“As musicians, you’re so lucky that your profession is your hobby. You’re so lucky. I’m so jealous. I hate you because I’m jealous. Actually, I just hate you.”

Many of my colleagues have heard that they are rather fortunate to have a profession that can double up as a hobby. There is definite truth to this statement, especially if the musician in question has diversity within his or her particular field. For example, a composer who is also a skilled pianist could be said to have two hobbies. This is most certainly a wonderful blessing.

However, what if a musician has only one major skill within his or her profession? This type of scenario can become a bit troublesome. Consider a semi retired composer who uses a winding down profession as a stress relieving hobby. Have a look at the following situation:

On Monday, our composer in question (let’s call him Felix) sits down and begins to write a jingle for a television commercial. On Tuesday, writers block sets in. By Thursday, the writer’s block continues. Hmmm! It’s time for Felix to seek stress relief. It’s a shame that golfing, tennis or art collecting aren’t interests that have been formulated and honed over the years as ‘Felix stress relieving devices’. So what does our composer friend turn to in times of stress from his profession? More COMPOSING!

Isn’t that just great!! In this circumstance, Felix’s hobby reminds him of the exact stress filled situation that he is trying to escape from. This situation has the potential, over time, to accelerate out of control. Add into the mix a definite migraine and potential ulcer unless Felix finds a consistent outlet that has nothing to do with his focus of frustration.

This would not as likely be the situation with a composer/pianist, for example. In this case, our frustrated composer (let’s call her Samantha) could turn to the piano and play other composer’s works to her heart’s content. Pianists are continually searching through other composer’s repertoire in order to find meaning in their world. What a wonderful way of escaping the highly personal problems associated with writer’s block.

Felix is freaking out. Samantha is happy. I’m happy. Why? My humble point has, to an extent, been favorably argued.

A best case scenario would be a musician that has a hobby of a completely non-musical nature. Even in Samantha’s case, her sanity relies completely on the health of her hands. If she sprains a wrist, or develops any sort of syndrome associated with the muscles in her wrists, her outlet is compromised. Also, she runs a small risk of not being able to escape from her writer’s block through the art of piano playing. After all, perhaps playing other successfully published compositions remind her of the ‘failure’ of a composition that she is having trouble with. Much depends on the personality of the composer who is experiencing the block.

Musicians need hobbies. They’re like safety nets. Having two or three can prove to be highly beneficial. Contrasting hobbies are like having different brands of safety nets. If one brand is not performing well, then you have another brand that may well prove to be long lasting in its effectiveness.

Come and join the author, Daniel E. Friedman, at www.musicmasterstudios.com for assistance in music education and comprehension.0x800706f7,Dell Error 1203,ERROR_DEPENDENT_RESOURCE_PROPERTY_CONFLICT,ERROR_NO_VOLUME_ID,Windowsupdate_80200056
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