“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 Wayp. 305)

In many ways, we succeed or flounder as artists based on the standards we uphold.

Here are three reasons why.

1. Standards Represent Our Values
Standards guide our behaviors. So, if we believe in doing our best, helping others, and making the world a better place, we’ll conduct ourselves in keeping with those values.

We’ll embody professionalism, for instance, not because someone tells us to but because doing so aligns with our convictions.

2. Standards Keep Us On Track
Tenor Luciano Pavarotti said, “People think I am disciplined. It is not discipline, it is devotion. There is a great difference.” (The Musician’s Wayp. 106.)

Like Pavarotti, our love of music can power our devotion to daily practice, and that devotion becomes a standard by which we live.

3. Standards Anchor Our Success
When we’re known for maintaining high standards, our colleagues and audiences trust us.

Listeners can count on us to lift them to higher planes; fellow musicians seek us out for collaborations.

As a result, we generate ongoing demand for our work, which both sustains us and fuels our evolution as artists.

Guidelines for establishing artistic and professional standards are incorporated throughout The Musician’s Way.

Related posts:
The 4 Pillars of Professionalism
Artistic Vision
Habits of Excellence
Stoking Motivation

© 2012 Gerald Klickstein
Photo © Sergei Bachlakov, licensed from Shutterstock.com

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