Earning power is our most precious resource after our health. We are on a losing path if our clients are aging along with us, or worse, are in an older demographic. They will retire, quit, or die before we do the same. We don’t need the youth vote, but we do need a balance of age groups in our portfolio of clients.
Ten tips for staying relevant as an aging musician:
1. Stay healthy through exercise, sleep hygiene, nutrition, and sex. Reduce the booze. It all starts with this step. Sick and tired goes nowhere.
2. Turn on the radio to have a more informed idea of what’s been going on. If you are 60, check out the music of the 1990s, 2000s, and today. Just for fun, learn a few of the classic pieces from the last 30 years. It doesn't have to be popular music either. Just stuff folks 10-20-30 years younger might being enjoying.
3. Find a new scene with a good distribution of age groups.
b. Jam scenes: Blues, Jazz, Country, what-ever
c. Concert bands
d. Community choirs, you get the picture
4. Take some lessons with an accomplished younger musician. It will restore your faith in humanity, I promise.
5. Listen to the drummer’s resource podcasts. Nick Ruffini has 300+ interviews with working musicians. I’ve learned so much about the industry today from young accomplished musicians and aging veterans.
6. Learn some new styles of music. Start by exploring what’s out there. When you find something new that resonates with you, go deeper. Find some practitioners of this music and hang out.
7. Sign up for a community college course on starting a small business. Learn to count. I found that this very helpful. I used a personal business coach a few years ago. A community college is a more economical option. I love my coach though, turned my business around.
8. Buy a new wardrobe. Sharpen out your look without trying to look 40 years younger. A sharp looking, in shape mature adult is always noticed.
9. Read, read, read. Read about successful aging. It’s not all grim.
10. Listen to comedy on the car radio. Sometimes we need to get out of our bubble.
David Story: Professional pianist, drummer, composer, and educator. Well into his 4th 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.