Teaching vs. performing

Teaching is a form of service. I hear over and over again that one never knows the full extent of how a teacher impacts their students. When I was a much younger free-lancer in Boston, I had many conversations with other performing musicians about how teaching was viewed as a sign of a failure to secure a high paying position as a performer. Then the pandemic happened…

More respect for teaching seems to be a positive outcome of the pandemic. In the fall of 2020, I attended an entrepreneurial workshop for symphonic musicians. The first day of the workshop was cathartic with testimony from the vast number of newly unemployed musicians. As the workshop progressed, there was an unveiling of the longterm frustration and exhaustion musicians had been experiencing prior to March 2020.

For me, teaching is at least as creative as performing. It provides a more reliable income than most orchestral work. I teach nice students in a comfortable environment while earning a living wage. I have students of all different levels and abilities. Everyday presents a new challenge. I come away knowing that I am making a positive contribution to my students’ lives and possibly growing a future audience.

The Inspiration for Violinists card deck
This “Service” card is part of a 50 card deck. Every card has a unique image and text inspiring musicianship, mindfulness and spirituality.

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