Here is a sob success story.
Basically, my solution to burnout is to start collaborating with local musicians and work together to create new and interesting opportunities. This is why I built Musomap.com
I'm writing this post in response to the following comments on burnout.
I previously replied (via the comments on MusicianWages.com) with my thoughts on 'dedication to the art' VS 'a more secure career'. Now that I've had some time to think on this further I've realised that this question is pivotal to my music and family life.
I grew up with my brother performing classical violin. We both fell out from music in our early 20s and he has since gone on to experience an extraordinary life of stress and mental health disruption. To some extent I believe the pressure of music performance on his youth was linked to his complete rejection of society. This experience has made me realise that music is demanding work and requires more support. Being a musician ain't easy.
To start with I'd like to focus on an economic principle. Supply and demand. People love music, which is great, and if you have a skill then you can supply a music service but how do you find demand? Well, sorry to say it but, you will have to create this demand. Look at Apple, they've done a stella job convincing us we all need unnecessary stuff. Convince people! If you want to get cash for your art you need to find or create demand - finding demand is a skill in itself. The service we musicians provide to the community is valuable and we need to find a way to capitolise, just like athletes.
I mentioned earlier that I, along with my brother, fell out of the professional classical music game in our early 20s. I'm now 31. Unlike my brother, I had luck on my side, and found an alternative career in software development.
After a few years off I was encouraged to join a local amateur orchestra, an old friend needed an extra violin (any level - they didn't care), and even though I was shit scared I decided to go along and give it a go. There was something exhausted and depressing about arriving at that first rehearsal. Playing in that orchestra was not exactly satisfying but it help me make new music friends.
Making music friends is massively important if you want to succeed. As previously discuss on Musician Wages, the good jobs in music are never advertised. More often than not they are handed out privately through word of mouth, just like most jobs.
After a few months of performing with a number of orchestra in Sydney, for free, I found myself connecting with lots of professional musicians and playing at countless corporate and private events. These gigs were straight up and kinda boring but they led me on to other types of creative performances and success. I now perform with the Sydney Independent Opera.
My success as a musician, and my solution to burnout, has lead me to create Musomap.com
1. Take a break. I had to quit to find my sound.
2. Collaborate with local musicians. We are more successful when we work together.
3. Create new local opportunities, it's not easy, it's a business.
Do you collaborate with your local musicians enough?
Here is an important initiative that you might like to join and share with friends.
Musomap.com is a new website that enables musicians to plot themselves on a shared map of the world and connect. It sounds quite simple but it’s actually very effective, and it's free! Our goal is to create better opportunties for local musicians.
In our first few weeks on-line 100's of musicians have already made their mark on the map, many of whom are in search of a teacher or local ensemble.
Join us at Musomap.com to find out more about the musicians in your community.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.