As a musician, your identity is often tied to your instrument of choice and the style of music you play. However, playing music can be so much more than just a way to make money or entertain an audience. Music is an art form, a creative outlet, and an expression of oneself. It is these reasons why musicians find the musical experience so rewarding, but somewhere along the line, our identities can be overshadowed by our instruments, music, and fame.
Every musician knows the dream of making it big, but what happens if you end up in a rut? What if you can never seem to get to the next level? Maybe you were signed, but you never had a hit. Or perhaps you took a break from your career to raise your family. Whatever the reasons, sometimes the pain of waiting can seem unbearable. So how do you find your true calling as a musician?
Tips on How To Find Your Real Identity as a Musician:
Define Your Identity by Music Genre
In music, the genres that artists choose to define themselves can say a lot about who they are and want to be. For example, musicians who identify as country artists may sing about heartbreak and road trips during tough times. Indie artists may write songs about the struggles and emotions of everyday life. And pop/rock artists may follow in the footsteps of their favorite musicians, such as The Beatles, and write about social issues and themes of growing up.
Define Your Identity by Instrument
You are a musician and feel like you do not know who you are. You have been playing an instrument for so long, but you do not feel like it has defined who you are. Musicians often have to dig deep to find their identity, especially if they are self-taught. Musician’s Identity: Defining Yourself by Instrument offers insights and tools to help you find your instrument and true voice.
Define Your Identity by Music Inspiration
Music is a way for people to express their passion. Although music is an expressive art form, it is vital to know who you are as a musician. This is a question I ask myself every day. Every musician has their inspirations. Having inspiration is one thing but finding your identity and the voice behind it is another.
Define your identity by the Songs
Now and again, a musician’s song hits the spot in all of us that gets us feeling every emotion imaginable. Perhaps it is the message of the harmony, or the melody, or the way it builds to a climax. Whatever it is, it makes us feel. We are not alone. Some songwriters and artists have found just such a song, one that many of us can relate to.
Define Your Identity by How You Love Music
Music gives people a sense of belonging, meaning in life, and a sense of identity. Music is what you make of it; when you make a musical achievement, it means the world to you. The identity of a musician is not defined by their achievements, successes, or music. All of these are secondary to the identity of a musician. The identity of a musician is defined first by the love for the music. The love of music is unique and special.
Importance Of Knowing Your Identity as A Musician
Many musicians, especially those just starting, may not know how valuable their musical identities are. A musician’s musical identity is essentially their musical repertoire and skills. If a musician were to write down all of the songs they perform, then list all the skills they possess, they could provide a list of their identity as a musician. However, a musician’s musical identity goes far beyond that, into aspects like their general personality.
Every musician must discover and define a true identity as a songwriter, performer, and recording artist. Your identity as a musician will define who you truly are, what you stand for, where you are musically, and how others perceive you as a performer and person. To find your true identity, you must first define yourself.
So, I find it interesting that musicians seem to address identity in broader terms, discussing themselves and their music in the context of larger social, cultural, and political values. Musicians’ identities, however, are also intensely personal, and sometimes they have little to do with their larger social environment. In a way, the identification with the musical genre is more relatable because it has made up of more specific, familiar elements like instruments and styles and sometimes veers closer to more “identity-based” politics. Both identities have important cultural contexts, but musicians sometimes have a more complicated relationship with them than non-musicians might have.