Top 3 Social Networks for Musicians

A couple of weeks ago, I published a basic overview of how musicians can use social media. It is a great introduction to using social media professionally, but it doesn’t go into detail about which social networks you should focus on.

If you haven’t read that post yet, I suggest you catch up now.

Killer Harmony | Social Networks for Musicians |Social media is overwhelming. There are so many choices. Here are the top 3 social networks for musicians. Social networks are great tools for musicians.

In today’s post, I am going to talk about three social networks that work for most musicians. Not all networks will work for all users, and you should experiment yourself to see what works. However, this post can help you get started.

Why Only 3?

I chose to only list the top three networks, because you don’t need to use more than that. There comes a point where social media can be too much to handle. When you are starting out or changing your strategy, it is best to focus on three networks or fewer.

These three networks are all good for musicians for networking and sharing clips of their work. They do function a bit differently, though. This set up of each is not always the same.

Now, if one or all of these networks don’t work for you, you do not have to keep using them. So, without further ado, here are the top social networks for musicians.

Instagram

If you only want to give one of the networks in the post a try, make it Instagram. There is a thriving community of musicians on there. You can follow others and watch videos of your favorite artists.

Show off your work space to the world. Post your own photos or videos of you playing your instrument. Share an excerpt of an upcoming composition.

With the correct use of hashtags, you can do great things on Instagram. You can share your post with a lot of hashtags. Be careful, there is a reported limit of thirty; after that, your account won’t alway show up.

Instagram is the most visual and musical of the more traditional social networks. Yes, you have YouTube, which is a great tool, but it is more of a database than a network.

Sharing videos on your Instagram account is a great way to start building a performance portfolio. You can share short clips, limited to a minute long, and you can shoot those videos on your phone. No crazy editing needed.

Facebook

Facebook is probably the most popular social network available. It seems like everyone and their mother has a Facebook profile these days. Not only that, but there is a lot you can do with the platform.

For one, you can share your music and recordings with your friends and family. While they may not be able to hire you, they can share your work. Word of mouth is powerful, even with the internet.

Another way you can use Facebook as a musician is with Facebook groups. You can share helpful information and your own recordings with others. Groups can be a great way to network with others and find music groups to join or gigs to play.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is often misunderstood. It is usually nicknamed “the professional Facebook.” That explanation is fairly simple, but it doesn’t cover everything.

With LinkedIn, you can write articles and share them to your profile. Even if you are not a great writer, articles can showcase your expertise on a subject. They are also a good way to keep a sort of blog without needing a full website.

The main draw of LinkedIn that you won’t find on other networks is the job board. Once you fill out your profile, you will be shown job recommendations based on your skills. This can be a great way to find work.

Overwhelmed?

It’s okay. Social media is crazy, especially because it is constantly changing. Facebook and Instagram are always switching up their algorithms, and they even force business pages to pay to reach their followers.

That is why I have created a few resources to help you. First off, I offer social media and website management services. If you want to build your social media presence but don’t have the time to, I’m your girl.

Soon, I will be releasing an eBook that covers everything you need to get started with social media. I talk about the most common networks, how and what you should post, and a whole lot more. So subscribe below so that you don’t miss out on an awesome resource!

So…

I know that social media is a lot to take in. It takes time to learn how it all works. So please, comment below with your biggest issue when it comes to social media. Any information you give will help me to offer better advice to all of you.

Thanks for reading!

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Time Management for Musicians

Sometimes it seems like we have all the time in the world. Other times, we need to focus more on time management. Especially if you have a lot of work coming up, managing your time is necessary for staying on track and getting stuff done.

Killer Harmony | Time Management for Musicians |When you have a lot to do, it's hard to do it all. That's why time management is so important. Here are a few time management tips for musicians.

Just like everyone else, I have fallen pray to procrastination, but I am able to overcome it. I can get myself back on track fairly easily, and I am going to share how I do that in this post.

Time management seems daunting at first, but it is not that hard after you find what works.

Experiment.

The tips I share in this post might not work for you. So, after reading this post, look for other ways that you can manage your time. You can find tons of ideas online or even come up with your own ideas.

With any change you make, experimentation is important. You have to figure out what works best for you and your life.

Be willing to change up how you mange your time, too. What works one week may not work the next. Figure out what you want out of your day or week and then decide what you need to do to manage your time.

Get started early.

This goes for all of those night owls reading this. If you stayed up late watching videos or practicing your instrument, try and wake up a little early.

You don’t have to get up before the crack of dawn. But, the earlier you start your day, the more time you will have. You won’t have to feel rushed to get everything done.

If you cannot practice your instrument right away, try and do some other tasks. Clean your room or home. Do some laundry. Listen to upcoming repertoire. There are dozens of things you can do that don’t actually involve playing music.

Make a list.

Write down everything that you want to accomplish that day. It can be anything from going grocery shopping to memorizing a section of a piece. Making a list of all your daily tasks puts everything on paper.

You can see how much you have to do that day, and then you can prioritize  tasks. Writing everything down will help you see the bigger picture. It may be that you have less to do than you thought.

If that is the case, take your time with things, and don’t rush. Enjoy living, and enjoy what you are doing. Live in the moment.

Set your priorities.

If you have a lot of stuff to do, decide what matters most. If you have a concert next week, you should probably practice the music for it. When you don’t have any performances coming up, you can focus on other things.

Get your household chores out of the way or search for prospective students and gigs. Your priorities will probably change with each day, and that’ okay.

Setting your priorities will help you figure out what really needs to be done and what can wait a day or two. If you have time for some low priority tasks, get those in so you don’t have to do them later.

Use a planner or calendar.

If you want, you can use a planner or calendar to keep track of everything. You can use a paper calendar or a digital one, and you can customize what you use it for.

I have found that paper planners don’t work for me. I use them for a day or two, and then they end up in the bottom of my bag, untouched. So, I have switched to a digital calendar.

I use Apple’s iCal on my laptop and phone. The calendar is great for events and other deadlines. For to do lists and other tasks that are not scheduled, I use Reminders or Notes to keep track.

Figure out what works for you, and create a system to fit your lifestyle.

Create a routine.

In a lot of cases, your day to day life will be different. You won’t always have the same performance gigs, rehearsals, or private lessons. However, do your best to set a routine.

Wake up at the same time. Eat the same breakfast and/or lunch each day. Do something consistently so that when big changes occur, it won’t take such a toll on your body.

I try to wake up at the same time each weekday, but I do let myself sleep in on the weekends. My menu for breakfast and lunch is the same, unless I go out for a meal. Keeping a consistent waking and eating schedule allows me to prepare for the rest of the day.

Hand off what you can.

If you have too much to do in one day, find some help. You can ask a roommate or friend for help or hire someone. While you have to show up to rehearsals and performances, you don’t always need to do everything.

If your kitchen is in need of some organizing, see if someone you know could do it. If your website needs updating, hire a virtual assistant or content manager for the day. The money you spend on help will be worth it if it means you aren’t up for a full 24 hours.

I try to do what I can, but sometimes, I have other priorities that need my attention. When I can’t do something, there is nothing wrong with asking for help.

So…

As a musician myself, I know how hard it can be to do everything you need to do. There have been times where I had to let things slip, and I wish that I could have hired someone to do those tasks for me. If you ever need help, please contact me. I would be glad to help another musician out.

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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!