And just like that, my little blog has turned one!
What started of as one cellist's experience in a whole new world, has become an ever expanding safe space where we tackle the main issues facing students and young professionals in the music industry! Inspired by my own doubts and anxieties of entering the music profession straight out of studying, this blog has given me a chance to reach out to other musicians and together talk about those thing we rarely ever get the chance to. Throughout this year, we've explored the trials and tribulations of being a music graduate through "The Graduate Interviews" series, life in Hong Kong and some of the myths that stop us being the musicians we truly want to be.
So come with me as we relive the first year of "From a Cellist's Perspective".
Once Upon a Time in Hong Kong...
In August last year, I set out on my first ever solo adventure to Hong Kong. I'd never been to Asia and within my first month I'd experienced bedbugs, my building setting on fire and a completely new Ikea experience. I found the whole thing such an overwhelming experience (although rewarding) that I needed to write about it. Problem was, I'd never written a blog before and honestly I didn't really know the first place to start. My first post "A Cellist in Hong Kong" went up literally as my room was being fumigated and when the first person (most definitely my mother) had read the blog, I was addicted! 24 articles later and I haven't looked back!
Am I the only one who feels like this?
Safe to say, life outside of education came as a huge shock. I'd had so many expectations and plans, that when real life hit, feelings of failure weren't far behind. For various reasons, my work in Hong Kong wasn't quite what I'd expected and I began feeling like life was moving on without me. Thankfully, my amazing friends both in Hong Kong and back home were never more than a phone call away! When I opened up about the fact I felt like a failure, I was surprised to hear so many of my feelings were shared. It seemed we all had the same fears, the same high expectations and largely we were all battling those same feelings of failure. Soon the blog changed from being about my adventures in Hong Kong to tackling the issues facing music students and young professionals and really where "From a Cellist's Perspective" was born!
From Performance Anxiety, people pleasing, changing direction and ultimately the very unexpected Coronavirus pandemic, the blog was able to start exploring those topics we don't really talk about for fear of judgement. From a purely selfish point of view, it's given my own insecurities huge comfort to realise that I'm not alone in how I'm feeling in the post-graduate world and it's been amazing to hear from those of you that have read the articles, share your own personal stories with me.
Better with Friends!
I've never quite felt comfortable with the blog style of an open diary. Honestly, I don't think my witterings are that entertaining! And now this was growing into a largely music only blog, like all music, it just seemed better with friends! If making it as a musician is what we all want, and likewise not being a musician is what scares us the most, why not share and learn from those who have gone before us? I wanted to get graduates together to share their experiences. All the good, the bad and the ugly but more importantly, giving them a place where they could showcase their work whilst giving those who needed it, a little inspirational point in the right direction. I've met some incredible people whilst studying, people that have gone on to do amazing things and it was with them that "The Graduate Interviews" took it's first steps.
"The most useful advice I was given, and therefore my top tip for this industry, is to be generous."
Over this year, we've heard from composers, teachers, performers and musical entrepreneurs! All of whom have made their mark on our industry in so many different ways but who also haven't shied away from talking about the tough road to took to get there. One of the articles that proved the most exciting to research was the "Failbusters!" article. I'd had so much collaboration on this article, not only from our panel; Tim Gill, Abbie Royston, Dr. Kate Blackstone and Jonathan Barritt but also from my friends and colleagues who had provided the questions. To have all of these myths that had haunted our practice rooms, put down in black and white and "busted" by professionals who knew first hand what the music industry had in store was so freeing!
So what now?
I started this blog as a bit of a witter about exploring a completely different world to the one I was used it. In this year alone, it's grown and developed into something I've really loved working on and I hope something that you've all enjoyed reading!
The aim of the blog is to tackle the big issues facing young musicians and students in the classical world. In truth, we've only barely scratched the surface! So over the coming months, we'll be delving further into the world of the music graduate as well as tackling the subjects we all feel but don't always share.
However as we start another year, we need to build and expand, so in the coming weeks keep your eyes peeled for my brand new series starting very soon!
Now Over To You!
As I said earlier, it's better with friends and I want to hear from you!
Is there a specific topic you'd like to see discussed? Maybe you'd like to be interviewed as part of the Graduate Interviews? Or maybe you had a favourite article from the past year you just want to share.
Get in touch below or via my website, social media or email. I genuinely love to hear what you think!
Thank you to all my wonderful guests and everyone that's helped me over this past year with "From a Cellist's Perspective"!
Here's to the next!