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Mastery of making music: Hannah Murphy

Jules, in Music lessons
May 24, 2021 | 3 min read

Mastery of making music requires more than time; it requires deliberate effort and a profound desire that defines how the artist sets a goal, creates a routine or overcomes hurdles. Only a handful of musicians understand this.

Make Music Better is a series of intimate conversations with full-time musicians who know what it takes to master their craft.

Classical guitarist on Instagram

Like many others, we discovered Hannah Murphy through her captivating music on Instagram. A single post of her delicately plucking the strings of her classical guitar garners thousands of views. One can get lost in her feed of romantic Spanish acoustics.

Hannah Murphy has dedicated her life to music. She completed both her bachelor’s and master’s degree studying Classical Guitar Performance at Rowan University in New Jersey and Mannes School of Music in New York City.

She currently performs all year round between New York and New Jersey. When not performing, she teaches students from all over the city. We took a closer look at what a day of a classical guitarist is like in hopes of inspiring others to pursue a career in music.

How long have you been playing classical guitar, and what do you love about it?

I’ve been playing classical guitar for 17 years. I started when I was a kid. The thing that I love about it the most is the intimate atmosphere that the classical guitar creates. When you’re in a classical guitar concert, you have a quieter instrument, and it’s a solo on stage. If you’re in a huge hall, everyone is really quiet and listening carefully. I think the audience can be really immersed in it.

What is music to you?

Music is art. It’s a reflection of life and can also be entertainment. It’s something that can get us out of the real world and help us think. That’s a very broad question.

It’s something that can get us out of the real world and help us think.

Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music?

The teachers that I’ve had since I was a kid through college. They seem to enjoy their job so much, and it just made me get into it.

Knowing the challenges of being a professional musician, why did you gravitate towards music as your career?

Even though there are many challenges to being a professional musician, I decided to turn it into my career just because I couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing. It’s the only thing I wanted to do.

I couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing. It’s the only thing I wanted to do.

Can you describe what a typical day is like?

I wake up early at around 7am. I make some coffee and breakfast. I try to practice and get some hours in. Maybe 4 hours of practice and then I’ll go and teach students in the afternoon at around 3pm. If I don’t have students that day, I will make some Instagram videos, YouTube videos, and other recordings.

How do you stay motivated?

I stay motivated with my practice, probably through deadlines. I book concerts, and they are on my calendar. I make sure that I have exactly what I need for what’s coming up.

What was one of your proudest moments?

My proudest moments are every time I perform. Even though I frequently perform a couple of times a month, I always feel accomplished afterwards. I love talking to the audience and getting feedback, which is still really exciting for me.

I love talking to the audience and getting feedback

In your opinion, what is the most important quality a person needs to have to be a successful musician?

Whether you are learning an instrument or starting a music career, I think the most important quality would be being open-minded. Open to new ideas and to criticism – just always learning.

…being open-minded. Open to new ideas and to criticism – just always learning.

What advice would you give to other musicians who are just starting?

Keep going always. The world will give you many opportunities and reasons to stop playing or to stop pursuing it as a career. But every time you choose to continue with making music – you are going to be rewarded in ways that you can’t even imagine.

Soundbrenner is a company dedicated to help musicians stay focused on what truly matters: their music. By creating innovative devices, like Soundbrenner Pulse and Core, we hope to assist musicians achieve their full potential. Click here to find out more.

Got a question about the Soundbrenner wearables? Reach out to us at
[email protected], we’re happy to help!

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