Everyone’s a Teacher

I’ve come to realize that it’s in the nature of musicians to compare themselves with others and compete: “I’ll never be as good as her”, “Why did their band make it and ours didn’t? They suck compared to us!”, “For being a celebrated performer he isn’t that good live”, “Everyone is so much better than me so why am I even trying?”. For being taught at conserve-atories, comparing and competition can make it feel like musicians are doing anything but conserving music. It can be downright toxic sometimes.

With that said, I don’t think we make music to be better than others or to win. Music transcends all that nonsense. Music is life affirming.

What if instead of comparing and competing with others we try learning from them? What if we adopted the posture of a student, looking at our fellow musicians as our teachers? What kind of music making would take place with that kind of outlook?

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