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: May, 2017

Crushing Classical: Redefining A Thriving Music Career

May 29, 2017

On this episode I interviewed Anni Hochhalter and Garrett Hudson of the woodwind quintet WindSync. If you ever considered a career as a chamber musician of your OWN group, going on tours and creating unique concerts, you're in the right place. Listen to this episode to hear the full report from two musicians who have been doing it for the bulk of their professional music careers. This is certainly a challenging yet rewarding style of classical music career. On this episode Anni and Garret get into the nitty-gritty of what it takes to create a chamber music group and build a career out of it.


Don't forget to order music from! 10% off using the code: CRUSH


May 28, 2017

On today's FIRESIDE CHAT, Eileen and I dive into personal branding, what it means, and what it can mean for classical musicians. Certainly in your life you have developed opinions about various topics and experiences you have had through your career. You may have even become an expert on something related- or not related- to your instrument. What is more than likely is that you have something to say other than through musical phrases on your instrument. And that's a whole other side of the coin that MOST musicians have not considered when building their career.

On this chat we talked about:


  • Personal branding for musicians: SO much more than ‘tooting your own horn’ on social media
  • Reframing how you think of Facebook… take it from an annoying time-waster to an informative, educational, and useful tool
  • And HOW you can USE it to BUILD your online persona, who you are, essentially YOUR BRAND… and why starting this as soon as possible is of utmost importance.

And so much more. Join us for this important chat!


Thank you to my sponsor Ficks Music- use the code CRUSH for 10% off your order:
May 21, 2017

Ever wonder why some people have all the luck? And some people always have shit happening to them... they never seem to catch a break, they never get what they want. There's a trick to this... and it has to do your choices and what you tell yourself about your current circumstances. I saw it big time in my own life- especially during this talk! This is a conversation was pretty real... digging into my own unconscious spending behavior at the beginning of my career that shaped the way I thought about what was possible for me financially in my life... interesting, huh? We talked about other examples too that we see in the world of musicians... Kinda crazy... check it out and see what you get for yourself.


Thank you to Ficks Music for providing the hosting for the show! Check them out for high quality sheet music shipped to you quickly at affordable prices!  Use the code CRUSH for 10% off your order:


May 18, 2017

On this episode I had Peter Askim, bass player, composer, and conductor. I had him on the show to hear all about the festival for string players that he created, which he calls The “anti-festival”. On the show he explains all about what makes his festival unique.

We talked about his mission and reason for creating the festival, and we talked about moneyWhat it’s like to make money as a musician who composes, performs, and conducts, and his approach with musicians and the fees associated with attending this festival.

The Next Festival is definitely a festival that considers musicians in that time when they're JUST finishing school and heading out into the real world... that time when you just need time to process the stuff you've learned in school and have some time to figure out what you'll do next. I really think that this festival is so supportive for that time in a musicians' life.


To find out more about the festival to attend or donate, go to:


Thank you to Crushing Classical's sponsor Ficks Music for providing the hosting for the show! If you're looking for a great selection of quality sheet music at affordable prices, check out

For 10% off use the code CRUSH


May 14, 2017

This week’s Fireside Chat is about LIMITS - where they come from and why they exist. You'll be amazed by how and where they show up - and they put a ceiling on what is possible for you in your life and music career.


Here's what's in store for you on this episode:


- How the path to what you truly want has historically been limited (and why)


- How the simple act of choosing a career in classical music opens up a can of worms (hint: unsolicited advice from people around you can make or break your choice!)


- The traps you're falling into right now (unknowingly in most cases) and how it slows your momentum and keeps you stuck


- How this exact topic personally prevented me from seeing alternatives in my own education (and how it prevents YOU from standing up for yourself when it comes to your education)


- A shocking idea for orchestras that will boggle your mind (and will likely be rejected by most of you)

This was a great chat! I can't wait for you to hear it.


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


May 8, 2017

On today's episode I had Katie Wyatt, Executive Director and founder of a very successful program called Kidznotes, a youth orchestra program based on the famous El Sistema program of Venezuela. On the chat I got to hear all about her career path and how she ended up going from the audition path to running her own nonprofit. Some things we talked about on the show:

- How Katie’s path toward an orchestra job shifted and she found herself on a totally different kind of career path
- How organizing events around world events that had an impact on her and planted a seed on what is possible for her career
- How a trip to Venezuela for a youth orchestra trip created the foundation for a different kind of priority for her career
- How she started a very successful El Sistema program locally in North Carolina called Kidznotes (yes, the same El Sistema program that LA Phil conductor Gustavo Dudamel has made famous!) 
- Her experience with making that career goal change from orchestra audition focused to starting and growing a nonprofit organization
- She gives Information and advice about starting an El Sistema program in your area if this sounds like something you’d want to do!
- How her teacher reacted to her leaving the orchestra audition path- it was definitely a surprising AND INSPIRING answer.
Thank you to Ficks Music for providing the hosting for the show!
May 7, 2017

On today's Fireside Chat we had Sheree Allison, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters/Boys & Girls Club in Miramichi, an eastern Canadian community of 32,000 people. Sheree has done amazing work within her own nonprofit to take it from nearly shutting its doors and closing shop to a thriving nonprofit, doubling its annual budget in just over 2 years.

Why does this matter to classical musicians? Well for one, when you work for a nonprofit (which is nearly every orchestra), how they're doing financially directly affects your income. So it matters a lot. Here are some key points from the chat:

- How to know if the orchestra you're working for (or want to work for) is at risk financially - which could lead to strikes and lockouts as the worse case scenario (or pay cuts and pay freezes in the meantime)
- The one question every orchestra should be asking themselves in order to get to the root of the problems, financial or otherwise
- How to know if an orchestra's management is failing (and what to do about it)
- The significance of an orchestra's mission statement and why should it matter to you
- How to declare yourself a catalyst for change in your own orchestra if it really matters to you.
I know that you'll get a lot out of this episode, because I certainly did! It was very enlightening!
If you enjoy this episode and are enjoying Crushing Classical, please write a review on iTunes!

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