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 good teachers influence us in countless positive ways, it’s crucial for us to forge our own artistic paths and not merely imitate our mentors, especially in today’s evolving music industry.

Here are 7 ways that aspiring performers can nurture authenticity and prepare for satisfying careers in music.

1. Build a Distinctive Repertoire
Research repertoire in your discipline, commission and maybe write your own new music, and then craft concert programs that express your personal taste and 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
Learn from a range of peers and pros to gather diverse views on music, 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 situations.

5. Seek Innovative Mentors
Rising musicians do well to work with veteran teachers and also seek mentorship from musicians doing innovative work in today’s multifaceted music scene.

6. Gain Income-Earning Abilities
Gather the know-how to organize and promote your own concerts, do gigs, teach, record, conduct, and otherwise uphold a sustainable music career that enables you to pursue your musical interests.

7. Take Smart Risks
Whether you opt to produce your own concerts, compete, take auditions, or apply for other opportunities, 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