Peace of Mind and Soul by Becoming a Musician

March 13, 2007 at 04:24 AM · An ill-prepared surgeon kills the patients, an ill-prepared pilot kills the passengers (and hopefully him/her/self) and ill-prepared parent raises Hitler or some creepy US president and so on. An ill-prepared musician kills just time (sometimes a work by a dead or living composer). So what risks does a musician take?

Replies (30)

March 13, 2007 at 04:26 AM · i am no musician, but any time you guys play in front of a crowd, go on stage, under the flood light, with eyes fixing on you in the dark expecting perfection,,,,pretty big risk taking to me:) no one can really help you out there.

look at a doctor, always a team around to help out if needed. as long as you keep the vital signs going,,,getting the job done well is really nothing compare to the scrutiny musicians get.

sure pilots have lots of lives in their hands. i submit that these days, flying a modern plane is probably not that nerve wrecking, unless you steer a jumbo on manual.

challenges facing a parent or gw? now we are talking:)

March 13, 2007 at 06:15 AM · What kind of music are we talking about? Where is the performance? Who are the audiance? How ill-prepared it is? Why not well-prepared? Also, it depends on what you mean by 'kill' and 'risk'...

Idle thoughts.

March 13, 2007 at 07:15 AM · Well, I think a musician takes a lot of personal risk, because they often spend so much developing their craft, then working on a given piece that they develop a strong emotional bond with. In effect, what they are playing becomes a part of themself, and whenever they play for others and it is not well received, naturally even the kindest critism sounds like; "You're a bad person". So, I'd say the biggest risk (besides the obvious economic, career, and stress related risks), is one of emotional fulfillment and really, a great deal of vulnerability.

March 13, 2007 at 11:22 AM · A musician needs to prepare his/her performance as carefully as any professional his/her work. The element of the performer's trade that can not be prepared directly is artistic inspiration during the performance. He/she has to live with a degree of risk here. Some of them thrive on this risk, others manage it without enjoying that aspect in itself. The latter is the majority. And then there are those that can't deal with risk and they are just boring because they are over-prepared or too nervous to manage those elements of the performance that can be prepared.

March 13, 2007 at 07:04 PM · The greatest risk is baring your soul.

March 13, 2007 at 08:25 PM · Pieter, again I agree w/ you. That's twice now, what is going on here?! :)

March 13, 2007 at 10:51 PM · Greetings,

>The greatest risk is baring your soul.

Especially if your socks are a tad old.



March 14, 2007 at 12:12 AM · Pieter nailed the answer.

Another issue is that of the artist's integrity. Sad to say, integrity doesn't always sell.

March 14, 2007 at 07:26 PM · >The greatest risk is baring your soul.

>>Especially if your socks are a tad old.

Hey, cut out the cheesy jokes!

March 15, 2007 at 12:33 AM · Hi,

Actually, a bad violin teacher can ruin a kid's chance at a career and create potentially serious physical problems. That's pretty serious.

On the performing side, I think that Pieter is dead on and I cannot agree more!


March 15, 2007 at 01:06 AM · Musicians always take risks. When they take music as a job, when they teach, when they perform.

March 15, 2007 at 02:20 AM · Greetings,

I am surprised that one kind of risk is not being touche d on so much. I think it was especially true in the Britsh music scene twnety od dyears ago. The player s often had no real contract exceptor BBC orchestras. Ther ewa slittle or no money availbale to finance rehearsals and managment etc tended to asusme that however obscure or fiendish a work by Tchik was it wa sstill tchiak so every string player would be perfect. The expectation of perfection wa sreinforced by the burgeoning CD industry and technological innovation to the point that making a mistake was -risking- money IE food on the plate for your kids. Unde rthat kind of pressure alcohol abuse was 8maybe is) rife although beta blockers were become the safety net of choice when I was ta the RCM and were being handed out indiscriminately even at that stage in young peoples careers,



PS You also risk being talked about on V.commie!

March 15, 2007 at 02:57 AM · I get upset stomach listening to people play junk music. I’m sure there are other allergies around that are bad music related. Look hard you’ll find them.

March 15, 2007 at 04:08 AM · "When I ask her how she'd describe her own style, Josefowicz says: "I would say searching is a good word. It's not enough for me to play the notes written on the page. I'd sooner take a risk...""

How literally to take it, who knows, but she uses the word...

March 15, 2007 at 04:36 AM · Greetings,

yes, but she was mispelling `rusk`



March 15, 2007 at 08:05 AM · She and I spoke about this and since we decided you meant it as a complement, you can still come to our barbecues.

March 18, 2007 at 12:11 PM · Back to the original sub-title, are musicians by nature risk-takers?

I think the successful ones are. The ones who take that risk of baring their souls. The ones who take the risk of being imperfect in execution so they might reach a higher level of artistry.

I would think this characteristic of risk-taking is one element that separates the artists from the rest.

March 18, 2007 at 12:31 PM · Art is a public service.

Because humans have souls.

March 18, 2007 at 02:52 PM · Nicely put Sorin. :)

March 18, 2007 at 03:19 PM · No internet thread has officially "made it" until "Hitler" gets mentioned, so I'm just getting it out of the way. Ok, carry on.

March 18, 2007 at 03:41 PM · Jim, how comes that beside being very funny (and almost logical) what you just wrote... i felt myself less inspired suddenly...?

March 18, 2007 at 04:38 PM · There's a modern trend toward letting the word "fascist" qualify a thread as well, but I'm an old-fashioned purist.

March 18, 2007 at 04:49 PM · Jim, I know for a fact that some sociologist has a law named after him which describes precisely the moment when a discussion becomes null and void the moment someone invokes the Nazi or Hitler card.

March 18, 2007 at 05:07 PM · Yikes, I didn't know it made it null and void. I thought it made it better. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing I guess.

March 18, 2007 at 05:57 PM · Yeah, but we've got our own discussion-ender on this website. It's called, "invoking the Heifetz card." The minute you mention the name Heifetz, all rational discussion ceases and a blazing argument ensues in which sides are taken, extreme musical principles are invoked, psychohistory is applied, insults are traded, and entire reputations are put at risk.

:) Sandy

March 18, 2007 at 06:16 PM · Bravo Sander! :)

March 18, 2007 at 06:27 PM · "When I ask her how she'd describe her own style, Josefowicz says: "I would say searching is a good word. It's not enough for me to play the notes written on the page. I'd sooner take a risk...""

I should have said: "Who knows what she means, but she used the word."

Now we're back on track. No longer null and void; just void.

March 18, 2007 at 10:17 PM · Pieter & Jim,

Godwin's Law, though it doesn't mean quite what Pieter says (which I also thought it meant).'s_law

March 18, 2007 at 11:26 PM · Hahaha, thanks for the link! Here's another amusing one I found, from a link on the Godwin's Law page:

March 18, 2007 at 11:36 PM · I just now noticed it got uttered before the first post. I knew it was doomed. I felt it in my bones somehow.

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