Inventing Your Career

How do you invent a career in music?

The world of music, in general, is changing very rapidly, as it is in business and in many areas.  In the 21st century, for someone to be able to invent a successful career in music you have to be able to use the environment out there to your advantage.  By that I mean, do you embrace technology?

Embrace technology.  

Musicians now depend less and less on someone else, a major recording company or a PR firm.  They are starting to self-produce CD’s, they are on the internet, they’re on You Tube, they’re doing many things that are really brand new in many ways, especially in classical music.  

Take a multi-dimensional approach.

That said, it is to your advantage to be able to have a career that is multi-dimensional.  To just play in a symphony orchestra or to just be a member of an opera company or to just play in a string quartet is a fine thing to do, certainly.  But instead of using the job in a symphony orchestra as an end, use it as a platform to do many other things. 

Study the careers of those whom you admire.

And so we start to see that musicians that think a little bit differently, take advantage of the fact that a position in a major symphony orchestra can give them the possibility to start a chamber music series, to teach, to do community outreach, to do things that are different than what they do in the orchestra, and yet they are representing the institution, the orchestra and themselves in a much more varied way.  

A very interesting example of a multi-faceted career certainly would be what we see with Yo-Yo Ma and what he is doing with the Silk Road project.  You could certainly make the argument that Yo-Yo doesn’t need to do these types of things, but the fact that, as an artist, he feels compelled to explore music from Asia and music from a certain time, and music that was very localized and didn’t necessarily have exposure around the world.  He’s become a tremendous advocate for this type of music and for this type of career expansion.  A lot of musicians are going in this direction.  That's a fabulous way to have a very successful and very rewarding career.

Directed by Jonathan Fowler

 Produced by Elizabeth Rodd

 

 

In 1999, David Bowie knew the internet would change the world

Musican. Actor. Fashion Icon. Internet Visionary?

Technology & Innovation
  • David Bowie was well known as a rock star, but somehow his other interests and accomplishments remain obscure.
  • In this 1999 interview, he explains why he knows the internet is more than just a tool and why it was destined to change the world.
  • He launched his own internet service provider in 1998, BowieNet. It ceased operations in 2006.
Keep reading Show less

People who constantly complain are harmful to your health

Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.

Photo credit: Getty Images / Stringer
popular

Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.

Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.

Keep reading Show less

​Is science synonymous with 'truth'? Game theory says, 'not always.'

Good science is sometimes trumped by the craving for a "big splash."

Videos
  • Scientists strive to earn credit from their peers, for grants from federal agencies, and so a lot of the decisions that they make are strategic in nature. They're encouraged to publish exciting new findings that demonstrate some new phenomenon that we have never seen before.
  • This professional pressure can affect their decision-making — to get acclaim they may actually make science worse. That is, a scientist might commit fraud if he thinks he can get away with it or a scientist might rush a result out of the door even though it hasn't been completely verified in order to beat the competition.
  • On top of the acclaim of their peers, scientists — with the increasing popularity of science journalism — are starting to be rewarded for doing things that the public is interested in. The good side of this is that the research is more likely to have a public impact, rather than be esoteric. The bad side? To make a "big splash" a scientist may push a study or article that doesn't exemplify good science.