I practice religiously because music is my religion. For at least 5 hours every week, I grab my instrument and focus on getting better through making mistakes. I drill, I improve. But it’s still only 5 hours a week, and every year that goes by is one less year that I spend in an actual orchestra surrounded by professionals.
I’m not a professional violinist, and I’d give myself another 5 years before I think being a professional musician is a sustainable livelihood. I don’t know how long it will actually take. Only two things seem certain: that it will happen, and that it’s taking a long time.
In my dreams, of course, I’m already there. When these dreams encroach on reality, the result is painful acceptance of what I am not.
The latest inspiration is a chap called Mason Bates, composer for the YouTube Symphony orchestra. His image as a “composer-DJ” is as straightforward as it gets: vinyl records and sheet music side by side. Blinking little electronic lights and the tips of violin bows from the orchestra in front. The conductor in the nightclub. It’s a sexy blend of opposites.
I want to excel. I plan to excel. I work to excel.