Who's In Your Corner?
Yes, it’s true…I am getting married in just a few days. In trying to decide what to write for this month's feature amidst wedding planning, touring, and teaching; an overwhelming sense of encouragement came over me. The number of people it takes to put a wedding together is astronomical. The number of people it takes to build a musician is far greater. This month we’re going to talk about a musician’s support system and how important it is to encourage artistic endeavors, creative thinking, discipline, and a limitless imagination.
It is true that musicians are often some of the most insecure individuals on the planet. Often this insecurity stems from the competitive nature of playing an instrument at a high level combined with the uncertain future a professional musician faces. For me, cultivating a circle of friends, family and mentors that are focused, encouraging, ambitious, and supportive people in their own lives has truly made the difference in providing a strong foundation to build my career on.
Throughout the learning process in any field, there are many humps that a student must get over to see the rewards for their effort. As a beginner those rewards could be a simple as “Mary Had A Little Lamb” or a first chord. Rewarding these early accomplishments is essential to developing the momentum needed to continue flourishing on your instrument. Reflect on the age-old question “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear, does it make a noise?” I can tell you that no, the tree does not make a noise. If you are a parent with a student who is learning to play an instrument and you do not participate in the experience by listening to them practice or following up on the lessons with the teacher and encouraging them then they will not know how vital and important their skill is. We are all aware that as we get older, less and less people are around to pat you on the back. Of course we have to learn to be able to pat ourselves on the back, but this lesson is very important for students of all ages who are just starting the process. Even if you are not a parent, but know a student through family friends who is learning to play, take a moment to encourage them.
I am tremendously excited to marry the best partner that I could ever imagine for me. She is my constant support system. Beyond Kristen, I have my parents and extended family that have always supported my endeavors to climb any mountain I choose. Beyond family, I have my circle of friends who have been carefully chosen for a variety of positive, constructive, and of course supportive character traits. There is no success that I have ever known that would have been possible without the right people in my corner.
Chris Vazquez is the co-owner and director of SoundLife Music Academy, an in-home music school that sends professional musicians to teach on-on-one music lessons in the comfort of student's homes. Chris is also a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has worked as a guitarist for Air Supply, Leona Lewis, Anthony Evans, and many more.