So many classical musicians hate their job.
Well, first, which job?! Many musicians have multiple careers which, as we recently explored in my Facebook group Building Profitable Performing Careers, is not what drives success (reminder: multiple careers is different to multiple streams of income).
Doing several different activities like performing, teaching, administration, and a variety of non-music work is a left-over strategy from the 90s that has proven time and again to NOT WORK.
So let’s focus our conversation on performing.
Many classical musicians hate many of the performances they participate in.
If performers aren’t too tired and distracted by their portfolio careers, then one reason might be because they take whatever gig they can get, regardless of what it pays, whether or not they like that kind of repertoire and irrespective of who the other performers are.
A $120 gig sounds fabulous to many classical musicians.
For a three hour rehearsal and two hour concert (on different days, no less!), an hour’s drive away, and all the practice time before they even get to a rehearsal.
That’s about $24 per contact hour or $12 per working hour… even less when taking normal business administration into account (phone calls, bookkeeping, etc.)
But it’s no return on the decades you invested in becoming an expert nor on the resources you, your parents and those who gave to scholarship programs spent on you to become this amazing musician.
So why do we do it?
Why do classical musicians take gigs that simply don’t make sense or add up?
Perhaps you don’t value what you do.
And by demonstration, that teaches society not to value what you do, as well.
It’s so disheartening to see performers and society alike look at live classical music like it’s crumbs on a table, to be swept up and thrown away after the main meal.
To me, it IS the main meal!
This language of emotions is so fundamental to human existence that it stuns me how often it is relegated to simply ‘entertainment’ by musicians themselves!
Imagine what you’re communicating using this language when you take whatever gig comes along.
If you’re as done with that – and not getting paid decently for it – as I became, let’s talk.
Give us a call at the Concert University and let’s see if we can help you.
Go make the world a better place.