“The beauty in playing the instrument is not to be better than the next person but to stay true to oneself, to set one’s own standards and keep to them.”
–Andrés Cárdenes, violinist
The Musician’s Way, p. 305
In many ways, we succeed or flounder as artists based on the standards we uphold.
Here are three reasons why.
Three Reasons Why High Standards Fuel Success
1. Standards Guide Our Behaviors
Standards represent our values. So, if we believe in doing our best and helping others succeed, we’ll conduct ourselves in keeping with those standards.
We’ll embody professionalism, for instance, not because someone tells us to but because doing so aligns with our convictions.
2. Standards Kindle Devotion
Tenor Luciano Pavarotti said, “People think I am disciplined. It is not discipline, it is devotion. There is a great difference.” (The Musician’s Way, p. 106.)
Like Pavarotti, our love of music can power our devotion to daily practice, and that devotion represents a standard by which we live.
“People think I am disciplined. It is not discipline, it is devotion. There is a great difference.” -Luciano Pavarotti
3. Standards Anchor Our Reputations
When we’re known for maintaining high standards, our colleagues and audiences trust us.
Listeners can count on us to uplift them; fellow musicians seek us out for collaborations; concert presenters want to book us.
All told, we generate ongoing demand for our work, which both sustains us and drives our evolution as artists.
Guidelines for establishing artistic and professional standards are incorporated throughout The Musician’s Way. Want additional help to advance your skills or career? Contact me for coaching via Skype.
© 2012 Gerald Klickstein
Photo © Sergei Bachlakov, licensed from Shutterstock.com