Musicians! Here are some podcasts I recommend. They range from practical career advice to wellness to pure inspiration.
PLEASE NOTE: These are not in order of preference, and this list will get updated as I listen to things or receive recommendations. If you have suggestions for podcasts or episodes that aren't here, please let me know!
Hidden Brain is an NPR podcast that examines the psychology, politics, and social forces behind human behavior. I find every episode fascinating, but these struck me as particularly relevant to the struggles I've come across in myself and others in the music world.
"A Creature of Habit" (12/28/20)
"Stage Fright" (7/29/21)
"Being Kind to Yourself" (10/11/21)
"Life, Interrupted" (11/15/21)
Movement: The Science of Self is hosted by my former trainer, Erszi! I love the way her teaching (and her podcast) brings together humor, humanity, and a dedication to scientific integrity.
"Comedian Myq Kaplan on Embodiment" (7/20/22)
"Release Fascial Adhesions: Toys for Your Home Gym" (3/14/22)
I go through phases with On Being because these conversations go DEEP and I'm not always in the headspace for it. But when I am, I find a depth of insight and compassion that refills my well. These episodes are particularly relevant to creative life.
"Yo-Yo Ma: Music Happens Between the Notes" (7/5/18)
I find listening to conversations by and for other musicians to be the most effective way to dispel any misconceptions I've developed by spending too much time on social media, and of course to learn from the hard-won experience of others. If you ever judge yourself from what you see others posting, or by benchmarks you think you should've met by now, and think, "I don't know how they're doing that," these podcasts will pull back the curtain for you with generous compassion.
Flute 360 with Dr. Heidi Kay Begay is one of the OG music podcasts with episodes that provide inspiration, honesty, and a wealth of practical knowledge to all musicians. You want to start a podcast? Prep for auditions? Build your music studio? Create your own opportunities? Get corporate sponsors for your event? Make halfway-decent recordings on your own? Heidi's got episodes on it all. (P.S. I'm on episode 158!)
Musicians vs. The World is hosted by Christine Smith, a pianist, composer, music director, AND co-founder/owner of Frosted Lens Entertainment. Her podcast takes an inside look at a variety of music careers - from interviews exploring teaching styles (including how to accommodate students with learning differences), to film scoring with the composer of Dexter, to music publishing...go check it out!
inClassics is hosted by Iurii Gavryliuk, a double bassist and web developer for musicians. As a musician and developer, Iurii keenly understands the gap between what musicians are taught about careers and the skills and materials we actually need (aka, what no one tells you). I got to know Iurii during a series he did on musician's wellness (click here to listen!) but I was first intrigued by his episodes on how to approach venues and music managers for opportunities.
Podcasts that just make me feel like a better human
I'm a firm believer that in order to be our most creative and generous selves in performance, we need to rest as much as, or even more than we work. Here's a few podcasts that I just find really enjoyable and inspiring.
Whenever I feel lost in the weeds of everyday life, I listen For The Wild. I especially recommend this episode with Tricia Hersey, on "Deprogramming from Grind Culture."
Some of the narrated essays and interviews from Emergence Magazine have become direct inspiration for my musical projects, giving purpose and clarity to my creative impulses. Lie down on the floor and listen to David G. Haskell's sonic journey, "When the Earth Started to Sing."
If you're ever feeling uninspired, listen to Ologies! Alie's genuine curiosity for literally any topic is absolutely infectious. I tend to scroll through and pick out episodes, but honestly she could talk about anything and it would spark my sense of wonder.