Career Building


How To Get More Paid Gigs Through Better Networking 1

3 Easy Steps to Follow Up Like a Pro. Networking is an important skill for musicians to master. More so than other industries, a musician’s ability to connect with others directly impacts their ability to get more gigs. In our current “connection economy” networking is the currency of choice. I […]


How to Create a Music Career You Love With Smarter Goals 

Plus, 6 tips to achieve your New Year’s Resolutions It’s that time of year when everyone starts thinking of goals and resolutions. And, usually a few weeks or months down the road, we’ve totally forgotten them or veered off drastically. This isn’t because we’re terrible at following through or just […]

015 RMP: Can You Really Have A Thriving Music Career & Strong Family Life?

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Today, I have percussion instructor, Jose Aponte. José is a senior lecturer at the University of North Texas in the Percussion and Jazz Studies departments, where he teaches drumset and Latin percussion. In addition to his private lesson studio work, José is the director of UNT’s Afro-Cuban Ensemble, Brazilian Ensemble, and Latin Jazz Lab Band.


In this episode, you’ll learn: 

  • Challenge your comfort zone
  • Practice your weaknesses first
  • Serve the clients, not your ego
  • Prioritize Your Time
  • Self Care
  • Take time to rest
  • Learn to say “No”
  • Ask for help

Also, Jose’s Pro Tips:

  • Arrive early
  • Dress Appropriately
  • Prepare in advance


  • Find balance in the good and the bad
  • Be honest with yourself
  • Be present in your art and your family
  • Communicate openly with your spouse

Finally, learn to:

  • take care of your craft
    • Take the 66 Day Practice Habit Challenge
  • avoid the artist’s trap

For more info:

José has performed with such artists as Giovanni Hidalgo, Emil Richards, Carlos Guedes, Poncho Sanchez, Batacumbele, Gino Vanelli, Brian Bromberg, Lyle Mays, Andy Narell, David Rudder, Relator, Fred Hamilton, Dan Haerle, Tracy Thornton, Lian Teague, Airto Moreira, and Michael Spiro.

Aponte is an active member of the Dallas/Fort Worth musical scene as a freelance performer and studio musician with groups such as Fifo and Citizens of the World Colombian Jazz Group, Fifo and his Afro Bacanos Salsa Band, John Murphy Jazz Trio, singer/songwriter Tania Cordobes, David Lee Schloss’s Caravan, Kalimbe World Jazz Group, Island Boogie Caribbean Band, Justin Cash Jazz Fusion Trio, Tito Charneco’s Diaspora Jazz Group and his own projects (José Aponte and Caribe Club Latin Jazz Quintet, Batuque Brazilian Jazz Trio, and Brasuka Brazilian Jazz Group).

José is an artist/clinician for Pearl drums/percussion, Evans drum heads, Pro-Mark sticks and Sabian cymbals.

What did you think about the show? In what ways can you apply today what we shared in this interview? Share your thoughts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.

Like this episode? Please, share it with a friend. The best way to keep this podcast going is to get more people to listen and subscribe. So, share this with your buddies!

Thanks for listening.

Rip Phelan

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Episode 014 – How to Create a Powerful Musician’s Mission Statement

Welcome everybody to another episode of the Rip’s Music Podcast: Where We Make Your Music Your Business.  Today, is the 2nd episode of season 2 of the podcast. And, we’re doing a series of short actionable episodes for you to start the new year off right. At the time of […]

Podcast 013 – How to Keep Better Records and Save Money!

Season 2, Episode 1. How to Keep Better Records to Save Money! What expenses should you track to keep your music career safe come tax season. Welcome everybody to a new episode of the Rip’s Music Business Podcast: Where we Make Your Music Your Business. This marks episode 13 and […]

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The Road to Turning Pro

The Pro Musician Game: My Daring Journey

At some point we all ask, “How do I turn what I love into my career?” That’s when we discover what risks we’re willing to take.   I’ve been playing drums for over 27 years. For a long time I knew I wanted to turn pro. I didn’t have too many […]