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Making Music: The Work of a Syracuse Symphony Orchestra Musician isn’t as effortless as it sometimes seems

-Jeremy Mastrangelo, The Post Standard, September 19, 2010. Click HERE to read the full article.

Jeremy Mastrangelo, the associate concertmaster of the Syracuse Symphony, is trying to explain just how difficult and time consuming a career as a professional musician really is.  He has “given up” on trying to explain how much musicians have to do behind the scenes to his friends with non-musical jobs.  He states that some people might perceive a musician’s “work” schedule as easy, fun, and more recreational.  The article is showing all the various levels of preparation a musician must be working through during the year to consistently achieve a high level of music making

I really like how he compares a musician’s preparation and training to that of athletes.  An professional athlete essentially has a certain number of televised games a year, however everyone knows that they also spend a ton of time practicing with their team, weight lifting, running, and watching game film.  A musician goes through the same sort of preparation away from their public performances.  My favorite quotes for this idea are from Mohamed Ali and Roger Staubach.  “The fight is won or lost away from the witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road; long before I dance under those lights” -Ali.  “I’ve always believed that it takes a ton of unspectacular preparation to produce spectacular results.” -Staubach.

I think one thing Jeremy fails to mention is that people in “standard” jobs and careers may also be jealous of a musician’s schedule because they might see every second of a musician’s work schedule as fun and enjoyable.  A person in an office job might classify their own actual work time as being a chore and not something they particularly get excited for everyday.  We musicians are fortunate to spend everyday of of lives doing something we truly love.

-Matthew Mireles