My students often ask me what they can do to have a successful career in music. I usually respond with these four tips.
1. GIVE NO LESS than 100% of your energy into developing your craft. Success in the music biz depends on networking, positive attitude, positive relation skills, and genuine sincerity. It also depends on DIVERSITY. I often advise my students to become proficient in at least 3 areas: teaching, performing, composing, arranging, producing, marketing, promotion, etc. One skill doesn’t cut it anymore!
2. MAINTAIN an honest sense of enthusiasm about your craft. Explore all musical possibilities. Expand your repertoire, continually strive to improve, and develop effective communication and stage presence skills.
3. LISTEN to as much music as possible, and take advantage of as many performing opportunities as possible. Almost every performance situation is different, no matter how prepared you think you are, how many repetitions of your program, or how many nights at the same venue! There is no “autopilot” in this business. You have to be aware of what is going on around you at all times. Whether you have a good experience or bad experience – Turn it all into a LEARNING experience.
4. PERSEVERE – Don’t quit! Continually set new artistic goals that are just beyond your reach. Break the problem areas in your music down to small, manageable units. Don’t throw a “hail Mary” into the end zone on every play – Go for the first downs! It is important to have a margin between your accomplishments and your goals (like repelling magnets), and the more you accomplish, keep nudging your standards higher. Keep raising the bar….
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