This year brought with it a lot of change in my life. I grew as a musician and as a writer, and I left my full time day job.
Today, we’re taking a look back at 2018 and a look into 2019!
My Top Accomplishments
I have a lot of great things to look back on this year, but there are a few things that stand out as top accomplishments.
I bought a professional flute
The first big thing was buying my first handmade professional flute! I saved up for one for quite some time, and I made the leap at this year’s NFA convention!
After trying many flutes from all sorts of flute companies, I settled on a gorgeous Pearl Cantabile. I definitely didn’t go into the convention intending to buy a flute, but I did go in prepared in case I found “the one.”
Since getting my flute, I have been able to experiment with it. It’s the first flute I’ve had with a C# trill key, so I’ve loved having that feature. I also have been able to work a lot more on my tone. My previous flute had a hand cut headjoint, but it didn’t have the tonal range of my Pearl.
I started freelance writing
Freelance writing is something I’ve wanted to do since I graduated college. While I didn’t study English in school, I wrote editorials for the university paper, and I got paid for it!
That side job made me realize that I need something outside of music to keep me sane. Writing just happens to be something I’m good at, and it’s super flexible!
I started out with a couple of “content mills” which are websites that hire just about anyone to write content for little money. At first, that was okay. I wanted the experience. But paying writers less than one cent per word isn’t okay. It’s not sustainable long term, especially when the client has strict requirements.
After doing that for a couple of weeks, I found a better way to make money freelance writing. I got hired as a content writer for an online company. Now I get to write about interesting topics, I get paid a decent wage, and I never have to interact with clients directly.
I got into graduate school
This was a long time coming, because I knew I *should* get my masters in music. I’m happy I took time off from school though, because I now have good reasons for going back to school.
I have a few days before I move out and about one week before I start classes. A year ago, I knew I was headed to graduate school, but I didn’t know it would be so soon.
I was fortunate enough to receive financial aid to attend my school of choice, and I can’t wait to get started!
My Low Points
Every year wouldn’t be complete without some teachable moments, too. I made mistakes this year, but I want to make sure to learn from them.
Quarter life crisis (crises…)
There were a few times this year when I didn’t feel so good about my decision to apply to graduate school. I thought what if I don’t get in? What if I can’t afford it? Should I even go in the first place?
I was able to push through those crises, and I’m sure I’ll have more of those moments. Music and writing are both tough career paths, but I have to remind myself I’m on the right path.
Sometimes, you have to leave your comfort zone in order to grow. One of the things I’m trying to do with this blog is to show you all that music isn’t one-size-fits-all. You don’t have to play in an orchestra. You don’t have to go for that tenure track professor gig. Do what you feel you should do.
Hopes for Next Year
With one year coming to a close, many people are making resolutions for the next year. Instead of making resolutions, I want to make some goals.
Juggle music school and freelance writing
Now that I’ve left my day job for music school, I need to figure out how to make my new routine work. Freelance writing is now my main source of income, so I need to balance writing and school.
School will be my first priority, but writing will follow closely behind. Luckily, freelance writing is something I can do from home, so I don’t have to have a set work schedule.
Start teaching private lessons
I have a bit of music teaching experience, but I want to get a few students this year. Moving to a new place can make finding students hard, but I do have some ideas on how to get students.
I won’t be teaching in person lessons at home, so I will have to find a music store or studio to teach at. While I could offer lessons in students’ homes, that’s too much driving for me.
Continue to grow as a musician
As much as I want to teach lessons, I still have a lot to learn in my own lessons. Tone is definitely my biggest weakness as a flute player, and I need to keep working on it.
I also want to work on my musicality in both solo and ensemble music. Music is amazing, but a lack of expression can make even the best piece sound dull.
I’ve seen people do the 100 Days of Practice challenge on Instagram, so maybe I will tackle that myself.
A lot has happened this year, and I have big plans for the future. What are your biggest accomplishments for 2018? What do you want to do in 2019?
Let me know in the comments!