young man playing guitar“Music making is a never-ceasing process of change and progress.”
–Jacqueline du Pré, cellist
The Musician’s Way, p. 205

We musicians seldom achieve expertise on our own but seek out teachers to inform our growth.

Although teachers can influence us in countless positive ways, it’s crucial for us to forge our own paths and not merely imitate our mentors.

Here are 7 ways that aspiring performers can nurture authenticity and cultivate satisfying careers.

7 Ways to Nurture Musical Authenticity & Career Success

1. Build a Distinctive Repertoire

Research repertoire in your discipline, commission and maybe write your own music, and then craft concert programs that set you apart.

2. Develop Performance Opportunities

Perform often to refine your performance skills, foster confidence, and try out your repertoire on listeners.

3. Participate in Festivals & Conferences

Gather diverse views and stay current in your field, refining your artistic vision in the process.

4. Collaborate Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Whether at a festival, in your community, or at school, challenge yourself to explore new genres and creative outlets.

5. Seek Innovative Mentors

Rising musicians do well to work with veteran teachers and also seek mentorship from cutting-edge new artists.The Musician's Way book cover

6. Gain Income-Earning Abilities

Gather the know-how to organize and promote your own concerts, perform gigs, teach, record, conduct, and otherwise uphold a sustainable music career.

7. Take Smart Risks

Whether you opt to produce your own concerts, compete, experiment with interdisciplinary collaborations, or whatever, seize chances, because risk-taking and artistic success go hand in hand.

“Risk-taking and artistic success go hand in hand.”

See The Musician’s Way for comprehensive guidelines to become the artist you aspire to be.

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Making the Most of Music Lessons
The Master-Apprentice Model Is Dead
Maximize Your Music Education
Preparing for Portfolio Careers

© 2015 Gerald Klickstein
Photo © C. Kieffer, licensed from