Those for whom music is a way of life, whether as a full-time profession or the side hustle that helps them get through the “regular” workweek, understand that passion for music is only the beginning. Making a living as a musician also requires endless hours of practice, attention to detail, and unending education. Dedication to music also involves boundless creativity and patience. All of these qualities can carry over into the rest of your life in some great ways.
When you’re a musician, paying attention to every detail can mean the difference between getting your next gig and wondering why no one’s returning your calls. Who wants to hire a musician that always seems to forget equipment or accessories or who can’t seem to remember the “it” song that this crowd expects to hear? The same attention to detail and great organization that contribute to a musician’s success can help everyday life run more smoothly, and whose life isn’t made better by more efficiency?
The creativity that drives musicians is a fantastic quality to bring into everyday life. Solving problems, large or small, and dealing with unexpected situations is a part of all of our lives. Those with the most creativity are more likely to be able to think outside of the box and come up with solutions that others might not see.
The patience that all musicians know is another great asset that could benefit us all. Musicians learn patience through endless practice sessions and relentless pavement pounding while looking for work. In everyday life, we all are faced with patience-testing moments like long lines at the grocery store or testy coworkers or family members. The ability to show true patience in the face of any aggravation helps us keep our cool and may “rub off” on others, which can help keep a tense situation from escalating.
Patience is also learned through years of dealing with many different types of personalities. Musicians, especially those trying to establish themselves, are quite often at the mercy of overworked venue owners or music execs tired of looking for the next big thing, not to mention the proverbial “tough crowds.” The ability to deal with difficult people of all types is something that can get us through all sorts of unpleasant situations with the kind of grace that earns us the respect of others.
Dealing with difficult people, especially those determined to be critical of everything and everyone, also requires the sort of thick skin that all musicians have to develop to survive the brutal world that music can be without having their spirits crushed. The comfort that comes from knowing that we’ll never make everybody happy all the time translates well into the everyday world. We all have to resist the urge to take jabs and cheap shots personally enough to make us doubt ourselves.
One of the biggest lessons musicians can bring to the rest of the world has to do with delayed gratification. In a world where more and more focus seems to be on getting results or satisfaction immediately, a good musician understands that the best rewards are worth waiting and working hard for. Musicians may know better than most others how gratifying it can be to set a goal and work hard to reach it. This can help musicians be better able to set long-term goals with the knowledge that they’ve learned the skills necessary to stay the course and reap the rewards.