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Five things You Didn't Learn in Music School

The Happy Musician Coaching


Here's a Shortlist of what I learned after music school.

Playing for free is not healthy for you, or the music industry.

Yeah. yeah. I've talked about this before. I'm not saying never play for free. But, when you can't fulfill your basic human needs it's extremely difficult to flourish as a musician. playing for free is a fast track to burnout.

When you play for free, it devalues the industry, and you cheat yourself. You are telling people it's not a respected profession. and that you don't need money to pay for the investment in your career. believe me, YOU NEED THE MONEY, and YOU DESERVE THE MONEY.

What's going to feel better? Doing what you love and being able to support yourself financially? Or doing what you love, and having a negative bank account every time the bills are due?

Downtime is necessary and productive

Just like in any other profession, You need downtime. Schedule it daily weekly, monthly, and yearly. Downtime is the absence of responsibility and deadlines. Being "on" nonstop can cause long-term damage to the body, making it difficult to cope with stress and the rigors of being a musician. From walking the dog, and doing yoga to going to a secluded getaway. Your creativity and music skills will thank you for it.

You don't have to be a teacher

Many musicians offer private lessons as a way to make money as they cultivate their music careers. I love teaching, but it is a huge investment, mentally and physically. I remember barely making it to gigs or performances because I was exhausted. or chugging coffee to stay alert in music lessons.

Just because you're a great musician doesn't mean you will be a great teacher. If you don't want to teach at all, don't. Make a plan to be the musician you want to be and take action.

You need a Life Coach

In music school, you have a lot of accountability and deadlines. Once you are out of school it's up to you to create goals and deadlines. Coaches help you realize your life goals and partner with you to create a path to success. Coaches help you figure out where to begin, and move through fear and limiting beliefs. Coaches also help your passion for music alive.

Coaches help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and give you the tools to work with both.

Being a great Musician isn't enough

Homing your music skills is important. You need to have good customer relations skills as well. If you're memorable, easy to work with, professional, and flexible but not a pushover, fellow musicians will remember this. When I need to hire musicians, the first thing I think about is their non-musical contributions. If they're difficult to work with I won't hire them.

Make time to build relationships, not just network. Attending festivals and conferences is a great way to network and build relationships. Identify the people you to be with and be genuine. Having a supportive group of close musicians is a great investment.

Candace Lark

Musician, Coach, Educator


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