One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other Music How People Perceive Musicians

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How People Perceive Musicians

There are many misunderstandings about musicians. These misconceptions exist even in the world’s educated societies. They apply to artists in general, but here we focus on music.

A common misconception is that a musician must be a “starving artist” and lead a poor lifestyle. Like any profession, there are financially successful and unsuccessful people in music. You see wealthy pop and rock stars, you see bottles of buses on the streets. Financial success is independent of talent and not necessarily specific to any industry.

Interestingly, music itself is a relatively expensive industry for professional musicians. Tools and other equipment, their maintenance and space can be quite expensive. Quality lessons and the necessary investment do not come cheap. All businesses have fixed costs and operating costs. Making music as a career falls into this category, requiring proper business sense and excellent financial planning to ensure solvency and viability. And there are definitely professional musicians in the world who “don’t starve to death.”

Another myth is that musicians must somehow be crazy or unstable, and that somehow it has to do with talent. Talent is a field unto itself.

Oppressors have created this false perception to stifle creativity. Anything good, powerful, or creative threatens certain people who are only meant to be destroyed. This explains the prevalence of drugs in rock music. It’s all calculated. Musicians are vulnerable because they are creative and artistic and are often targets of oppression.

Musicians have emotions and feelings just like everyone else. During competitions or academic refereeing tests, they are subject to more judgments and evaluations, making them vulnerable to attacks by people who use it to harm others or simply insensitive people. Conflicting evaluations between judges can cause considerable confusion.

Expressive, joyous, idiosyncratic, and playful can be labeled creativity, so it’s also falsely labeled as crazy or neurotic.

Being fairly uninhibited is generally frowned upon in a society where we are all supposed to behave like cattle. When a musician is in a moment of transcendence, it may seem crazy to the layman. A real example is a composer walking down the street who suddenly got a spark of creativity, began to “think out loud” about the process of his work, and began to make rhythmic movements of his hands and body. Some passers-by may have thought there was something wrong with him when they didn’t realize he was just having a transcendental or creative moment.

One common misconception is that it’s somehow okay for a musician to play for free. Unfortunately, the concept of “pay to play” is common. Ask a plumber to fix your sink for free? Not if he wants to fix the sink. Believe it or not, there was a recent ad in the classifieds section of a restaurant owner looking for a band to play at his restaurant for free to “promote themselves and sell their albums.” It sounds silly, but it’s all too common. Music teachers often ask for free lessons. While there is nothing wrong with volunteering to help the less fortunate, this is different. Ask an accountant to do your taxes for free? Again, same principle.

Another misconception about musicians is that their physical appearance, demeanor, and behavior must be unusual, different, or even weird. It is very imposing, but not necessary. This is a bad practice in many societies. An image is an image and does not matter when it comes to displaying talent.

People also think that musicians are overly sensitive, emotionally weak, and easily overwhelmed by life’s pressures. As mentioned before, a musician has emotions, sanity or insanity, just like everyone else. On the contrary, the musician has a certain advantage, because music is a way of healing and releasing trauma, and therefore a form of therapy. It creates ample opportunities for relaxation and overall mental and emotional security.

Despite all the lies, the fact remains that musicians are capable, rational, creative, and generally loved because the joy of music is great and gives life and beauty.

Evelyn Simonian

© 2013. Evelyn Simonian

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