Tip for Music Students & Young Professionals: TRY EVERYTHING!!
Updated: Dec 21, 2022
In this clip from my interview with Alex from the Flute Center of New York, I talk about how opportunities have a tendency to spiral. If you play a gig well, you are exposed to colleagues and audiences who may refer you to more performance opportunities. If you teach one student well, your student or their parents can write you a testimonial and refer you to other potential students. If you put yourself out there and start a new project, you never know who will like what you do and think of you when a cool new opportunity arises. Once you have momentum, it will be way easier to pick and choose what you want to work on! Not to mention, each task you take on will help equip you with skills that you bring with you to anything you take on in the future.
How do I create momentum?
1. SAY YES!
The most obvious way to get started is to say 'yes' when people offer you an opportunity! It's easy to overlook the opportunities that are already in our orbit, whether it's due to imposter syndrome or tunnel vision. When you're asked to do something a bit outside your comfort zone, think less about your doubts and more about what you might learn and gain from going for it!
The only time you should turn down an opportunity is if it would DETRACT from or CONFLICT with something more important.
Some things that can be considered more important include:
Your mental health
Your physical health
A project that is DIRECTLY relevant to your goals
Of course, it's up to you to determine your priorities, but when you aren't sure what they are, trying new things will help you find direction.
If you've exhausted the opportunities presented to you, try the following:
2. SEARCH ACTIVELY
Some opportunities, while not handed to you, are available to you if you put in some initial legwork to find them. If you want gigs, this might mean reaching out to people in your network to ask if they'd consider you when they need a sub. If you want students, this means putting yourself out there with some ads and social media posts about your teaching studio. If you eventually want a full-time job, you have to search active listings for jobs and internships in your field.
A great way to get started is to browse our database of scholarships, grants, internships, jobs, and more: "For the Lost Creative." It can be a challenge to know where to start looking, so we created this resource to put creative opportunities in front of you!
3. CREATE YOUR OWN
The most challenging but arguably most fulfilling opportunities are the ones we create for ourselves. When Creative Baggage first started, it was impossible to imagine we would be interviewing our role models, hosting university events, and winning a grant in Budapest. Developing your own project can be terrifying because there's no way to plan out your milestones. But this uncertainty is a really beautiful thing as well - because you cannot plan, you get to be delightfully suprised when you reach a milestone you never would have dreamed of. Not only has this project brought me a lot of momentum, it has also forced me to develop many important entrepreneurial skills that I could not have learned in the practice room.
So, if you have a project idea - no matter how small - I encourage you to go for it and see where it leads!