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Play it Safe? or Play it Forward [PSP 36]

As freelancers, one of the biggest responsibilities is when we have the opportunity to recommend a colleague to join us on a gig. We usually have to choose between someone who is a great player and not the nicest person, or a super nice person, and a just OK player. (Side note - is it that hard to be a nice person?) What's at stake when we choose one over the other? Is it just our reputation that suffers, or the quality of the ensemble too? We take a look at some of the times we've faced...


Stop Trying to be a Perfectionist [PSP35]

Today, we’re looking at something that all of us have struggled with, or still struggle with, and that is being a perfectionist. What about it could be helpful, and how much of it is harmful? It’s an interesting conversation for sure. Jessica Weirsma has a major epiphany and drops a "Truth Brahmbs" on us, Anna Luce lays the smack down, Christian Marshall asks some hard questions, and I’m Michael O’Gieblyn- just trying to piece it all together, and we’ve got the return of Gig of the...


Self-Criticism vs. Self-Compassion. Which is Better? [PSP34]

On today’s show, we’re talking about seeing the world with a little more compassion-towards others, and towards ourselves. Because most of us musicians are our own worst critic. How do we push ourselves to practice and improve, without making life miserable because we’re beating ourselves up. Looking outwards, how can we be supportive colleagues, encouraging friends, and positive influences at rehearsals and gigs to those around us? Empathy and Self Compassion. Those aren’t topics that...


Can I Change My Negative Thoughts? [PSP 33]

As musicians, we tend to seek out advice on things we should DO, a routine we should TRY, or habits we should ADD to our practice time. That’s great, but maybe the key to really growing as a musician, and more importantly as a person is to look inward and find the things we should STOP doing. On this episode, we get all up in own brain crevices and think about what negative thoughts we struggle with. We got some help from a fantastic article written by Amy Morin, which was the foundation...


Change – Whether you want it, or not [PSP 32]

It’s so good to be back here with you all again. Whoa-what a crazy week it was here. If you've listened to the show for a while, you might have heard that I moved to south Florida...the Boca Raton area to be precise. And this little thing called Hurricane Irma gave us a nice warm welcome. So, we evacuated and our power was out for a week, so that knocked me out of my normal publishing schedule. But thank you for staying with us. Dealing with the hurricane was a prime example of handling...


And We’re Back! – Season 3 Preview [PSP]

Welcome back to the Per Service Podcast! It’s so good to be back here with you all again. I know some of you were worried that we weren’t coming back after a long break this summer….but we are definitely back in gear and have some great episodes coming up this season. If you’re new to the podcast, this is a show for classical musicians who are discovering what it means to have a happy and successful life in the performing arts. Every two weeks we host these conversations to talk about...


Choose to be Happy Even When the Gig Sucks [PSP30]

Welcome back to the Per Service Podcast. On the show today, we’re thinking about Happiness. How we can find it regardless of how the gig is going, how we can share it with those around us, instead of being a complainer. And where we can focus our energy to make the biggest change. This is a podcast for classical musicians who want to live a creative, successful and happy life at each and every service. We know that it’s not always easy to do this. There’s a lot of uncertainty, a lot of...


Summertime: Make Your Plans for Focus, Fun, and Romance [PSP29]

Well it is the end of the season. Schools are wrapping up, and orchestra seasons are winding down. For many musicians, this time either means some serious relaxing and recovering from all that craziness, OR gearing up for a summer festival, and maybe some of both. For others, it may mean staying home and working a job for a while. This time can be difficult to manage though without the external pressures of lessons, or concerts. If you drift for too long, the summer can pass you by,...


Self-Care or Die [PSP 28]

You need to do more. You’ve got music to learn, lessons to teach, emails that are piling up, that audition you’re supposed to be practicing for, that article you were going to write, your website that needs to be updated, and you haven’t seen your family in a while either… Does this sound familiar? As musicians today, there are more challenges and demands for your time then ever before. Partially because there are more opportunities then ever before. Chances are your podcast queue is...


Find the Courage to Change Your Life [PSP27]

More It takes a tremendous amount of courage to take a big audition, ask a teacher for a trial lesson, or put anything out in the world with your name on it. And the thing is, great things are waiting for you on the other side of your fear, anxiety, and insecurities. So how do we get this courage to stand up and ask for what we want, or dare to change the world? Sometimes we're not even aware that the smallest actions, like just picking up your instrument every day takes...


Stop Selling Yourself Short [PSP26]

Hey there….you know, I don’t know how to say this nicely, But you’re just not good enough to charge that much. And really, there are already enough really good musicians in this town…so you can just stop. Oh, and also, I know you have 2 degrees and an instrument worth more than my car, but can you play this one for free? So, these are thoughts that you would probably NEVER say to a friend or colleague. And yet, why is it ok that we say these same thoughts to ourselves over and over? It’s...


What Even is “Flow” and How Do I Get It? [PSP25]

More What's the deal with people talking about "Flow?" Why is it such a big deal? Is it something I can really control, or am I at the mercy of the Muse? Turns out there are four different types of people who access their Flow state completely differently. Finding out which type of person you are is the first step in getting more moments of Flow. And luckily there is a super simple quiz to figuring out who you are. The Deep Thinker, The Hard Charger, The Flow...


Benefits and Risks of Using Credit Cards as a Musician [PSP24]

Are credit cards something you can use strategically to gain rewards, and maybe even treat-yo-self. Or, are they enabling poor spending choices, and a increasing your debt. What I learned from our conversation is that there benefits from both approaches, meaning if you can use a credit card to pay for life expenses you HAVE to pay for regardless. You can build up some nice rewards and your credit score as well, if you are paying it completely off before being charged interest. Even though...


Success as a Freelancer, Employee, or the Boss [PSP23]

The post Success as a Freelancer, Employee, or the Boss [PSP23] appeared first on Orchestra Excerpts.


How Do Musicians Save Money? [PSP 22]

As a freelance musician, we have a limited amount of income we can make from just performing. And most of us know this when we signed up for it. The freedom, independence, and creative lifestyle are usually worth the trade off. But, that doesn’t mean that we are immune to the feelings of wanting more of the nice things that everybody else has. In our last episode, we talked about some ways you could make more money, and today we look at how we can save money without ending up in a crying...


How Will I Make Enough Money? [PSP21]

Musicians and Money have a dysfunctional relationship. If you’ve been a musician for a while, you’re probably familiar with the stereotype that true devotion to your craft means you must be a starving artist. And if you make a lot of money from your art, you musthave sold-out. And to go even further, if you listen to any other podcasts or books about making money, you can find endless advice, tools, tricks, hacks, and scripts to help you “Add more value,” or “Live like no one else, so...


How do I recover my motivation? [PSP20]

The creative lifestyle has many ups and downs-it’s anything but typical. After a big recital, an audition, or completion of any big project, we usually need some time to rest from the insanity that the performance created. But what happens next, is what we’re interested in for this episode. How do we recover from the down time, and get back to work. Some thought provoking conversation coming up…the battle between motivation and discipline, the force of Resistance, and tuning out or maybe...


Growing the Musician, Technician, and Person [PSP19]

Well, Happy New Year to you. Today we’re talking a little bit about our favorite things from 2016, and also how to make the most of 2017. And we know there are a lot of podcasts out there, and other programs, all vying for your attention. So thank you for checking us out, and spending part of your day, hanging out with us. And that’s largely why we started this podcast-because as classical music performers, we spend a lot of time by ourselves practicing, or in rehearsals. And when we’re...


“Ask us how we really feel about Jingle Bells” [PSP 18]

We started this podcast because being a classical musician is a difficult profession. David Oistrakh said the stage is one of the loneliest places on earth. I think what he was expressing was how few people understand the demands, sacrifice, and service that being a musician takes. And during this time of year..this most wonderfully busy time of year, where it's pretty normal to have 3 or 4 services a day, you most likely only have time to say hi and goodbye to the other musicians at your...


Insecurity, Uncertainty, and Gig-mas: The Freelancer’s December [PSP17]

The post Insecurity, Uncertainty, and Gig-mas: The Freelancer’s December [PSP17] appeared first on Orchestra Excerpts.


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