The usual definition of a professional musician is a person who gets paid for playing music. Simple, and true enough, as far as it goes. But most professional musicians would define it much more broadly.
Professional musicians know it’s not just about the money, although that’s certainly part of it. It’s about attitude, life habits and choices. Music is part of the life force of every musician, and professionals have made that life force their destiny. In more down-to-earth terms, it’s not just what they do, it’s who they are.
Perhaps you are one of those, as I am. Or perhaps music is part of you, but not with that level of intensity. Whatever kind of musician you are, you can “grow” your professional spirit. You can develop those skills that set professionals apart in the same way you develop your technique and repertoire.
Interested in what makes up the professional musician spirit? Here are some of the most indispensable qualities:
A professional musician:
Makes time every day to work – to practice, perform, play, rehearse, teach. Time is humankind’s most precious resource. We define ourselves by how we use it.
Shows up mentally and physically. Our art demands our presence, concentration and focus.
Persists. One more time, five more minutes, 100 more repetitions…
Desires to learn. There’s always a new and interesting piece, fact, person, technique to explore.
Continually strives to improve. That’s the beauty of making music; you get to make it again, and better.
Shares. We share with audiences, students and colleagues. Communication is the essence of music.
Fears and does anyway. All life is a risk…
Would make music even if there was no money in it. And many have.
Share this post with a musician you love today.