Take a big task — like building a music website — and break it into steps. What part of that process can you do right now with the time you have? Then tomorrow, you can do another step in that process. If you only have 15 minutes to do something, get something done in that 15 minutes. Then you can go to bed knowing you pushed your music career a little further forward.

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I’ve learned this tip from experience. I’ve compared myself to other more successful (“better”) musicians and gone into a deep hole. The type of hole where I’m discouraged all day and don’t get very much done at all. So instead of wishing you had some other musician’s success or opportunities, put your blinders on and remember that you are you. Your story of success will look different than every other artist’s.

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So, if we’re capturing vocals, our vocalist would be in there. If we’re capturing an electric guitar, the guitar player would sit in that room with the guitar, his amp, and any microphones or lines out to capture the sound. Everything else, including noisy bandmates like myself, would be in the “control room.”

Drumming and loud sound are such large parts of Puerto Rican culture, it only makes sense they’d be the focal point of this week’s protests. Take a listen!

Take a hymn or other traditional melody you’re familiar with, and try writing lyrics to fit the existing phrase. If you know it well, you’ll be able to try different ideas without needing any music playing in the background. This is a great method if you do your best thinking in the shower or while walking, for example.

Your narrative probably won’t come together in one sitting. So as a first step, get out a piece of paper and do some brainstorming on the following questions. A good narrative, like any great story, has a beginning, middle, and end. To get ideas, think about where you started and where you want to end up.

The use of new technology in classrooms is a hot topic. Particularly in the field of music, tech can fundamentally reshape the whole nature of education: what it means and who it’s for. As such, controversy swirls around the use of technology in the context of music education. This discussion explores what technology brings to the classroom and what it has taken away, as well as how it has transformed student musicians from performers to composers. But it’s also quite long, so feel free to skip ahead and read on if you’d like to read our “talking points.”

National endowment for the humanities grant recipients 2019

Musicians condem themselves to failure by subscribing subconsciously to the “starving artist” mentality, but it’s time to shift the paradigm and start anew.

Here’s a little-known fact: The water we swallow never actually touches our vocal cords! Everything we swallow actually lands at the base of our tongue and travels around the larynx (or voice box) and down through the esophagus where all the food all goes. However the motion of human swallowing is what helps raise and tip the larynx, thus dislodging mucus and leaving us feeling fresh and clear down there in the back of our throats.

One of my projects for this summer is to realize my decades-old ambition to learn how to scratch. I borrowed a Korg Kaoss DJ controller from a friend, downloaded Serato, and have been fumbling with it for a week now. The Kaoss DJ leaves much to be desired. The built-in Kaoss Pad is cool, but otherwise it’s too small and finicky. I will definitely want to upgrade to something with big, chunky buttons and more haptic feedback in general. Still, the Kaoss DJ is enough to get started with.

NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” is pure pop in all its youthful glory — this song brings me right back to my first celebrity crush, Lance Bass (yes, the gay one, just my luck). As soon as I hear this song, I laugh to myself and immediately do the dance from their music video.

This vinyl-related project couldn’t be more different from the one above. Until recently, Jesu Berkeley was just a talented dad. Now, he’s an educator and community activist with a dream to provide a creative space for students and at-risk youth to learn about DJing, turntablism, and scratchology!