For the last month we’ve been discussing the truths of the musical life. They are …
• Most people simply will not “get it.”
• They don’t want to hear that new piece you’re working on.
• Sometimes you will (and should) turn down a gig.
• You may realize this job is not for you.
The rewards far outweigh the sacrifice.
For all the challenges you must face and battles you must fight (and sometimes lose), this is still one of the most interesting and fulfilling jobs you can have.
Passing on your love and knowledge of music to a new generation through teaching—and let’s face it, if you’re a musician, you’re teaching—is not only rewarding but it is probably the single most important step you can take to ensure the survival of your art and your livelihood.
And to have that anonymous audience member come up to you after the concert and tell you how much that piece of music moved him or her is a feeling that can’t be beat.
To finish that magnificent, heartbreaking piece and have the audience hold its collective breath as the sound dies away … or to finish that grand finale, hearing the applause begin before the piece has even concluded … those are the moments you realize you have affected your listeners on a level that few things do.
These moments (as rare as they may be sometimes) are what make every annoying wedding or community band or forgotten check worth it. So keep it up—I’ll see you in the practice room.