NFA: How to Save Money

Welcome to this month’s installment of the NFA series! Today, we are going to talk about how to save money, specifically for a big event like a convention.

Hannah B Flute | NFA: How to Save Money

I have spent the past few months saving up for my first trip to NFA, and I have a few tips to share with you. Some of these tips do work for other areas of life, like a new instrument. So even if you’re not going to any big convention this year, hopefully you can learn a little something. Continue reading “NFA: How to Save Money”

Reflecting and Planning

As we bring 2017 to a close, there is a lot to look back on. I know a lot happened to me this year, from graduating with my bachelors in music to changing the name of this very blog. I have some reflecting and planning to do.

Hannah B Flute | Reflecting & Planning

This past year brought with it many changes. I moved back home from college, worked a part time job before finding one full time, and I became more serious about sharing my music with the world.

I also have a lot of exciting things planned for 2018. One of my goals for the year is to write and publish a couple different ebooks. I also am working on a method book for older flute students.

Graduating from College

Getting my degree was probably my biggest accomplishment of the year. I got my bachelors of music in flute performance from a state university back in May. My college experience was not a normal one, but I am thankful for the experience I did have.

I got to experience commuting and living on campus. My last two years of college gave me the chance to learn a different form of music performance: marching band. I took an on campus job as an opinion writer. I, somehow, managed the writing side of my life with music side.

I even stayed close with one of my best friends since kindergarten. Even though we went to different colleges.

Moving Back Home

At the time of graduation, I did not have a job or any income. So I decided to move back home. I have been able to save money, and I could take a job without having to worry so much about money. I could consider other factors, such as the drive and the job itself.

It did take awhile before I found a job, but that’s okay. I was able to enjoy my last summer break of sorts. I did work part time for a couple of months still, but again, finances weren’t a huge stress.

Moving home has also allowed me to reconnect with family and friends in my hometown. I have stayed super close with my parents. I even joined a couple of community music groups.

Blogging More

Since being out of school, I have had more time for other things. In college, I tried to blog as much as I could, but classes took precedence. Now that I am not a student, my time outside of work is mine.

Yes, I have a day job. No, I am not ashamed. That day job allows me to spend my free time working on my music and this blog. I don’t have to stress about finding paying gigs or jobs. I can focus on what I like.

Maybe I will be able to make some money online one day. That is definitely something I want to work on in 2018. But the beauty of a day job is that I have more freedom to do what I want with this blog. I can grow it and work on products, but I don’t have to stress about paying the bills.

Changing the Blog Name

If you haven’t been here long, you may not know that this blog used to be known as Killer Harmony. I had the name for almost two years before changing it to Hannah B Flute. The decision was hard, but it was necessary for my growth as a blogger.

The old name no longer fit. I had niched down to writing about music and the flute. I needed a name that reflected that. Killer Harmony was too general and not very professional. Hannah B Flute fits the blog more.

Growing My Instagram

At the beginning of the year, I hardly used Instagram. I wasn’t a big photographer, and I didn’t think it would do anything for me. Boy, was I wrong. I started posting about my life as a young musician back in April, giving up on it as solely a personal social network.

Now, I have kept up with posting almost daily, sharing videos and behind the scenes photos of work for the blog and as a musician.

I even reached 200 followers, a big deal for me. Check out my 2017bestnine!

Hannah B Flute | 2017 Best Nine

Looking Ahead

As I already mentioned, I have a couple of ebooks in the works as well as a flute method book. I also want to work on composing and arranging, too. Over the past few months, I have realized that I want to show others that you don’t have to be a “typical” musician to be successful.

You don’t need to play in an orchestra to have a good career. Heck, you don’t even need to be a professional musician to be good at your instrument.

I want to bust all of those myths about what it means to be a musician.

So…

What are your biggest accomplishments of 2017? What are you looking forward to in 2018? Let me know in the comments!

Save the Internet

Unless you have been under a rock for the past week, you probably heard about the FCC’s decision to end net neutrality. Net neutrality is what makes the internet open and free.

Hannah B Flute | Save Net Neutrality

Even though the FCC’s decision is final, there is still hope. Multiple state attorneys general are suing the FCC, and we can even get Congress involved. But we have to act.

In today’s post, I am going to stem away from the normal music content. I’m going to write about how the whole issue of net neutrality affects us all, and how it affects this blog.

What is Net Neutrality?

Net neutrality was officially put into place by the FCC in 2015 under the Obama administration. The order barred internet service providers (ISPs) from charging more for certain websites or for a faster connection.

Basically, it required ISPs like Verizon and Comcast to treat Facebook and Twitter the same as email. To treat small blogs like this one the same as larger sites like Google.

It’s a pretty big deal. Without net neutrality, internet costs could skyrocket.

The Argument Against Net Neutrality

Some people argue that the government should not be regulating the internet. That taking away net neutrality would spur competition within the internet market.

The problem with that logic is that companies are money hungry. They know that the internet has become a vital part of many people’s lives. ISPs know that a lot of people will pay for internet, no matter the price.

If ending net neutrality is anything like giving tax cuts to the rich, it will not help the average person. I don’t want to get too political, but trickle down economics doesn’t work.

Deregulation doesn’t work.

The Future of Blogs Like This One

The future of this little blog is bleak, especially if the end of net neutrality takes effect. I’m a solo blogger with a full time day job. I can’t afford to pay ISPs to make my site faster.

I may not even be able to run this blog anymore. It may not be worth it.

Other small bloggers would probably agree. It takes a lot of work to run a blog, and most bloggers don’t have the same capital as huge corporations. We can’t afford to be in the so-called fast lane.

Blogs and bloggers need net neutrality. Blog readers need net neutrality.

The only groups that benefit from the FCC’s decision are the extremely wealthy and the larger corporations. The people and companies that can afford to pay a premium for internet service.

What Can We Do?

You can start by signing this petition.

Share posts like this one. Share the posts that list what you can do. Let others know that there is still a (small) bit of hope.

You can contact your local representatives and tell them what you think.

Check out articles like this one to find an ISP that still believes in a free and open internet. Avoid the ones that don’t or face premiums.

So…

Have you participated in the fight to save net neutrality? Will you do something? Let me know in the comments!

Net neutrality is super important, especially for smaller websites like this one. In order to continue sharing my content with you all, I need to know that I can do that for free. I need to know that it is worth it.

Gift Ideas for Musicians

With Halloween being over and the holidays coming up soon, I thought it would be fun to write a post about gift ideas for musicians. Whether you are a musician or you know a musician, this post is for you.

If you aren’t a musician, but you know one, it can be hard to think if gift ideas. If you are a musician, hopefully this post can give you some inspiration for your own wish list.

Killer Harmony | Gift Ideas for Musicians

Gift giving is one of the best things about this time of year, and I want to share my ideas for gifts that every musician needs. So without further ado, here are my top gift ideas for musicians.

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. For my full disclosure policy, click here.

Music Stand

And not the teeny tiny wire stands. As a musician starts to progress and work on more and more music, they need a better music stand. Those folding wire stands can barely hold anything before they collapse.

You don’t need the most expensive stand out there, but you need one that is durable and can hold your music.

I have and love this Gearlux music stand. It is super durable, but it is also easy to take with me to rehearsals or performances. The top part is vented, with holes, that make it a little lighter, but still a great stand.

So if you have an advancing musician in your life, a new music stand is a great gift!

Instrument Stand

This is different from a music stand, because it holds an instrument, rather than music. There are stands for almost any musical instrument.

Almost any musician, beginner or professional, can benefit from an instrument stand. Putting your flute, violin, or saxophone on a stand keeps it safe when you’re not playing it.

Setting your instrument on a table or chair is not safe. You never know if it could get knocked off or roll onto the ground. Some one could sit on it. It’s just not a good idea.

An instrument stand saves you from that issue. Good quality stands are built to keep your instrument on them and secure in their place. My favorite brand for instrument stands is Hercules. They are made super well and don’t cost an arm and a leg.

Pencils…lots of pencils.

When writing on sheet music, you never want to use pen. The music might be a rental, or you may want to change something later. That is why pencils are the way to go.

But pencils can get lost or left behind at rehearsals. So an abundance of pencils is necessary. You could get the simple wood ones or some cute ones with music notes on them.

Another great tool to go with pencils is a pencil guard or holder for a music stand. These things keep pencils out of the way of your music, but still close by for when you need them.

This one is a great way to keep your pencils secure, right by your side. Another great pencil holder that can also hold other accessories is this one.

Blank Notation Paper

Notation paper is perfect for budding composers, aspiring teachers, and anyone else who wants to write their own music. Notation paper is also great for music majors, because they often have assignments that require blank notation paper.

There are a few different styles, but I really like this Hal Leonard one. It can fit in a binder, which is great for students, and it is also not too bulky.

While there are countless music notation programs, there is something about putting pencil to paper. You aren’t bound to the limitations of a particular program, and you can write anywhere. No need to have room for a laptop or tablet.

Case/Cover/Gig Bag

Most instruments come with good cases already, but it can be fun to give someone a cuter or more stylish case or bag. For flutists as well as clarinet and oboe players, Fluterscooter is a great brand.

I do not have any of their bags yet, but I think they are so cool and pretty. They are more expensive than other brands, so you want to be careful before giving these bags as a gift, but they are worth it.

I think the black patent leather bag is so chic and professional, and it puts any other case cover to shame.

Another great brand for cases and bags is Protec. They make cases and case covers for almost every instrument. I have their flute case cover, and it has lasted over four years now. They are insulated, and they come with an awesome shoulder strap to make carrying your instrument easier.

So…

If you’re a musician, what’s on your wishlist this year? If you know a musician, do you think you’ll get them any of these items? Let me know in the comments below!

Flute Deals & Rebates: Fall 2017

Buying a new instrument can be expensive, and coupons or other deals can help bring down the cost. So, I wanted to talk about a few flute deals and rebates that are going on now. If you want to buy a new flute, now is the time to do it. There are multiple rebate programs going on right now.

NOTE: I am not affiliated with any of these programs. I just want to share the information with you if you are in the market for a new flute.

Killer Harmony | Savings & Rebates for Flutists Fall 2017

I found all of these deals on FluteWorld, but you can qualify for these programs if you purchase a new instrument through a reputable dealer. Each of the programs have varying terms and conditions, so I will link to an information page where you can learn more.

So, let’s get started!

Jupiter’s Banding Together Celebration

Jupiter is a well known musical instrument brand, and flutes are just part of what they make. They have quite a few models that will qualify for this program, and the best part is the savings are instant.

This is not a rebate program.

You won’t have to wait to get your savings.

The Banding Together Celebration runs from October 1 through December 30, 2017. A few select Azumi flutes are also part of the savings program.

Qualifying Instruments

Piccolos: JPC 1000, 1010, & 1100E

Flutes: JFL 1000RBO, Azumi AZ1, AZ2, & AZ3

Alto Flutes: JAF 1000, 1000U, 1000X, 1100E, 1100UE, & 1100XE

Bass Flutes: JBF 1000

Contrabass Flutes: JCF 1000

More Information

Pearl Flutes

Pearl Flutes is offering a cash back mail in rebate for their Quantz flute line. These flutes are great for students who are outgrowing their first instrument. While I have not personally played any of these models, I do love my Pearl piccolo.

You will have to send in the rebate form in order to get your savings, but for $50, that is worth it. Any bit of savings helps.

This program runs from October 1, 2017 through January 15, 2018.

Qualifying Instruments

Flutes: PF-525, 665, & 765

More Information

Trevor James Step Up Rebate

I know a lot of people (online anyway, lol) who love Trevor James flutes. I have their 10x student model, and it sounds better than other student flutes. For this program, you do have to fill out a rebate form.

If you want to buy a Trevor James step up flute or low flute, you are in luck!

This rebate program started October 1, and it ends December 31, 2017.

Qualifying Instruments

Flutes: Cantabile, Virtuoso

Alto Flute & Bass Flute

More Information

Step Up to Yamaha 2017 Promotion

Yamaha is a very well known musical instrument brand. They are also another brand offering a promotion for any step up instrument purchased.

I have never played a Yamaha flute, but I know they are common for beginners. Some people love them enough to upgrade to a more advanced Yamaha model.

The Yamaha program is a rebate program. Some models will get you $50, others $100.

The program runs from October 1 until December 31, 2017.

Qualifying Instruments

Piccolos: YPC 32, 62*, & 81*

Flutes: YFL 362, 382, 462, 482, 577*, 587*, 677*, 687*, 777*, 787*, & 800 series*

Low Flutes: Alto & Bass flutes*

More Information

Please Remember!

Every flutist has different needs and what works with one flute might not work with another. Always try before you buy if you can, or make sure you can return the instrument if you are not satisfied.

Each of these brands make high quality flutes, and I would not recommend these programs if I didn’t trust these brands. However, you should still test out the models you are interested in. We all have different mouths, and we all have different needs when it comes to our instruments.

So…

I’m considering getting an alto flute from one of these companies, and if I do, I would love to do a review. Let me know if you would like to see that!

Are you in the market for a new flute? Do you think you will check out some of these instruments? Let me know in the comments!