Why You’ll “Never Survive” as an Artist

by Gianluca Farina

Pretty much everyone has heard about, or has experienced parents who turn their kids away from music in the long run. This could either be because they are afraid their kids will never be able to make a living out of it, or because it will ruin their overall appreciation for music. It could also be that they didn’t make it themselves, and don’t want the same thing to happen to their kid, or possibly because they feel like they are wasting money and time on their kids’ music lessons while they don’t actually practice very much. Either way, there is this generally common mindset that while music is essential to a kid’s development, it is almost impossible for someone to be able to make it as a musician.

As a kid, I didn’t practice nearly as much, or as productively, as I should have. I was lucky to have had parents who were always very supportive of my music making, along with teachers who helped push and encourage me along the way to be the aspiring musician I am today. However, I know I still have a lot to do before I can consider myself “successful”. I work diligently every day to improve on my trumpet playing so that I can eventually live a fulfilling life doing what I love doing.

While the music business is very competitive and can be very challenging to be able to support yourself financially, it obviously does not mean that it is impossible. There are many different fields in the business, and there are a multitude of ways for you to be able to support yourself, and there are many genres of music to expose yourself to, without limiting yourself to one genre. While classical music is my concentration, I also enjoy playing jazz and I play in some rock bands.

Some other examples: there are musicians in numerous orchestras (some who also teach part-time privately and at local universities and conservatories) who are very well off and enjoy what they do. There are also many solo artists who have made it big, or live a more modest life, and all love it either way. While it’s a bit trickier of a career (especially if you move into a new place), there are also plenty of musicians who freelance in the area they live in and live a successful life doing that. If you feel inspired, you can also teach music full-time and inspire children to feel the way you feel about music.

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