Why are musicians luckier than most people?
...most people get to die only once.
Music gives us a chance to test our reliance in the face of disasters, big and small. Here is the story of a small one.
Last weekend I performed in a street festival here in Toronto, playing drums in a classic rock band. Let us count the challenges.
Forty five minutes later it is mercifully over. The bass player remarks, "you didn't sound like yourself today?"
"If you are not appearing, you are disappearing" Art Blakey
Good advice. Being visible is more important than ever. Gigs are few, there is an oversupply of competent musicians. To this I would add the following.
"don't be the best in the world at what you do; be the only one in the world who does what you do." Gaping Void blog
Business books warn us that if we don't have a competitive advantage don't compete. See the book, "Purple Cow" by Seth Godin.
How does this apply to a musician?
Gary Marcus' short video introduction to learning something new. He explodes the idea of 10,000 hours. But, he reiterates the importance of correct practice habits, commitment, and bias for action.
Another good example, that you can participate in, is the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Workshop in Louisville Kentucky this summer. Each year hundreds of adults from around the world gather to play jazz together. Some are beginners, some are pros. They are all obsessed with learning to play jazz. Starting at 8 AM and going to 11 PM, they chase the jazz rabbit. A truly thrilling and inspiring bunch.
David Story: Professional pianist, drummer, composer, and educator. Well into his 5th enthusiastic musical decade, David works with adults pursuing musical dreams in the autumn of life, while he maintains an active presence in the Toronto arts scene.