Crushing Classical

Crushing Classical podcast is an ongoing series of provocative interviews with musicians who are pioneering a new path in the classical music genre. I dig into musician's lives who have made an often risky move towards forging a unique path and creating a different kind of music career for themselves. This is particularly challenging in a field where the conventional approach is seeking employment in an orchestra. Join me and learn how others are redefining a thriving classical music career.
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Crushing Classical




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Now displaying: April, 2017

Crushing Classical: Redefining A Thriving Music Career

Apr 30, 2017

HOW can you take care of yourself FIRST AND FOREMOST when navigating things like CAREER MOVES or when you run into inevitable money problems? What are some common beliefs or RULES that people follow that they COULD BE BREAKING to make things better for them? Tune in and hear this conversation on exploring what it was like for us when we either did or did not break the rules. 

A big thank you to Ficks Music for providing the hosting for the show! Use the code CRUSH to receive 10% off your order:

Apr 28, 2017

On today's episode I interviewed Jessie Montgomery, violinist of the Catalyst Quartet and composer. We talked about her unique career as a composer, member of a string quartet, and all that she has done to design her unique career as a chamber musician and composer in New York City. It was fascinating to hear about her early influences- a child of artists, she was bound to have a career that was outside the box. It is interesting to hear about her influences and the teaching she was exposed to throughout her education that helped mold and shape the career she has created now. From studying with a teacher who developed a way to teach children how to improvise, to working in program called Community Music Works where she played and taught and had to work on all the administrative things, she created a unique skill set that enabled her to run her own string quartet. 

To learn more about Jessie and her work: 


Thank you to Ficks Music for providing the hosting for the show: 

Apr 23, 2017

The funny thing about JUST STARTING is nothing is in place for you... YET. It's up to you to do it all. You can't just show up and start working like you would at any job. This is a big challenge in creating your own career, and we talked about it on today's episode. We also talked about *conversation*- the importance of TALKING to people in the age of emails, texts and social media.


Thank you to Ficks Music for providing the hosting for the show:


Apr 19, 2017

On this episode I had Jeremy Preston, a friend and fabulous violinist who I know from the North Carolina Symphony. Jeremy's story is interesting, because at the point he realized he wanted something else in his life, he decided to leave his tenured job and move where he wanted to live without a new job in place. He took the leap; and with strategy and a priority to live where he wanted with people that he loved, he created a new career with that as the foundation. I think it's an inspiring story for musicians to hear how he did it, and know that as a musician, you really can create the LIFE you want.

Apr 16, 2017

Did you read that title right? Yes, you did. Did you think the only musicians who made six-figures were top tier orchestra players? Think again... Ken Preuss, former trombone player, middle school chorus director and musical theater aficionado who I went to Indiana with went on to create a six-figure business out of grad school. When I heard this, I HAD to have him on the show. Listen now to hear WHAT he did and HOW he created it! 

Apr 14, 2017

Horn player Andrew Sehmann came back on the show to tell us the direction he wants to take his career. Andrew had been grappling with whether or not he wanted to go in the direction of teaching at the university level and freelancing, auditioning for jobs in an orchestra, or soloing. Right now he's doing a little bit of everything and on the last Hot Seat realized that doing a little of everything wasn't going to get him exactly what he wanted. Check out today's episode where he reveals what he truly wants- I was really surprised by this chat, it was very enlightening!

Apr 9, 2017

On today's Fireside Chat we discussed inner workings of the orchestra. After a discussion with Eileen about how I really didn't know much about how an orchestra business is run (yeah, it's still a business!) and admitting that what I know NOW is vastly more than I knew going into this business, we discussed what it means to take responsibility for what it is and what it isn't, and what musicians can DO if there are things they see that they don't like in the day to day orchestra business doings. I'd say from a musician perspective, the overarching attitude is *shrug* "there's not a lot I can do!"... a sort of "I just work here" attitude. Which can feel frustrating for musicians at times. So what CAN musicians do? This is what we talked about today.

Apr 7, 2017

Everyone knows that classical musicians can have trouble from time to time with money... on today's episode I talked with Jeremiah Johnson, who on his own path to becoming a professional musician ran into money problems and student loan debt. At a certain point he decided to step up and learn how to get it fixed... and simultaneously discovered a real need for money talk among his fellow musicians. This ended up becoming a big part of his career. It was a great talk money with Jeremiah and it's high time all musicians start paying attention to this all-important issue that everyone has to face!

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Apr 2, 2017

Staying in the place of "I don't know" doesn't work... listen and find out why, and more insights on choosing a path, creating your own thing and what it takes. In this Fireside Chat, Eileen brings up some points about interacting with other people and conversations and how that leads to bigger and better things.