Advice to Musicians


By Carolynn Gonzalez

To all those who wish to be musicians, the path you’ve chosen is one that is worthwhile. As a musician myself, I can definitely say that playing music is one of the most rewarding things I’ve experienced, especially since anyone at any age has the capability to do it.

Literally anyone can pick up an instrument and, with dedication and drive, learn to play it. Everyone has to start somewhere. For me, it was taking piano lessons when I was five and listening to the children’s version of “Carnival of the Animals.” Some have been reading music for as long as they’ve been reading English, but others may not even glance at sheet music until they’re a high schooler or even an adult. When or how you begin your musical journey is insignificant as long as you’re interested nonetheless.

Dedication and drive are probably the two most important qualities of any musician, so it’s important to practice often and efficiently even though practicing can seem like a chore. It’s hard to say, but practicing isn’t always fun, and that is something every musician can agree on. It is necessary, though. Practicing is the only thing that will help you improve, so practice not only scales and drills but also songs and exercises that you enjoy. And, of course, there’s always the frustration of learning challenging pieces, or hitting difficult notes or not being able to play those two insanely difficult measures of sixteenth notes. Push through these struggles and you’ll be proud of yourself once you see how far you’ve come.

Also, play music that you connect with emotionally. Every song, every sonata and every tune heard on the radio conveys a story. As musicians, we are storytellers, and nobody likes a boring narrator. The song you play could be technically perfect, but without emotion, it will always be dry and lacking. Find music that you can relate to and pour your heart into it. This will not only make the music you play more fulfilling for you but also for your audience (big or small) as well. Music is meant to be heard and enjoyed, so play often and wholeheartedly. I can guarantee that you’ll love it as much as I do.