Online Resources and Websites for Music

When it comes to music, the internet is filled with resources to help us out. There are websites like YouTube where you can find free recordings of pieces, online metronomes, and even sheet music downloads.

Killer Harmony | Websites for Musicians | With so many music websites, it can be hard to find the most helpful ones. I have compiled a list of websites that will help musicians of all levels.

I love using the internet to help me. I have found a lot of sheet music, music tips, and also career tips. In this post, I am going to share my favorite online resources with you. I hope you find something that helps.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

IMSLP

The International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP), or Petrucci Library, is a huge library. You can find so many different pieces from solo works to full orchestral scores. Some pieces also have audio recordings that you can download.

There is music for almost every instrument, even some obscure ones. You can search for instrumentation, composer, style, or for a specific piece. It is completely free to use, and I cannot recommend it enough.

If you want to learn a piece or practice your score study skills, IMSLP probably has what you’re looking for. The only difficulty might be finding pieces that are still protected under copyright.

8Notes

This website is great for beginner musicians and music teachers. There is a decent amount of sheet music for most of the orchestral instruments and a few others. Instruments outside the orchestra include piano, recorder, saxophone, guitar, and ukulele.

You can find music of different genres, like jazz or music for different holidays. There is also a forum and a music theory section to add to the website.

YouTube

If you need to listen to a piece of music, check YouTube. You are bound to find many recordings, some better than others. But the sheer amount of recordings, especially for popular works, means that you can hear different interpretations of the piece.

You can also listen to different recordings by some of the great players of your instrument. Listening to professionals is a great tool when learning an instrument.

Teachers can use YouTube as a way to market to students by sharing videos and recordings. Show off your skills. A YouTube channel can be a great way to attract students and clients.

Amazon

Oh, Amazon. How I love thy Prime. But seriously, Amazon is a great place to find sheet music and other music accessories. If you procrastinate buying a piece of music, Amazon Prime will deliver it in two days.

I haven’t been able to buy everything from Amazon, because they aren’t a music library, but it’s nice. I can also look for music stands, instrument stands, and other music supplies on there. They have a pen that is set up to create a music staff for you.

You need Amazon Prime in your life. If you don’t listen to anything else in this post, listen to this. Especially because you can use Amazon for more than just music.

Sheet Music Plus

I have yet to order from SMP, but I have heard good things about it. You can find music to download and music to order. I’ve seen music from all genres on there. It’s pretty cool.

The downside to using it as opposed to other sheet music websites is that the music costs money. But you can support other musicians by using it.

If you are a composer or arranger, look into this website as a way to publish your music. I am considering this for the near future, because it seems pretty cool. You can publish original music or arrangements of songs in their library and earn royalties when people purchase it.

Killer Harmony

Of course, I had to list my own blog and site. I post twice weekly about music. I share music tips and information with the goal of making music more accessible to everyone. Music, especially classical music, isn’t always as appreciated as it should be.

My dream is to pursue this thing full time and to create a valuable resource for musicians of all genres and levels. If you want to go behind the scenes, I suggest you follow me on Instagram (@KillerHarmony) and subscribe to the blog at the end of this post.

So…

Did I miss any music websites? What are you favorite music resources? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

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Musical Instruments for Every Budget

There is a common misconception that music is expensive. You have to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars just to get a good beginner instrument. That is simply not the case. While professional model instruments do cost more, student models can be had for less than $500 (for certain instruments).

Killer Harmony | Musical Instruments for Every Budget | You can find musical instruments at every budget and price range. It can get expensive, but there are cheaper options available if your budget is small.

If you don’t have the funds or the desire to purchase an instrument right away, you can also look into renting one through a local music store. In this post, however, I am going to talk about purchasing an instrument. Different instruments will cost different amounts, so I have broken this post based on a few price points.

You have the recorder and the voice as some of the less expensive instruments whereas lower pitched instruments tend to cost more. Let’s look at the instruments!

Under $50

Yes, there are a few instruments that you can start for this cheap. You can start singing, and since you already have a voice, this could be considered free. With the $50, though, you could spend up to an hour working with a private vocal coach to learn how to use your singing voice.

If you are not a fan of singing, give the recorder a try. Of course, you probably played it in elementary school, and you probably think it’s an instrument for little kids. It can be, but anyone can learn the recorder. There are actually a few people who play the instrument at a professional level.

Wow, right? Don’t knock it until you try it. You can find a nice plastic soprano and/or alto recorder for less than fifty bucks. If you want to get serious about it, avoid those cheap recorders that you find in a toy store. Go to Amazon or a music store and get a better model.

Under $100

If you have a bit of extra money to spend, you can buy a good quality ukulele. You could by a toy instrument for even less then $50, but $100 will get you a better ukulele as well as a beginners book or even a short lesson.

The ukulele has become more popular in recent years, and it is a great way to get into music. You can learn melodies and chords, and you can even start your own acoustic band! The ukulele is also fairly easy to learn and make a sound on. All you have to do is strum.

There are countless videos and lessons online for the ukulele, so you are sure to find something that fits your needs. If you have some money left, invest in a nice case for your new instrument, because they don’t always come with one.

Under $200

If you have an interest in learning the piano but don’t have thousands of dollars to spend, try an electronic keyboard. You can learn the basic concepts behind the piano without investing so much money.

While the best electronic keyboards cost more, you can find a beginner keyboard for this price. You can also get some basic piano books or take a few lessons to get you started. A benefit to playing a keyboard over an acoustic piano is that you can get a pair of headphones. That way, you can practice without disturbing others.

Piano is the most common instrument, and there is a lot of music that has been written for it. You can play everything from classical to pop or rock. The (musical) world is at your oyster when you play the keyboard.

Under $300

Guitar is another common choice for amateur and student musicians. There is a lot of music out there for guitar, and you can do a lot with the instrument. There is a small bit of classical repertoire, but the guitar is more common in popular music.

If you want to join a jam band, guitar is perfect. You can take it with you places, and you can play it almost anywhere. It can be both a solo and an ensemble instrument.

Another great instrument in this price range is the flute. Maybe I’m biased, but the flute is a gorgeous instrument. It is small, so it is super portable. There is hundreds of years worth of repertoire for the flute. Its repertoire is so good, other instrumentalists transcribe them.

The flute is one of the most colorful instruments. You can play eerie music from the likes of Debussy or you can even play jazz and rock tunes.

Under $500

This next group has a few more instruments included. If you want to play an orchestral string instrument, try the violin or viola. These instruments are held against the shoulder and are played with a bow. They are also common in symphony and chamber orchestras.

The violin is a great solo instrument, and the viola is a mellowed version of the violin. These instruments a good for younger students, because they come in different sizes. You can get a child size violin then upgrade later.

If you are more a concert band fan, go for a clarinet of trumpet. Both of these are fairly small, so they are easy to carry, but they are very different. The clarinet has more parts to put together, including a reed.

A trumpet has only two parts, but you need a bit more strength to keep it at a proper playing angle. Both the clarinet and trumpet are used in band and orchestra, and the trumpet is also used in most jazz bands.

Over $500

If you have an even bigger budget, you can splurge on other instruments. There are so many great ways to make music, and the more money you have, the more you can support musicians and musical instrument makers.

More expensive instruments include the cello, double bass, saxophone, oboe, bassoon, horn, low brass, and percussion.

So…

You can find musical instruments for every budget. It may not be top of the line, but you can get the job done.

Have you wanted to try an instrument but thought it was too expensive? Will you look at instruments now that you know some aren’t as costly? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

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Taking My Own Advice + Big News!

If you have follows my blog for awhile, you would know that I am all about doing what makes you happy. I have written posts on why it’s okay to transfer in college, why you should pursue your passion and more.

Killer Harmony | Taking My Own Advice + Big News | Sometimes in life, you have to make a change. In order for me to enjoy this blog, I have to write about what I love. Music fits that more than college.

After taking time to think about things, I realized that I should take my own advice. As my time on college is coming to an end, I have lost motivation for writing about college. I still love helping people through my writing, but I will be making some changes here on Killer Harmony.

More Music.

I started this blog with the idea of writing about music, hence the name. I then moved to writing about college so that I could widen my reach, and it worked. However, I know that I am more passionate about music and sharing that. There are tons of other college bloggers, and I don’t feel like I can do justice to college related topics anymore.

I will soon be earning my degree in music performance, and I want to share what I have learned with the world.

I will be writing about learning how to play music or read music, and I want to help people of all levels express themselves through music! With recent events in funding for the arts, music is more important now than ever. I sincerely believe that music can change a person’s life, and I want to advocate for music.

New Schedule!

With these changes to the blog niche, I am also going to be posting on Mondays again. Tuesdays never felt right to me, and I think Monday will work much better. It gives me the whole week to work on a post, and you as readers can catch up whenever.

I would also like to start doing some more audio or video recording to post on the blog. That might not start until mid May, but it is something that I want to do.

More Passion. Better Posts.

As I said above, I have not been as motives to write for this blog as I once was. That is okay, as people and interests change. With the changes, I have decided that I need to take this blog in another direction.

Music is a passion of mine that will never die, yet my passion for helping college students has started to dwindle. I need to write about what I love so that I won’t give up as easily. I realize that I might be alienating some of you, but I hope you stick around.

At first, I plan to write posts about music that anyone can understand. I have some ideas brewing, and you don’t need any sort of musical knowledge to read them. I hope that my passion will come through in these future posts and that you consider reading a few of them before clicking away for the last time.

Promoting Music: Listening, Education and more.

I want to write about classical music and make it interesting. This generation has had some bad luck regarding classical music. School budgets have been cut, classical music is rarely played outside of specific venues and I want that to change.

I want to open your eyes and ears to a new world. I will teach some of the basics so that you can understand and appreciate music of all genres in a new way.

I want to make music more accessible to you all through the use of this blog, social media and other methods on the internet.

So…

Are you excited for the changes coming? I hope you enjoy reading and learning about music. Let me know what you want to see in the comments or on Twitter (@HannahHaefele)!

Thanks for reading!

What I’m Doing After College

Hello friends! Last week, I wrote about why I chose not to go straight to grad school after college. You should read that first so that you’re all caught up for this post!

Killer Harmony | What I'm Doing After College | There are a lot of things you can do after getting a college degree. Here are my plans for when I graduate in just a couple of months!

Anyway, I wanted to follow that post up with what I will be doing after graduation. I have a lot of things that I would love to do at some point in my career. There is a huge list, but I think I can manage that list. A lot of what I want to do is not necessarily stuff that would be a full time job.

I see myself having a couple part time jobs and a sort of side hustle so that I can pursue all of my interests. So, without further ado, here are my post graduation plans!

1. Move Back Home.

It’s certainly not the most glamorous of places, but it’s free, for the most part. I won’t have rent to pay, so that means I can spend more money or time working on different projects and spending time with family and friends.

Moving home after college doesn’t have as big of a stigma as it used to, but it’s still there. People who return home might be thought of as lazy or unsuccessful. While I can see why people feel that way, it can be a great way to save some money.

2. Look for a Flexible Part Time Job.

I need to start working, but I just don’t feel ready to commit to a full time job just yet. A full time job would take up a lot of my time. I’m young, and I want to live and enjoy a bit of the post college life before diving into full time work.

I would love to find some freelance writing or editing gigs or some other online job in the digital media field. That would give me the opportunity to choose where I work, such as from home, at the library or even a coffee shop.

The job search will be tough, but I plan on working on my resume and surveying the job market over the next few weeks.

3. Keep Up with Music.

This past week, I was home for spring break. Before the break, I was starting to dread playing music. There’s been a lot of drama going on in your music community, and I don’t like drama or confrontation. The week away was just what I needed to regain my love for playing music.

I plan to keep playing flute and piccolo as well as work on some music arrangements and compositions. Music is what I chose to major in, and I want to pursue it further. While I won’t be able to make it my career right off the bat, I will do what I have to to create a career as a musician.

I also hope to make music fun for me and for any future students or other contacts. Music shouldn’t be stressful; I would love to teach music privately one day. I can see myself teaching flute lessons, music theory and other related skills. Just not in the public schools…

4. Enjoy the Change of Pace.

I have been in school ever since I could remember. I’m looking forward to a different daily life. Starting my career as a writer/musician, not having to worry about homework and just enjoying my life sounds amazing right now.

My daily routine will depend on the type of job I get, but it won’t involve studying for tests or writing papers. I will be done with formal education, but I still plan on learning in my free time. I have so much more to learn about music, blogging and more.

The new chapter in my life will allow for things I never had before.

5. Work My A** Off.

As a creative person, I know success won’t come easy. I will have to take some low paying or uninteresting jobs before I get to the good stuff. I will have to play flute for free before getting paid. These next few years will be the time for me to hustle so that I can continue to do what I love all day.

I don’t necessarily want to be busy all the time, but I plan to stay somewhat busy. I will do what I have to do so that I don’t have to take a boring office job. No offense to people in office jobs…that’s just not for me.

So…

Are you looking forward to the end of the year? If you are graduating, what are your plans? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@HannahHaefele)!

Thanks for reading!

Why I’m not Going Straight to Grad School

For all the college seniors (and juniors too), this time of year involves a lot of decision making. We have to decide what we will do once we graduate from college. There are a lot of options out there, going to graduate school being one of them.

I considered graduate school for awhile. After some time, I soon realized that I can’t afford to spend my money or time on something when I’m not eve sure if it is what I want to do. Graduate school is expensive, and I would rather take some time then return to school. That way, I will know exactly what my goals are for pursuing a graduate degree.

Killer Harmony | Why I'm not Going Straight to Grad School | Graduating from college soon? Going to grad school is one of the many things you can do. Here I see why I chose not to go to grad school.

Here are the main reasons why I am putting off graduate school, and what I will be doing instead.

1. Graduate School Costs Both Money and Time.

Money and time that I don’t have right now. I would love to continue my education in some form, because I love learning, but I have to fit my education to my life now-not the other way around.

I have spent the last 17 years of my life as a full time student. I have taken classes every semester (including summers) since 2011. That’s a long time, and I only wonder what I could do in the next 6 years with my career at the forefront.

2. I’m Ready for a Change.

I went straight from kindergarten to college senior with minimal breaks. I’m happy to have earned a degree so quickly (and graduating at only 21 years old), but school is not the only thing out there.

School is all I’ve ever known, and it’s scary to leave that. But, I have reached the point of being done. I’m ready to pack up my backpack and move to a purse or other work type bag.

I’m excited to start making more than just some side cash. I can’t wait to have a nice income and to be able to live on my own and to make my own way.

3. I Have Multiple Interests.

No I’m not complaining, but I don’t know what path is the best for me. I love writing, editing and proofreading. And I also love playing flute, teaching and arranging music.

Those two main interests are by no means mutually exclusive, but I can’t exactly do both at a professional level. I certainly can’t pursue an advanced degree in both fields.

Having multiple interests is great, and I plan on exploring my interests to see which field I should pursue long term and which would fit as a hobby. I’m definitely not ready to go to graduate school for anything.

4. Graduate School is a Big Commitment.

Just like with a bachelors program, a graduate degree is a lot of work. It will take at least a couple years to complete, unless you can afford to go all in. I can’t afford to be a full time student.

My parents were very generous in financially supporting me through my college experience, but I don’t want to put the burden of graduate school on to them-if they even want to help. Now that I have been through one college degree, it’s time to start supporting myself.

Graduate school classes are a lot to handle. You have to do a lot of reading and writing, and maybe even some research. I could probably only take a class or two at a time.

5. I Don’t Need Graduate School.

It sounds simple, but I don’t need to go to graduate school to do what I want to do. Both music and writing don’t require a degree. All I need is experience.

It makes more sense to get that experience while working. I can even get paid that way. For some fields, a graduate degree is necessary. If that is the case for you, then go to graduate school. It will be worth it.

For me, I can’t say for sure if a graduate degree will help me or not.

What I’m Doing Instead

I will be pursuing both music and writing. I hope to find some work as a writer or editor for blogs. In my free time, I will take flute lessons and work to keep improving my playing.

I will be moving back home, and I am not ashamed of that. Since I don’t have a lot of money in savings, it makes the most sense for me to live rent free until I do have some savings.

If you are graduating college and don’t have any concrete plans, that’s okay. Sometimes things work out for the better. There are many options out there for new grads. There is something for everyone. Grad school, a 9-5, or something completely different.

So…

Have you thought about post grad life? What are your plans? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@HannahHaefele).

Thanks for reading!