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Play it Safe? or Play it Forward [PSP 36]

As freelancers, one of the biggest responsibilities is when we have the opportunity to recommend a colleague to join us on a gig. We usually have to choose between someone who is a great player and not the nicest person, or a super nice person, and a just OK player. (Side note – is it that hard to be a nice person?)

What’s at stake when we choose one over the other? Is it just our reputation that suffers, or the quality of the ensemble too?

We take a look at some of the times we’ve faced this question, what we did, and what we wish we could have done differently.

Stop Trying to be a Perfectionist [PSP35]

Today, we’re looking at something that all of us have struggled with, or still struggle with, and that is being a perfectionist. What about it could be helpful, and how much of it is harmful? It’s an interesting conversation for sure. Jessica Weirsma has a major epiphany and drops a “Truth Brahmbs” on us, Anna Luce lays the smack down, Christian  Marshall asks some hard questions, and I’m Michael O’Gieblyn- just trying to piece it all together,  and we’ve got the return of Gig of the Week!

Thank you to our sponsor: Ficks Music Publishing:

Self-Criticism vs. Self-Compassion. Which is Better? [PSP34]

On today’s show, we’re talking about seeing the world with a little more compassion-towards others, and towards ourselves. Because most of us musicians are our own worst critic. How do we push ourselves to practice and improve, without making life miserable because we’re beating ourselves up.

Looking outwards, how can we be supportive colleagues, encouraging friends, and positive influences at rehearsals and gigs to those around us? Empathy and Self Compassion.

Those aren’t topics that we’re that good at, or know a lot about. So we brought in an expert to walk through it with us. Our guest has a Ph.D in clinical counseling and is a Lecturer at Lynn University in the school of Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She’s Dr. Angie O’Gieblyn, and yes she’s my wife.

Thank you to our sponsor: Ficks Music Publishing for providing the hosting for this show. For your sheet music needs, check out

As a thank you to our listeners if you use the promo code PERSERVICE, to get 10% off your order!

Can I Change My Negative Thoughts? [PSP 33]

As musicians, we tend to seek out advice on things we should DO, a routine we should TRY, or habits we should ADD to our practice time. That’s great, but maybe the key to really growing as a musician, and more importantly as a person is to look inward and find the things we should STOP doing.

On this episode, we get all up in own brain crevices and think about what negative thoughts we struggle with. We got some help from a fantastic article written by Amy Morin, which was the foundation for her book, called 13 things mentally strong people don’t do.

Thank you to our sponsor – Ficks Music Publishing

Use the promo code: PERSERVICE to get 10% off your order!

Change – Whether you want it, or not [PSP 32]

It’s so good to be back here with you all again. Whoa-what a crazy week it was here. If you’ve listened to the show for a while, you might have heard that I moved to south Florida…the Boca Raton area to be precise. And this little thing called Hurricane Irma gave us a nice warm welcome. So, we evacuated and our power was out for a week, so that knocked me out of my normal publishing schedule. But thank you for staying with us.

Dealing with the hurricane was a prime example of handling changes whether you want them or not, and we chose this topic weeks ago even before we knew about the hurricane. But as musicians, we have to adapt, grow, and persevere thorugh life’s ups and downs.

And as a podcast, that’s really what we strive to embody here and why we’re here. Life in the arts is full of ups and downs. We must adapt and continue to change as the world changes. Getting bitter, jealous, or anxious about what’s happening, (or not happening) isn’t going to help you rise above it all. So we think talking about things that we’ve learned, and things that inspire and encourage us makes a difference.

In short your hosts are Anna Luce, a violinist in New York City but soon to be nomadic playing Hamilton on the National tour. Christian Marshall a violist in Graz Austria who is our deep thinker in residence, Jessica Wiersma-an amazing violinist in Indianapolis, my karaoke partner in crime and also keeping post it notes in business, and me I’m Michael O’Gieblyn, I’m a violinist in Boca Raton, Florida and yes. I’m currently sunburnt.

One last thing, we would like to thank Ficks Music Publishing for providing the hosting for this show. For your sheet music needs, check out

There are a lot of things I do to save money, like cutting my own hair…I know it’s not glamourous. But one place I never regret spending money is on good sheetmusic.  Yes, you can probably print and tape up everything from imslp, but it’s not trustworthy, and I usually just end up losing it. But at ficksmusic, you can get great editions of music, and get it fast and for a super great price.

For the month of September 2017, they are offering free shipping on ALL orders- as in, no minimum purchase. But best of, as a thank you to our listeners if you use the promo code PERSERVICE, to get 10% off your order!


And We’re Back! – Season 3 Preview [PSP]

Welcome back to the Per Service Podcast!

It’s so good to be back here with you all again.  I know some of you were worried that we weren’t coming back after a long break this summer….but we are definitely back in gear and have some great episodes coming up this season.

If you’re new to the podcast, this is a show for classical musicians who are discovering what it means to have a happy and successful life in the performing arts. Every two weeks we host these conversations to talk about the challenges we face and some inspiration and encouragement we have found to overcome them.

With that said, this isn’t a typical episode today.  We took some time off this summer, and a lot has happened in that time. So rather taking up a lot of time in an episode to fill everybody in, we’re doing it here in this season preview of sorts.

Thank you to Ficks Music Publishing for covering the cost of our hosting.
Use the promo code PERSERVICE, to get 10% off your order!

Choose to be Happy Even When the Gig Sucks [PSP30]

Welcome back to the Per Service Podcast. On the show today, we’re thinking about Happiness. How we can find it regardless of how the gig is going, how we can share it with those around us, instead of being a complainer. And where we can focus our energy to make the biggest change.

This is a podcast for classical musicians who want to live a creative, successful and happy life at each and every service. We know that it’s not always easy to do this. There’s a lot of uncertainty, a lot of concerns about money, a lot of criticism and comparison out there. So we host these conversations to take a break from all of that, and encourage and inspire each other. And we’d like to thank you for listening and subscribing to the show.
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Summertime: Make Your Plans for Focus, Fun, and Romance [PSP29]

Well it is the end of the season. Schools are wrapping up, and orchestra seasons are winding down. For many musicians, this time either means some serious relaxing and recovering from all that craziness, OR gearing up for a summer festival, and maybe some of both. For others, it may mean staying home and working a job for a while.

This time can be difficult to manage though without the external pressures of lessons, or concerts. If you drift for too long, the summer can pass you by, without feeling like you got anything accomplished
So how do we stay focused, stay motivated, but still have some fun, and maybe work that romantic interest you’ve had your eye on.

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Self-Care or Die [PSP 28]

You need to do more. You’ve got music to learn, lessons to teach, emails that are piling up, that audition you’re supposed to be practicing for, that article you were going to write, your website that needs to be updated, and you haven’t seen your family in a while either… Does this sound familiar?

As musicians today, there are more challenges and demands for your time then ever before. Partially because there are more opportunities then ever before. Chances are your podcast queue is filled with interviews of interesting people who are starting new-funky ensembles, winning prestigious positions, or becoming famous on social media. But just because you can do all of this stuff also, does that mean that you should?

Today on the show, we’re discussing why we need some self-care, and what it looks like for each of us. Turns out, like many things, it’s not the same for everyone, and we share a simple test to find out how to care for yourself based on what you value.

Find the Courage to Change Your Life [PSP27]
It takes a tremendous amount of courage to take a big audition, ask a teacher for a trial lesson, or put anything out in the world with your name on it. And the thing is, great things are waiting for you on the other side of your fear, anxiety, and insecurities. So how do we get this courage to stand up and ask for what we want, or dare to change the world?

Sometimes we’re not even aware that the smallest actions, like just picking up your instrument every day takes a lot of courage too. And in fact, they’re not really that much different. So, I invite you to join us for our discussion, because you were made to do something great, to make something beautiful, and to have the courage to make a difference.

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