A student asked me the other day “What will be the point of performing if I am not going to be a professional musician? Is there any point in learning if I don’t want to perform to millions?”
I take a deep breath and think of the following advantages:-
You can perform as much or as little as you want to. It is the most flexible profession in the world, easy to perform for free, easy to perform 1 song or 20 songs. You can perform as a child, perform as an adult, perform at 90, in front of small crowds or large crowds, family, friends, strangers, our voices gain character and experience over time, we can sing even when we cannot run or walk. We can choose to play on weekdays or weekends, tea dances pubs or night clubs. Be the front man, front woman or at the back of the stage, Performing at Christmas or not performing at Christmas, any style, any town. Performance can be a hobby, a pastime, a filler, full-time, part-time, pro, semi-pro, a source of income, a hobby which pays for itself, something to raise money for charity, as cheap, expensive or as financially rewarding as you want to make it, you can perform on your own with a band, with a duo, trio, choir, or orchestra. It is cheaper than golf, cheaper than the gym. It gives us team goals, it brings us together, it can be non-competitive or even competitive. We can learn at any time in our lives, the difference in learning efficiency when we are aged 70 is about 4 – 5% difference than if we are aged 6. We never stop learning and never stop feeling the excitement of performance.
Shame I didn’t think of it all at the time I was asked….