It's always a bit awkward to be told that you're "talented" because you know how much blood, sweat, and tears goes into what you do. Do you ever find it as awkward as I do?
Probably the most awkward thing about this is attempting to adequately explain to the person who said it to you that while you don't think you're "talented" in the way they think you are, you're probably way more passionate about it than they might expect. I think "talent" and "passion" get mixed up a lot these days, but it's such a non-issue compared to the much bigger problems everyone has in their day-to-day lives, so it doesn't get much thought.
How important is this issue to you? It's always been that thing that just mildly bothers me, and making this video is really the most I've ever actually done about it.
I've been wanting to tell this story for a while now. It's one of those experiences that you can't help telling people about because it really is stranger than fiction.
As for the "#nobaggage", I really didn't realize how easily you can hear that there are many other thoughts and experiences swirling around in my head that have to do with the financial aspect of being a musician. It's certainly understood in the music world that being a musician will almost 100% ensure that you will not be rich. But we do it anyway because we simply love what we do.
But having a passion for what we do does not mean that our efforts should be cheapened to free labour. We aren't simply sitting there for 2 hours playing pretty music. The high price tag pays for all the work we put in during our private practice sessions, rehearsals, commute, sheet music, instrument, music equipment, and planning. You aren't actually paying for just 2 hours of work. For every hour of work you actually hear and see, you're probably actually paying for at least 100 times (usually much much much more, considering how much we practice and rehearse and how expensive our instruments and equipment is) the amount of time and expenses it takes to put on only that one show.
Suddenly something like $75/hr for a student musician sounds super cheap, doesn't it?
I used to think to myself that if only I was taught correct embouchure earlier, I wouldn't have had to go through this crisis.
But here's the weird part: I don't think I would have learned as much if I didn't go through it this way.
I realize now that I have a very acute understanding of what my students are going through while I am taking them through an embouchure change. I feel so much prouder of them when I watch them achieve this task that I set out for them because I've been through it myself.
I know the pain, and I vowed never to forget it. I feel that pain with them while I am teaching them.
It's interesting how we tend to remember our fails with a lot more clarity than our successes, right? I always seem to learn the most from my fails, so I guess it's appropriate to share on a channel that's meant to get us all sharing our musical experiences.
I would say that this audition was actually one of the turning points for my musical journey. If it wasn't for failing this audition, my life would probably look pretty different right now. I probably would not have played that Ensign Symphony concert last week. I probably would never have learned how to tune and blend with as much precision as I know now. I probably would have sold my piccolo by now (how sad!).
So that's why I'm glad I failed this audition. Even though it's a giant cringefest to remember it.