Steps to Becoming a Musical Artist
by Cathy Arhelger, Director
This month’s feature article will be brief, but inspiring. Not all of our students will turn pro. In
fact, most will enjoy music-making as a hobby on and off throughout their life. Ever wonder
what it takes to get into college as a music major? What about after college? I’ve used this list
with my flute students for many years. It helps them figure out where they fit in the
1. Fall in love with your instrument.
This might happen in the first year or two of lessons. Those who aren’t in love with their instru-
ment can try a different one, or a different teacher. If you like your instrument but don’t feel
a strong attachment, that’s okay. Continue learning for your own enjoyment. But, if you can
picture yourself doing anything else but music, such as English or science, then do it.
2. Get all the technical and tonal mastery you can.
This is achieved by diligent daily practice and performing and competing as often as possible.
It’s one thing to nail a piece at home and quite another to play at a competition or audition.
No one wins every time. Attend as many live concerts as you can. Listen to your favorite radio
stations and to good recordings to develop a feel for what you like and don’t like. This will help
you graduate into step three. Keep going and don’t give up on your dreams.
3. Develop your own style and unique artistic personality.
The best artists put their own sound and “spin” to a piece. This can’t be learned from a book.
It’s about taking your personal viewpoint and putting it into your performance. Only through
years of hard work and good coaching will you find your unique style.
Most of Academy students are on either step one or two.
There you have it, in a nutshell, how to become an artist.