Ep. 155: “Career Choices in Music beyond the Pandemic,” with author Julie Jaffee Nagel, PhD

How has the pandemic affected the music industry?

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

How have music careers and options changed as a result of COVID-19, and how should we change how we educate musicians moving forward? How can musicians think outside the “music box” to expand options for rewarding and creative work? Why is our career choice as musicians especially linked to our personal identity? Why do we choose a career in music, given the inherent challenges in the industry? Musician and psychologist Julie Jaffee Nagel addresses these topics and more in her new book, and in this preview conversation.


My guest today is joining me from my home state of Michigan. Dr. Julie Jaffee Nagel is a musician, psychologist, psychoanalyst, and author. Dr. Jaffee Nagel is a graduate of The Juilliard School, the University of Michigan, and The Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute, and has helped numerous people understand and overcome performance anxiety and blocks to creativity, career choice, and self-esteem. She is equally at home performing on stage, speaking, consulting, and writing. Her latest book, Career Choices in Music beyond the Pandemic: Musical and Psychological Perspectives, was published March 1st.


We discuss:

  • How our personal identity is linked to our choice of a career in music?
  • Why is it so hard for musicians to ask for an appropriate fee for their services?
  • What is “psychic income,” and how does it affect musicians’ compensation?
  • Why do people pursue a career in work as demanding as music, which offers low economic compensation, intense competition, frequent rejection, and an oversupply of talent for available jobs? What are some psychological factors that draw some individuals to pursue a career in music?
  • What are some ways that music education/how we educate musicians should change in light of the pandemic?

Connect/Other Resources

Other episodes we mentioned or that you may enjoy:

In-Episode Promo

The Business Side of Music podcast


Julie shares some of the best advice she has been given down through the years by teachers and mentors  at various stages in her life, which she has found very helpful and supportive in her work.

Closing Words

Thank you so much to Julie for joining us today and for putting this thought-provoking new book out into the world.

As always, there are lots of links in the show notes, as well as a transcript of this episode and a list of related episodes you may enjoy.

All Enhance Life with Music episodes are evergreen; so check out the back catalogue for more ways that music can make your life better.

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Thank you so much for joining me today. Until next time, may your life be enhanced with music.

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