This week’s Five Things Friday post comes to us from Philadelphia-based French horn freelancer, teacher, and community connector, Kristina Mulholland. Kristina’s is the first post of what we hope will become many on Brass Chicks which provides information for and aims to help women balancing motherhood and brass playing careers. Thanks to Kristina for sharing her experience! See the bottom of this post for Kristina’s full bio.
I am so excited to be this week’s Five Things Friday guest contributor. Sharing my perspective, throwing my two cents into the pot, adding more online content to this topic is so important for women who are freelancers and brass players. You can balance family AND a brass playing career and it’s about time we celebrate! Below I will be sharing my ideas related to freelancing and brass playing from my own new mommy angle. My hope is that my article allows room for conversation among current brass mamas and provides avenues of support for future brass mamas out there.
Without further adieu, the five things I learned about freelancing after having my first child: Continue reading
Happy Friday! We know the semester is starting for those of us academics, gigs may be picking up, and regular post-holiday life is now in full swing. We hope everyone is moving along steadily towards their goals and that this post from Brass Chicks’ very own Kate Amrine can help if you find yourself in a difficult spot.
The following are five struggles that I’ve found musicians face throughout their careers. Most of these are equal-opportunity offenders, meaning they can affect you regardless or your age or experience level. Fortunately, I’ve included some info on how to move past them so feel free to share with anyone who may need to hear these messages.
1. Lack of Money
This is the most obvious problem so let’s start with it! Of course, lack of money can hit everyone at various points in their careers but is especially an issue for those of us just graduating school. Especially when not every music school provides us with skills and a concrete plan to make a living in music after graduating, it is extremely important to figure out what is best for us individually and make a plan. In addition to funding projects or music expenses we may have (starting a group, making an album, going on tour, marketing), we all have living expenses such rent, food, and student loans to reckon with. Continue reading
Gabe Mueller is a freelance trombonist and music educator based in St. Louis, Missouri. A graduate of the University of North Texas, Gabe earned a Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance in 2008. Since returning home to St. Louis in 2012, she has enjoyed being a part of the local music scene (currently performing in a variety of groups including the St. Louis Low Brass Collective and funk band Hazard to Ya Booty) and has a bustling private low brass studio. She will be releasing her new album, “Solos for the Beginner and Intermediate Trombonist,” later this month.
Find out more about Gabe online at www.gabemueller.com or on Facebook and Instagram @gabemuellertrombone
I first started teaching private trombone lessons when I was in college in Texas. I only had a few students, and they were passed on to me by a friend of mine who didn’t have any more room in his studio. But when I moved back to my hometown (St. Louis), I knew that teaching private lessons would be an important aspect of my music career and that I needed more than just a handful of students. I also knew that I had no idea how to acquire said students!
I started building my current low brass studio 5 years ago. The first few years I worked hard at recruiting to build my studio, but it paid off big time. At this point I do very little “recruiting” but regularly receive emails and phone calls from parents of prospective new students. Though my studio is pretty full, things are always changing and it is nice to have a steady flow of new student inquiries.
There are many things you can do to build your own private studio, but here are five suggestions I have. Some may make you say “duh” and some may make you say “are you crazy?!” but they have all played a part in building (and maintaining) my studio.
1. Offer Free Masterclasses
This is by far the number one piece of advice I would give to anyone wanting to start or build their private studio. Offer to do free masterclasses at schools. The point of these masterclasses are to meet potential new students and have them see you in person and get an idea of who you are and how you teach, but also (and more importantly) to start building relationships with band directors. For me, this was crucial in building and maintaining my studio, but I’ll get to more of that later. Continue reading