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I just heard about a musician who decided to quit playing. Many people reach a level of frustration or have not had the expected success financially or musically to keep them “in the game”. What I found most interesting about this particular musician is that he sold his instruments, his additional equipment, his music, his music stand, his CD’s and absolutely anything to do with music.

My question is : why was he doing it in the first place? The successful musicians I know just love music. If they couldn’t play it they would listen to it, go to concerts, be curious about scores, history, interpretations, etc…. Most of my colleagues, when they were aspiring musicians, wanted to just play and be part of the experience of making music. They played whenever and wherever they could with or without pay. In the experience of just playing they met other like minded people, sight read lots of music, learned lots of repertoire, had fun!

Spoke At Humber - Photo Credit Al Kay

Spoke – Photo Credit Al Kay

Many of the young players I meet now, who have studied at a university level seem frustrated, angry, disappointed, basically “pissed off” that the university system did not get them a job and money and respect. I want to help but want to understand exactly why they pursued music in the first place!

Being a musician, artist, ballet dancer, athlete requires countless hours of devotion to self study, technical study, musical study, performance study, audition study, orchestral study, chamber music study, history, harmony, etc….

Anyone going into music for “ fame and fortune” is definitely barking up the wrong tree. I have had young players tell me I was “lucky” to be in a fine orchestra. I don’t personally believe in luck. I know that I spent hundreds of hours practising, performing, studying, learning, failing and picking myself up again 10,000 times,travelling to great teachers, listening to great performances, setting goals and doing the work to achieve those goals. Luck? I wouldn’t wait for luck to hit you on the head. I would really analyze why you want to be a musician. If you want to be rich, then study about money and how to make it. If you want to be famous and “respected” then I would get into a profession that you love and work on self respect. The fame will follow if you are good enough to deserve it.

Goal setting can help you get past your frustrations and failed expectations. Take control of your destiny and become very clear about what motivates you and what will give you a life path of delight, joy, love, energy, focus and satisfaction. That is the path to be on. Being on any other path is a waste of your talents and time.