carton of white eggs with one golden egg“What is best in music is not to be found in the notes”
–Gustav Mahler

If you’re a classical musician who aspires to a concert career, you’re in danger.

In danger of becoming a commodity.

That’s because there are so many young musicians performing the same music in similar ways that they’ve largely become interchangeable.

A Vast Carton of White Eggs

As an illustration, let’s say that you’re a classical pianist, a recent conservatory graduate, who plays standard repertoire.

You want to be hired to perform concerts, so you email some artist managers and concert presenters, offering a sample recital program with pieces by Beethoven, Chopin, and Brahms.

Managers and presenters receive countless such emails from excellent pianists who play comparable music.

When your email lands in their inboxes, even though you propose performing masterpieces, you’ll resemble a standard white chicken egg in a vast carton with thousands of other, identical eggs.

Will you attract interest? Not likely.

Added to that, the classical music audience isn’t large, and the supply of fine pianists far exceeds the demand. So only a handful of people are buying white eggs from that colossal carton.

6 Ways for Musicians to Develop Distinctiveness

To build a career as an independent performer, you need to be distinctive, whatever your instrument.

You need to offer intriguing programs and present yourself in compelling ways so that presenters, managers, and listeners will be excited by your work.

Start today:

  1. Devise unconventional programs
  2. Develop innovative projects
  3. Commission or compose music
  4. Explore collaborations
  5. Connect with various communities
  6. Research other innovators in your field

If you play lots of standard repertoire, craft and present your programs so that they’ll be relevant to diverse audiences.

Aim to be a colorful egg, standing out in that sea of uniform white eggs.

Or, better yet, don’t be an egg at all.The Musician's Way book cover

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© 2015 Gerald Klickstein
Image © stelado, licensed from Shutterstock

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