So...what's your "real" job?
Like musicians everywhere in this world who aren't selling out stadiums, I get asked on a weekly basis, "What is your "real" job?" Hmmm, let me think--Oh, musician. Yeah, I play and teach music for a living. They stand there, looking at me completely baffled. I'm always ready for more questions like.. "Do you live in a box?" or "Wouldn't you rather have a profession that you make more money with?" or "Isn't music just a hobby?" I have to admit, this bothers me. A lot. It shouldn't, but it does. I'm alright that others don't understand the lifestyle we artists live. Really, I am. But those questions, undoubtedly, hurt. We make music for a reason-many reasons. Getting paid is a perk-but that is not the number 1 reason we play. (It shouldn't be, anyway.) I have a t-shirt that states, "I play my violin so I don't choke people." I think it's funny and I wouldn't hurt a fly. But what the shirt actually says is music---art is a therapy. When I'm happy, sad, angry, frustrated....any emotion; I can pick up one of my instruments or start to sing to the radio, and I automatically feel better. It stops me from getting down on myself.
Music is a friend. (Yes, I just personified music.) Music doesn't judge. You can leave it for many years, come back to it, and it accepts you. It's the most beautiful feeling. No matter how good or bad you are, no matter if you are a beginner or professional-music is good for the soul.
Music, for me, goes right a long with eating and breathing. I tell my students, you practice everyday you eat. HAHA! They open their eyes wide and go, "That's everyday!" YEP!!! LOL! My violin is an extension of myself. I play the violin, it doesn't play me. Same goes for every instrument, even one's voice. We must control it--or it will control you. I didn't learn that lesson till I was 16. That was waaaaaay too late, but ever since then, I've been in control. Music has a mind of its own, and let me tell you a little secret--sometimes its okay to let it take you on a wild ride. You never know what genius ideas can come from it. Don't forget to regain control though. :)
I think I am one of the lucky ones. Why? Because I get to play music for my job. It's not my hobby, it's my life. It's my passion. If someone was to ask me how much I "need" music; I'd ask them, how much do you "need" air to live? Music is what I need. It's not a want--a NEED.
Maybe the next time someone asks you, "what is your real job?" you proudly say what you do, "I'm an artist." "I'm a doctor." "I'm a teacher." "I'm just me." "I AM A MUSICIAN."
Be PROUD you get to make people feel better. Music is not our hobby, it is our livelihood. Oh, and most of us don't live in boxes. :)
If you are one that may have asked some of those questions in the past, we forgive you. Although they may hurt our spirits, they will never dent our pride of who we are. All we hope is that we make you smile, laugh, dance; maybe even cry with our songs. That's our not only our job, but why we play. We are proud to serve the masses in our therapeutic, musical ways.
Fiddle on my friends--