My advice to young musicians and music students
During a virtual coffee, booked by a listener who wanted to support the Everything Accordion Podcast, I was asked what would be my advice to young accordionists and young musicians in general. While I really like to ask my guests this question, I have been rarely asked it myself. Below are some tips and suggestions to future professional musicians:
Build up and have a permanent repertoire. Have at least 50 minutes of music which you can perform today.
Always be ready to play something. My first accordion teacher told me quite often "You have to be ready to play this or that piece if someone were to wake you up at 3 in the morning". This is something many musicians and concert organizers found impressive about my readiness as a musician
Create connections and relationships with colleagues and fellow musicians as soon as possible. Network. Expand and explore musical worlds of your peers.
Stay curious. Curiosity is one of the most important aspects of being an artist and a human being.
Educate yourself on the business side of being a musician. It goes without saying that quality and being a great musician is a must. But that won't guarantee an effective career. If you'd like to discuss the next suitable step for your career, book a virtual coffee with me.
When building a base set of skills and growing as an accordion and as a musician choose the teacher. When you are built and solid, choose the place/city/country.
If you have the chance to move around and study in other places, like Erasmus, for example. JUST. DO. IT.
Try out your ideas. Be BOLD! While a student, you are in a protected environment and can try out your wildest ideas without fear of failure. When you are out in the big musical world you need to learn to adapt more to the requirements of the different concert organizers and industries.
Keep an open mind. The fact that you are the only one who wants to walk down a certain path doesn't mean it's wrong. It's right for you. That's the only thing that matters.
I'll leave you with a quote that made me reflect quite a bit in the last few days:
"Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person you become." - Jim Rohn
If you found this post useful, share it with your friends, colleagues and fellow musicians, on your social media and let me know below in the comments which of the above tips moved something inside you. Cheers!