Have you ever finished a composition, and felt proud of yourself?
That’s great. I know I have. Now let me tell you a little secret. No one cares that you finished a composition.
You are a composer right? Isn’t that what composer’s do?
Maybe your mom or wife gives you encouragement. But professionals don’t go around telling everyone they’ve finished another one.
Amateur composers are many. In many respects, being an amateur versus being a professional is all about mindset, and not about skill. A composer with very basic knowledge of music theory, that finishes all his compositions before moving on to the next is a professional. He approaches composing not just with passion, but with perseverance.
The amateur writes something, and then tells everyone about it. He is proud. He completed a piece. But instead of composing the next one, he gets caught up in the details of the piece too much.
Is that crescendo too many bars? Maybe I shouldn’t repeat that phrase. Hmm, after listening to this 10 times, I don’t think I like it anymore.
Professional composers get the job done. They fully invest in the piece they are composing, and fully divest themselves from it when they are finished.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t play your piece for people. In fact, that is what you should do. But don’t over do it. Get feedback, put your music out there, and then move on.
Completing something is very therapeutic, but not completing something leaves you feeling empty and… well, incomplete. If you are anything like me, you’ve probably started many projects in the past, that have ended up going nowhere. When you finally make the call, and stop the project, you feel defeated. But sometimes you don’t make the call, you just move on to the next one. All of these unfinished projects add up, and you end up with a bunch of emotional baggage you are carrying around.
So here is your task for the week: However you file your compositions, either on paper or in a computer, make a finished file. Everything you finish goes into that folder, and then you don’t touch it unless you have a good reason like for a real performance, or getting the music published. You can make that call. This way, when you start composing, you don’t have to dig through all your completed compositions to find that one you just started.