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Julie Jaffee Nagel - Career Choices in Music Beyond the Pandemic

Julie Jaffee Nagel - Career Choices in Music Beyond the Pandemic

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 Julie will be speaking and signing books in person at The Juilliard Store on April 28 at 6:15PM

Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions we make in our lifetime. Career choice is more than just working to earn a living but also an important window into how we feel about ourselves. In this groundbreaking and provocative book, musician and psychologist Julie Jaffee Nagel explores how musicians’ work beyond the COVID-19 pandemic casts a light upon the necessity of rethinking, rebuilding, and possibly redesigning our concept of careers and music education in the arts.

The pandemic was an unwelcome and sudden shock in the lives and careers of countless musicians, with many experiencing crises. Importantly, Nagel emphasizes that this trauma also has the potential to energize and expand horizons for rewarding, creative work. Musicians’ gifts include resilience and discipline, and their art has important social value. Music has the power to be an aural antidote and a “heard immunity” for psychological and social healing.  It is vitally important to express and share the musician’s healing role and the value of music in teaching studios, on stage, and through off-stage interactions with others as cultural ambassadors.


“This is a definitive study that is a must-read for musicians young and old as well as general readers interested in the music profession. Dr. Nagel’s carefully researched work combines the perceptions of a musician and psychologist dealing with post-pandemic challenges involving musicians’ contributions to our society.”

Joseph W. Polisi

President Emeritus, The Juilliard School


“I do not wish to rob glory from a student’s hopefulness, but rather, I want them to know that the very hard work will somehow pay off. Each individual will have their own brave story to tell. This much-needed book by Julie Jaffee Nagel provides important and continual support.”

Ruth Slenczynska

concert pianist


“This book offers deep psychological insights and a wealth of information on everything from early childhood experience, stage fright, concert fees, and so much more. It’s a veritable handbook of advice guiding musicians at every level into the new and ever-changing world of music.”

Arnold Steinhardt

first violin, Guarneri String Quartet


“Julie Jaffee Nagel, uniquely qualified to combine psychoanalysis and music, offers a design for a meaningful life as a musician. Mining the wealth of her personal and professional experience, she addresses both the economic demands and the many rewards of commitment to music.”

Sandra G. Hershberg, MD.

Baltimore Washington Institute for Psychoanalysis and Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis


“As a practicing musician and psychoanalyst, Julie Nagel is well-suited and uniquely qualified to help us understand and process the traumatic effects of the global pandemic on career choices faced by musicians. This timely reflection, with its optimistic outlook, weaves a compelling narrative using real-life examples, many of them her own, along with psychological concepts to provide a framework upon which to build or rebuild a successful music career. It should be required reading for everyone who is contemplating or is currently engaged in the music profession.”

Gary Ingle

Executive Director and CEO, Music Teachers National Association (MTNA)