What they don't tell you about being a classical musician

Published By: Becky Abel 1 month ago

I was brought into the world of classical music from a young age. I started to play the violin when I was seven years old and since then, I had to study and learn all about classical music. It wasn’t until I began studying music that I was able to attend classical music concerts, performing in orchestras and work with amazing virtuosos.

I wasn’t brought up by musicians. In fact, I was the first person in the family to learn to play an instrument. Although I had some incredible experiences from performing as a violinist, I had spent many years, filled with hard work and determination just to get to where I got, and even that wasn’t very far compared to others.

There are many people who come up to me saying how they wish they could play an instrument when they were young, however, there were many things I wished I could have said to them, not to put them off but to give them a heads up for what would come. Although there are many rewarding aspects to playing an instrument such as having incredible experiences, what a lot of people don’t tell you is hard you have to work and how much criticism you would face.

Playing an instrument requires you to go through constant feedback and criticism from your peers, which should be done in a constructive manner. Unfortunately, many people, including myself, have had some horrible teachers who would make you feel uncomfortable and, in extreme cases, put you off from playing.

Even when you get to a high standard the feedback doesn’t stop. When I was in orchestras, you were given feedback on how to improve the performance. Once again, some of this feedback was harsh and could really break you as a musician.

The other thing they don’t tell you is how hard you must work. If being a musician is something you want to become, no one really tells you the number of hours needed to practice a piece, just to get in right, only for it to show in performance. Even then, something could happen. The instrument could break or nerves can get the best of you.

If you are reading this and considering playing an instrument, I don’t want to put you off with this article but to warn you all the things that may come. Of course, every story is different, but I just wanted to share mine with you. No matter what subject you study, you will always come across teachers, people and events that will make you smile, upset or that will give you the chance to learn. I’ve met so many people who, despite horrible situations, make them stronger, not weaker, and because of this, has made them into the amazing people they are today. Classical music is a tough and brutal road but, with a lot of hard work, can be a rewarding and amazing experience to have.

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