10 reasons you SHOULDN'T quit music
I was doing my monthly routine check on how my website was doing on Google and stumbled upon one search which led someone in the world to my blog. The search was "should I quit music?"
While I have always been in favour of constructive doubt, this Google search made me a bit sad. Considering the circumstances of the past two years it is really not easy to see a positive side to being a future (even present) professional musician. I hope the person who stumbled upon my website, searching whether they should abandon music, will read this post. I also hope that music students all over the world find some encouragement in my words to persist in the amazing world of music.
So here is my take on why you shouldn't quit music:
1. Your job never gets old or boring. There is always something new to learn or discover, whether it is a piece by a Baroque composer or a world premiere of a living one. Music gives you the kind of continuous thrill of new and excitement that very few jobs do.
2. Entrepreneurship. You are the one taking action and deciding on the best path for your career. You take initiative and execute it, adjusting yourself along the way and growing. Both require creativity and action. Musicians are entrepreneurs.
3. Meeting amazing and out-of-the-ordinary people. Let's face it, musicians are extraordinary people. They wouldn't be doing music otherwise.
4. Working for yourself. You decide what career path you want to go down on. You are your own boss. Your time and and career path is yours and only yours. And who said it can only by one path?
5. Collaboration. Whether you are playing in an orchestra, chamber music group, working with a composer, etc, music is all about collaboration. You can work together with a dancer or a dance group, actors, film producers or other musicians. Collaboration is key and will get you through tough times.
6. Getting to know yourself. The kind of research and dedication music requires inevitably makes you get to know yourself better. It allows you to expand your phisical and mental boundaries, enriching your horizons.
7. Extreme versatility. Being a musician is an extremely versatile job. You can be a large variety of things and, thanks to technology, the notion of being a musician is expanding all the time. You can be a performer, a teacher, a composer, an orchestra member, a conductor, a sound designer, a researcher, a coach, a mentor, a chamber musician, an instrument manufacturer, tuner, NFT creator, sound producer, song writer, etc. The possibilities are endless. Think out of the box of the established ways ;)
8. Fun and honesty. Performing music is fun! Oftentimes the practicing process isn't, but performing it sure is. How many times you told someone that you felt really great after a 3-hour practice when you were "in the zone" and they looked at you like you were crazy? They don't know how fun music can be. And when performing music for someone, you are honest with them. There is no place for masks or hiding when on stage. The audience feels it and you feel it too if it's not sincere.
9. Creativity. This goes without saying: music is creativity. If it weren't we would hear all the musicians play the same work in exactly the same way. Some years ago, an acquaintance who worked at a bank told me "Oh, your job must be so creative! I am in the financial sector of the bank and all day I need to solve problems." To that I replied "I thought problem solving was a creative process". To which she said "Not in the bank. Each problem you get, you need to follow exactly the step by step instructions given to you by the bank. There's no creativity there."
10. Money. You shouldn't be doing music for money. However, you should be paid for the music you do. It is a stingy topic, which most of us don't like talking about. You can make a pretty decent and even a very good life for yourself as a musician if you have a strategy and a plan and persevere in achieving your goals.
In conclusion, the life of a musician is not easy one, but it's a lot of fun!
If you need help or would like to talk about your doubts in becoming or continuing your career as a professional musician, you can book a virtual coffee with me or a one-to-one coaching session on my website.
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Comment below and let me know what your reasons are for NOT quitting music.