If you play a musical instrument, you’re a superhero.
That’s what I was told in my inspiring lesson with one of my all-time favorite drummers, Will Kennedy.
I was talking to him about the music business and being my somewhat usual British, pessimistic-self, explaining how I was a little disillusioned with it all and he stopped me mid-sentence and gave me an inspiring telling-off.
In Will’s infectiously enthusiastic way, he told me what a blessing it was to be able to play a musical instrument and to be able to do it well, let alone be a professional and make a living from it. He said that compared to the majority of other people, us musicians are superheroes. We can walk down the street passing other regular people (‘civilians’ as I like to call non-musicians) knowing that we have this incredible ability and privilege to sit down with a musical instrument, whatever it might be, and make music. And if you do it well, you have the ability to inspire people and change their lives, just like my musical heroes changed mine.
I had not looked at it that way before. And I mention, in jest, my usual British pessimism because it also felt like a cultural difference too; the American positivity where anything is possible versus the British negativity where everything is too difficult.
It’s hard to convey the enthusiasm with which this message was delivered to me through this blog but I’d like to share this message in case it helps anyone because it certainly helps me when I’m having a down moment regarding my own playing or life in music, to think back to that lesson and those words.
Music is a wonderful pursuit and yes the music business can be pretty awful but overall, the fact that we, as musicians, can sit down at our instruments and make music, even if it’s only for our own entertainment, is pretty awesome when you think about it.