Recently, I had the pleasure of talking to Joff Schmidt, Associate Producer of CBC Radio One’s Definitely Not The Opera (DNTO), about what it means to be a professional musician; or, more specifically, the difference between amateurs and professionals. You can almost smell the loaded questions with this topic, can’t you? Nonetheless, the discussion was great fun and the folks at DNTO ended up putting together a fascinating segment which you can listen to in the following audio clip…[audio:dnto-amateurs.mp3]
I particularly enjoyed the perspective from Florida State University’s Dr. K. Anders Ericsson about the 10,000 hour mark as the threshold to professionalism for musicians. Something the DNTO discussion focused on toward the end of the segment was the influence of an individual’s state of mind. Ultimately, I think that’s a good place to focus but I do think part of being a professional orchestra musician means having the ability to maintain a level of musical excitement that is as fresh and exciting regardless if it’s the first or fiftieth performance.