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.

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.

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.

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

Related posts
Artistic Vision
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

Back to Top