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Getting Started

An article about performing-Arts and music-related topic

By Ralph Schatzki

for La CoffeeMelodie Suite



  • Getting Started




  • Students

    Sometimes, the easiest thing for a musician to do is to make music. After all, it's really a labor of love. On the other hand, one of the very hardest things to do in music is to find - and take advantage of- those opportunities to perform. As in any endeavor one must start at the lowest rung and work up, but unfortunately the competition in the arts is so great that it's often hard just to get in at the bottom.


    There are no guarantees. You may not get into a good school, you may not be granted auditions, you may never be hired to perform. There is always that feeling of a Catch-22, where you don't have the experience or background to be considered for anything, and you can't get it since no one will give you the chance.


    Two things come to mind: first, you must love music. It must be a passion for you, and not a job. Not only will passion make you a real artist, but if it's lacking then there's no reason (unless you have absolutely prodigious talent, and that's awfully rare) to pursue such a finicky path in life.


    Second, you must find a way to enter into the musical community to enable opportunity to find you. In part, this is accomplished by making personal contacts with those already within it. Of course, not everyone has this kind of access: Do you know any professional violinists or singers?


    You can, though, also improve your standing as a musician by undertaking efforts to improve yourself as an artist. This means taking an active role in your personal betterment - taking lessons, joining groups, attending performances, making contacts, reading about music, thinking critically about yourself as a performer and taking criticisms not as attacks but as learning opportunities. These are not always the easiest things in the world to do, but if you want to perform you first have to be known by those people organizing performances, and you must be known in a positive light.


    There is no "right" path to success, save that a traveler must keep moving forward toward it. You can enjoy the flowers on the side of the road for awhile, but if you stop then that's as far as you'll go until such time- if ever- you decide to get moving again. So, if you want to improve, take that next step down the road toward where you want to be.




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