An Audiophilia Top Ten. Number 4 in a new series (To be a successful, professional musician)

by admin on April 30, 2009 · 3 comments

in Audiophilia Top Tens

I was on the phone to my agent in London last week. He said something pretty scary to me about the state of the music business. Editing his expletives, the gist was unless you’re younger than 25, you’re screwed, even in the classical music field. My outlook is a little more hopeful, but you see his predictions in the popular music business everyday. Disposable music. Disposable artists. Truly talented people will always find a way, but talent is not enough.

Of course, there is much more to becoming a professional musician than following a list, but the list below is a pretty good starting point for budding musicians. Most importantly, music chooses you, you don’t choose it.

1. Talent
2. Hard work
3. 10,000 hours
4. Luck
5. First class instrument
6. First class teacher
7. Political savvy
8. Passion
9. Family support
10. Hindemith’s Elementary Training treatise

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Andy Fawcett 05.02.09 at 6:58 pm

On your general point - it is, indeed, hard to be optimistic when confronted by the increasing commercialisation and commoditisation of music. Maybe everything has to fall in a heap before we can reconnect with the simple notion of music as art; as we look back at history, the greatest music (and art, and literature) has generally been created where money was notably absent!

To your list - and, as my own instrumental ambitions were blighted by a lack of number 1 that no amount of number 2 would remedy, I’ll have to take your word for the rest of it! ;-)

Jonathan Goldberg 01.03.10 at 12:27 pm

My brother-in-law, who is a professional musician (bassist), tells me he sometimes is asked whether to pursue a musical career. His answer is: “If you have to ask the answer’s no.”

admin 01.03.10 at 12:32 pm

Spot on, Jonathan. Welcome and Happy New Year to you. Cheers, a

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