For this week’s Beyond the Notes Session, PYSO was delighted to host special guest Angela Myles Beeching. Ms. Beeching is a trained cellist, and now a career development specialist. She is the author of Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music. The presentation covered how to write resumes and biographies specifically for musicians, as well as some important things to keep in mind when applying to music schools.
The presentation began by emphasizing that you only have one chance to make a great first impression. She followed by indicating that in many instances a person’s first impression will be from your resume. Ms. Beeching pointed out that the person reading your resume will likely be looking at many others, and so you want them to be able to easily pick out information that is relevant to them.
While resumes are like blueprints, bios are fully developed paragraphs. They are usually used for concert programs, promotion material, and websites. Ms. Beeching noted that a bio is an opportunity to make a personal connection with the person reading your bio. As with one’s resume, a bio should have relevant credentials that convey what matters to you. Ms. Beeching shared a tip to help getting started to write a bio: don’t expect yourself to have a fully finished bio the first time you write it! Write a simple list first and then work it into a rough draft. Look at your list and see if there is anything that would work best as a first sentence.
The last part of the presentation went over some quick tips when applying to music programs at the college level. Ms. Beeching touched on the differences between conservatories and universities. She made sure to highlight that there are many programs that offer dual degrees, double majors, or partnerships with other schools.
One of the last points made before the Q&A session was something everyone can benefit from remembering from time to time. Ms. Beeching emphasized that constantly comparing yourself to others ends up being a waste of time and a distraction. It’s more important to stay focused on your goals, and what you have achieved, because in the end that’s all that really matters.
The PYSO students had lots of questions and Ms. Beeching took the time to answer each one with great tips and pointers. Many thanks to Angela Beeching for taking the time to share her expertise with PYSO!