In the past few months, I’ve gotten small tastes of what it might be like to actually “do music” full-time. It’s gotten pretty busy, but every minute is exhilarating. That’s a lie. Late nights rushing to get a transcription done by the deadline and last-minute accompanying gigs bring stressful seasons, but it is always rewarding to see the fruition of my efforts. I’ve learned to be more flexible, more willing to accept new challenges, and more honest with how much time I actually need to relearn the accompaniment to Mendelssohn’s E Minor violin concerto… I’m not quite “full-time,” yet, but I’m getting there.
I’m as much a fan of a strict schedule as the next INTJ, but regularly rescheduling lessons (so many e-mails) and going to give the make-ups when I really don’t feel like driving has forced me to be less rigid. I also put on a jazz concert with some friends (playing Shanghai Jazz probably late summer!), and if I’m really honest with myself, I wasn’t really ready for it. I’ve always enjoyed listening to jazz, but now I’m trying to learn the nuanced harmonic language, with improvisation to boot. I’ll feel more comfortable next time.
Something that keeps running through my head is that I should be more focused. Like if I only taught piano lessons, or only did accompanying gigs, or if (who knows?) I only wrote video game music, I would just get really good at that and establish a niche quickly. But I’m the kind of person that, for better or worse, likes to stay involved in many things… has his fingers in too many pies, as it were. I usually don’t realize it until I have a stomachache or I’m confusing the flavors, but it has its plus sides. For instance, my wind ensemble pieces got read by my college’s bands, and I will be ready to submit one (or both) for review for publishing this summer. Had I not decided to take an independent study in video game music while applying for Piano Performance Masters programs my senior year of college, this probably would never have happened. Now, do understand, this modus operandi has its down side. Remember that Mendelssohn concerto? Yeah, it wasn’t enough time.