All posts filed under: Purpose


I read about #39 in history books. Though I have distinct memories from the 80’s, #40 came and went in the fog of my preteen years. #41 taught me the power of patriotism, yellow ribbons, and pride in my country.  #42 arrived during my coming of age years and helped me grow my progressive roots. I found my political voice when #43 was in office and it marked the first time I remember bonding over politics with my father.  Both of my children came into this world during #44, thank you for making the world a better place for my children. 40 years of Presidential power.  40 years of life. Every single moment fleeting.

5 Things Artists Can Do, Post-Election

  The arts live continuously, and they live literally by faith; their nature and their shapes and their uses survive unchanged in all that matters through times of interruption, diminishment, neglect; they outlive governments and creeds and societies, even the very civilizations that produced them.  They cannot be destroyed altogether because they represent the substance of faith and the only reality.  They are what we find again when the ruins are cleared away. —Katherine Anne Porter

3 Career Fears To Tackle In 5 Years

Before declaring my major in college I remember losing what felt like weeks of sleep trying to decide if the path to become a music educator was right for me.  Choosing the wrong path or worse, choosing the right path and ultimately not finding success in said path was all consuming.  What I didn’t know then was that the pursuit of a music degree was preparing me incredibly well for work in the 21st century.  Like you, I was passionate, intellectually curious, and incredibly interested in becoming an expert in my discipline; all characteristics for a successful career.  Fear be damned. My career fear has led to a deep exploration of careers in the arts, an exploration that continues to this day. Most recently, I’ve been podcasting a course out of Stanford called “How to Start a Startup.”  Paul Graham, Co-Founder of Y Combinator, argues that genuine intellectual curiosity in pursuit of domain expertise in the traditional sense will enable you to thrive in the 21st century economy.  For example, if your intellectual curiosity involves becoming a scholar on the compositions for Dulcian by Giovanni Antoli Bertoli, great.  Your job …

Ebola, The Arts, and the culture of fear in the United States

America lives in fear.  Our current nightmare is the Ebola virus.  Last week, ISIS.  Before that, Ferguson.  Each newsworthy event seemingly moves faster than the last.  Meanwhile, back in reality, many of the things that have made our country great are being threatened—and nobody seems to care. Boring things like our nation’s infrastructure, education system, and yes – the arts – fall by the wayside when more urgent and newsworthy subjects like Ebola come into focus.  To be clear, Ebola is scary—especially for health care workers working on the front line.  But the current threat of the deadly virus is relatively small in this country. The Obama administration’s appointment of an Ebola Czar is the latest governmental attempt to quell our fears, drawing our attention towards a singular human being to save us.  The media has been all over this newsworthy crisis.  Ratings are up.  Money is made—until the next “crisis” comes along. The Ebola Czar is a point person put in place to calm fears and show that there are steps being made by our government to solve a problem.  What …

4 Ways to save yourself from a soul-sucking college experience

By the start of the second semester of my masters degree in bassoon performance, I knew I didn’t want to be an orchestral musician.  I was lost.  Everyone was (seemingly) passionately pursuing their degree, determined to land that coveted orchestral position.  The pursuit of perfection and mastery on the bassoon drove me, but without the goal of attaining a job in an orchestra there wasn’t a clear path to a sustainable career.   The realization that my degree path might not be the key to my career success took me to dark places, quickly draining my passion for the work.  The soul-sucking, 21st century, college experience left one thing clear: The next steps in my college education would be on me. If the 21st century college experience is not what you expected, you’re not alone. Many of you are questioning your degree path, the amount of debt you’re taking on, your institution, and your decision to attend college in the first place.  This is not your fault. Universities are going through an identity crisis, trying to preserve their great traditions, while attempting …