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Either work or music: 5 myths about musicians and work

American musician Matthew Mayer, who has released 12 albums and has been at the top of the Billboard chart several times, talked about how to combine music and work in a post for the DIY Musician blog.

American musician Matthew Mayer, who has released 12 albums and has been at the top of the Billboard chart several times, talked about how to combine music and work in a post for the DIY Musician blog. Not many people know, but in his spare time away from music, Mayer works for a recruitment company. Mayer notes that he works a standard 5/2 schedule of 8 hours a day, but that doesn't stop him from successfully combining work and music.

According to Mayer, there's nothing wrong with that combination, and having a regular job doesn't cancel out the fact that you're still a musician. To back up his words, Matthew broke down five popular myths about musicians and work, and provided counterarguments to each speculation to debunk them for anyone worried about balancing a job and a passionate cause.

You work as an assistant hiring manager and make music in your spare time. You are a musician who has a main job. Music comes into your life only in your spare moments, along with lots of other things to pay attention to.

It sounds sad: many of us work full-time, giving all our time to work, while some of us can live and create without sacrificing time for work. Many people reason this way, but if you think about it, there are plenty of people in the world who live on a work-home schedule but find enough time for music without sacrificing all the spheres p of their lives.

Is it possible to be professional in your music business if you work 8 hours 5 days a week? I think it is. The trick is to train yourself to create and make music in every spare minute. Only you decide how to allocate your time, and it's up to you not to miss out on the opportunity to practice and sell commercial royalty free music.

I've been working in HR for ten years (yes, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week), but I'm also a professional pianist who has released 12 albums. It seems odd that the HR assistant and the musician whose compositions people often listen to on Spotify have the same name.

People often ask me, "Why do you even need this job? You're a musician!" It's a valid question, but in ten years I've learned to rest and work so that I find inspiration in my rhythm of life. All you have to do is manage your free time properly. It is possible to combine work and music if you don't fill your head with speculations and superstitions. Let's discuss five myths about musicians who go to regular work in parallel with their music.

1If I have another job, I'm not a musician

The dumbest myth in the world. Even if you work behind the counter all day or take shifts (lawyer, broker, locksmith, manager, butcher), you're still a musician.

It doesn't matter what your job is. Just because you work somewhere doesn't take away your right to be a successful musician. Look at it this way: you don't give up the dream of being a musician in spite of other things.

2Either work or music. You can't do both at the same time

Work does not define who we are in life, work is one part of our lives, nothing more. You have a set of professional skills that you need at work, but having them, like the social role you play in society, does not tell you what your interests are.

Don't go to extremes. All or nothing is a foolish approach.

However, it is very difficult to get obsessive thoughts out of our heads. All too often we tell ourselves, "I have to be creative or I won't succeed," and wonder, "How can I manage to work and do anything else if I'm at work all day?" but these are just excuses. It's not about how or what to do, it's about how you prioritize. Look for the perks of having a job. Think about how it can help you creatively (financially or otherwise).

3If I spent more time on music and not wasted time on work, I would have built a career in music

In part, such a statement is true. Now think about the reasons why a five-day workweek might make you put more effort into your music:

  • Have you ever received any benefits at work that helped you and your family?
  • Have you participated in any useful training or attended any employer-sponsored/paid-for courses?
  • Do you socialize with people at work and on the job, which gradually improves your communication skills?

Most of the answers to these questions will probably be in the affirmative. Now think about the fact that all of these points are not in any way harmful to you as a musician; on the contrary, they are good for you!

As a recruiting assistant, I am constantly interacting with people, building complex social relationships with both potential employees and supervisors. The more I interact with people, the better my communication skills, which helps me as a musician. At the end of the day, communicating with your management team is no different than communicating with a label executive.

4 I don't have time for music and work at the same time

We've already touched on the subject of overlap in parsing Myth #2, but now let's be honest with ourselves: if we think we don't have time for something, it doesn't mean that we really don't.

The most common question I get asked is, "How do you keep up with your website, your podcast, your albums, your blog, and your other job eight hours a day all week?" A lot of people don't know: I have three kids.

Yes, there is a lot going on during the day. But if we look at time in terms of energy expenditure, we realize that we don't spend all of our energy in a single 8-hour workday. The most important thing to ask yourself is: "Am I spending my energy on what I really need?" The answer is likely to surprise you:

We spend our time irrationally

I am surprised by people who work in finance, medicine, education, and how they spend their time after work. Some go to courses, some go to fitness classes, some go to coaching. The list could go on and on. All of these activities require a lot of time.

So is it possible to become a professional in the music field while having some kind of job? How do you find time for everything? You have to learn how to distribute your energy during the day.

After work, you're probably watching an episode of a popular soap opera, maybe more than one. Or maybe you go to a coffee shop where there are big discounts on pastries after 6 p.m. There's nothing fatal about any of this, but there's nothing important either. So wouldn't it be better to devote those two hours to your hobby, your blog, or whatever else is a priority for you?

5The only way I'll make it in music is if I quit my job.

Quitting your job for music might not be a bad idea. But before you go running to your boss with a statement, let's think it over.

Are you ready to practice music eight hours a day, five days a week? Music becomes your real job, you don't have to look for interruptions or make excuses anymore. Are you really ready to work as a musician and take it as seriously as you did as a salesman/manager/butcher?

Of course, it's not right to lump everyone together; everyone is different. However, before you quit your job, please make sure you still want to be creative enough to devote ALL YOUR TIME to it.

In conclusion, I would like to say that man is a unique creature. Each of us has some professional skills and abilities in addition to hobbies and dreams. It's up to us to figure out how to apply them in our work, combining them with our life experience. As soon as you find a comfortable option, new horizons will open in front of you, the amount of energy will increase, and the desire to create and create will become much more.

Well, before that happens, I'll tell you this: meet me in the office on Monday at 8 a.m.

Dec. 26, 2022, 8:51 a.m. | 58,468 views

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