The #1 Most Important Thing in Music Careers Hasn’t Changed
December 4, 2019 In: Sound Bits
Doesn’t it feel like as a musician in the 21st century, you are pulled in a hundred different directions? You’ve got social media posts to attend to, blog posts to write, receipts to file, grant proposals to write, and the list goes on. So, what’s the priority? What is the most important thing?
I remember being at a conference years ago where the jazz composer and band leader Maria Schneider was the keynote speaker. Someone asked her a question to the effect of “how can future musicians and music entrepreneurs achieve the level of success that you have?” Her answer, perhaps surprising to some, wasn’t networking, or social media, or winning big awards. It was craft. She said that if you approach your work with authenticity and create excellent work, people will notice. Attention will come.
This is a sentiment that seems almost “old-school” in our hyper-connected world. You mean we don’t need networking, or videos, or social media posts? The work will sell itself? Well, not exactly. We still need those tools. But what good are they if the product itself isn’t high quality? The #1 most important thing in music is the quality of the music! That has to be the foundation for any ensemble, soloist, composer, etc. Everything else supports that.
While the world wants us to focus more of our attention on marketing, remember why you got into music in the first place. Remember what connects with people: the art itself. Start there.