October 10, 2011 at 6:28 PM
So apparently, I have genius friends. My friend Liz just sent me a blog she posted. Liz is a bass player and a successful working musician. In her blog she shares the secrets to her success and I am compelled to share her genius. :-)
It takes a long time to establish your reputation as a musician and performer in a new town. After living in Utah for six years, I felt so well connected to a great number of musical organizations, schools, teachers, orchestras, recording studios, and the like. I enjoyed playing regular gigs, teaching a steady number of bass students, and growing strong relationships with musicians and performing groups throughout the state . . .
. . . and then I moved.
My husband’s work brought us to Oregon, which meant starting from scratch as a stranger hoping to freelance a new music community. So the first thing I did in the months leading up to and following my move to the Portland area was contact absolutely every musical organization I could find. I made phone calls, sent e-mails with my performance resume attached, and inquired about upcoming auditions. During the summer before the move, I took extra lessons, practiced 20 hours a week, and performed a recital in preparation for auditions I hoped to take once arriving in Oregon.
The day after we pulled our moving truck into town I abandoned our unpacking efforts to attend a masterclass sponsored by thePortland Youth Philharmonic featuring Erik Harris, principal bassist of the St. Louis Symphony. Sure, I was a college grad, so what was I doing hanging out with the youth symphony members? I was also looking for connections. As with most professions, the fastest way to find work is through effective networking and personal referrals. So my goal? Get connected!
Let me tell you, it doesn’t take much but confidence. You know you’re a good player, so put yourself out there! And if you don’t feel like a good enough player to get those gigs, try The Art of Effective Practicing. It takes a lot of work to be a marketable performer, but you can do it!
Here are a few ways to get connected with your local music community:
It might be challenging to find the gig of your dreams. But don’t wait miserably for a Golden Ticket while throwing away the chance to enjoy that delicious Wonka Bar right in front of you. There is music to be played, players to meet, and stages on which to perform. So have at it! Make a connection! And keep us posted along the way.
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