Publicity."

Creativity Myths

10 myths about creativity get debunked in Martin Zwillig's October article on Entrepreneur.com. For a humorous look at the creative process, check out my post "How Not to Be Creative."

American Music Abroad

Applications are due January 6 for US trios, quartets, and quintets to apply for overseas touring support from American Music Abroad. Group members must be US citizens.

Nothing to Declare

One aspect of touring in Europe just became easier. New rules went into effect on November 21 that enable musicians temporarily carrying instruments into EU countries to proceed via the "nothing to declare" channel. Norman Lebrecht summarized the core issues on his blog. The official regulations are posted here.

Unblocking Beta-Blockers

The Strad magazine recently posted an article that examines the appropriateness of musicians using beta-blockers to combat nerves. Share your views.

A Triumph for Fair Use

In a landmark decision, a judge acted last month to dismiss a lawsuit against Google books, thereby advancing, in his words, "the progress of the arts and sciences."

MOOCs & Arts Ed

How will Massive Open Online Courses affect the future of arts education? Talia Gibas offers some thoughts on the Creatiquity site.

El Sistema International

Hundreds of thousands of children's lives are being transformed through music owing to the Venezuelan music education program El Sistema. The El Sistema-inspired initiative in Baltimore was recognized at the White House, and the movement is expanding worldwide. More on Eric Booth's site.


Affirmations can aid high-pressure performance, but not all such self-statements prove useful. Daniel Coyle summarizes a study that points to a crucial element of effective affirmations. On The Musician's Way Blog, the article "Excelling Under Pressure" highlights a complementary technique: Mindfulness.


Researchers have found that generosity by group members strongly enhances collective performance, as told in a post on the Bulletproof Musician Blog. I coalesce additional group strategies in my article, "Ten Tips for Collaborating Musicians."

Giving TMW this Season

As the holiday season gains momentum, be sure to order gift copies of The Musician's Way early. Amazon has ample copies in stock now; they're also running a special on the outstanding Zoom H4n recorder. Happy holidays! Gerald Klickstein

In This Issue

  • Welcome
  • From The Musician's Way Blog
  • Serving the Music
  • Magnificent Mistake
  • Heeding Injury Symptoms
  • Symphony, Orchestra, or Philharmonic?
  • The Practice of Practising
  • Composer Gets it Done
  • PR Tips from the Pros
  • Creativity Myths
  • American Music Abroad
  • Nothing to Declare
  • Unblocking Beta-Blockers
  • A Triumph for Fair Use
  • MOOCs & Arts Ed
  • El Sistema International
  • Affirmations
  • Generosity
  • Giving TMW this Season
The Musician's Way book cover