When you win the search engine optimization game, you get nothing for it.

Unseen person using MacBook pro on table. They have a cup of coffee on a saucer to their right and houseplants on a shelf to their left.
Unseen person using MacBook pro on table. They have a cup of coffee on a saucer to their right and houseplants on a shelf to their left.
Photo by Firmbee from Pexels

As most of you are likely aware, you earn money from your Medium articles when the paying members read them.

Medium articles typically rank well on Google searches, even without extra effort on optimization keywords, so there’s a good chance that random people on the Internet have been reading your articles too.

However, unless these people are blown away by your writing skill and buy a Medium membership, you will get $0 for these views.

In early July, I wrote about how two of my articles about relationships had random surges in views, and I couldn’t figure out why. …


A reminder to myself as much as it is to you.

Woman In Grey Shirt Holding Brown Cardboard Box in front of a yellow wall.
Woman In Grey Shirt Holding Brown Cardboard Box in front of a yellow wall.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

For those who didn’t know, I am currently in the process of moving out of my first bachelor apartment and into a one-bedroom apartment with my boyfriend.

I haven’t been as active on Medium in the past two weeks as I’ve been busy dealing with my stuff and making phone calls to cancel things and change my address.

You likely overlooked my MIA-ness as I got about three weeks ahead on my pre-scheduled Tuesday articles, and I usually found time to write one article for a publication each week too. …


How a professional musician has been managing the on-and-off nature of the pandemic.

A tuxedo cat sitting in a string instrument case
A tuxedo cat sitting in a string instrument case
A photo of Binx, the author’s cat. Taken by the author.

Since my last symphony service in the spring, I did not touch my viola for two whole months.

I know, blasphemous! I should have my professional musician status revoked from me, but I’ve also been learning to forgive myself for these hiatuses.

I was not optimistic about the vaccine distribution in Canada, so I assumed this summer would be a repeat of 2020, except that I have a bit more work this time.

Obviously, I write here on Medium, and I also have a violin student who is continuing lessons during the summer. …


Or will it interfere with your professionalism?

A man and a woman working on a laptop at a table.
A man and a woman working on a laptop at a table.
Photo by Tim Douglas from Pexels

Seeing musician couples teaching together at the same school or performing in the same string quartet or symphony orchestra seems completely normal to me. Often, musicians meet each other during their university studies or summer programs and build their careers around their relationships.

In fact, I have trouble thinking of a symphony orchestra where there isn’t at least one couple within the group.

Content creation is also a field where many couples collaborate professionally. Think of how many YouTube channels are run by couples or families vlogging about their daily lives.

Outside the creative world, office romances are generally frowned…


Keeping your instrument safe is the #1 priority!

An instrument case inside an overhead bin on an airplane.
An instrument case inside an overhead bin on an airplane.
Photo by author. See, my viola fits in the overhead bin!

Musicians are gradually resuming travel for auditions, competitions, summer festivals, and concert tours.

With that, we need to remember to stand up for our instruments to ensure that they do not become checked luggage.

This article was inspired by Hannah Haefele, one of my fellow musician writers here on Medium. A few weeks ago, she wrote about flying with a flute. I highly recommend that you check it out if you are a woodwind player!

Without further ado, here is my violin/viola air travel guide!

Avoid flying with your instrument in the first place.

If you have the option of driving yourself or taking a train, bus, ferry, or…


Leaving home doesn’t have to be scary!

Young woman using laptop and taking notes. She is sitting on the floor at her coffee table.
Young woman using laptop and taking notes. She is sitting on the floor at her coffee table.
Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels

Finding a good place to live can be stressful as a student. Not only is it imperative that it’s affordable, but you also want to feel safe and comfortable in the space.

Last week, I wrote about the Pros and Cons of Student Housing. If you read that article and decided that student housing is no longer an option for you or your school kicks you out of dorms after your first year, then here are my tips for finding an off-campus apartment as a student or young professional.

1. Accept that it won’t be the perfect place.

It can be nerve-wracking to leave the comfort of your parents’…


Am I leaving money on the table by not talking to enough people?

A picture of a young woman sitting on a bench and looking into the sunset in a beautiful mountainous area.
A picture of a young woman sitting on a bench and looking into the sunset in a beautiful mountainous area.
Photo by Sage Friedman on Unsplash

Music is an area that attracts many introverts.

Think about it; who else would be willing to spend 3–6 hours a day in a prison-like practice studio for 4–8 years of their life?

In some ways, I wonder how extroverts even survive music school.

Joking aside, learning a musical instrument and pursuing post-secondary music studies can appeal to introverts and extroverts.

As mentioned, many hours of individual practice are required to progress and on your instrument and refine your skills. This guarantees introverts some built-in me-time each day.

However, extroverts will enjoy the social aspects of music, such as ensemble rehearsals, concerts, and tours. …


I never thought I’d do it out of practicality.

A Happy heterosexual Couple Sitting on a Couch. The man is on his smart phone and the woman is reading a book.
A Happy heterosexual Couple Sitting on a Couch. The man is on his smart phone and the woman is reading a book.
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

When I was a kid, I always associated couples who lived together with marriage.

It actually blew my mind when I heard about couples living together that weren’t married (or weren’t yet married). That’s legal? You can do that?

Once I got older and started seeing my friends move in with their significant others, it started to seem more normal. Now, it blows my mind when I hear about people around my age waiting until marriage to move in together. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it’s unusual nowadays.

I always knew that I would want to move in with someone before getting married, but I also anticipated that it would be a…


It’s a trap

A young woman sitting on the floor in front of the couch with her laptop on her lap.
A young woman sitting on the floor in front of the couch with her laptop on her lap.
Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

We’ve all been there, whether we had an article that went viral or simply an article that performed better than the rest.

You get that big fat deposit in your bank account the following month and feel like you’ve made it on the Internet.

But it doesn’t stop there — now, you have to keep the momentum going. You reread your article hundreds of times to analyze every aspect of it. Did people click on it because of the title? Feature image? First paragraph? Did you luck out to win the algorithm game?

While trying to re-create success can be…

Viola Geena

Formerly Viola Altiste. Canadian writer who happens to be a violist in a symphony orchestra. All opinions are my own. Twitter: @violageena

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