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Why are You in Music?

This is a question I ask myself whenever I get stressed out, start feeling overwhelmed, or if I am just plain tired and want to stop doing something. Anytime I feel one of the previous feelings I just listed, or others that are similar, I find that it is because I have (temporarily) lost sight of why I am in music.

Try this whenever you feel like music is too much, too hard, or not fulfilling for you anymore. A lot of times I find that I am not spending enough time with the aspects of music I really love and appreciate and instead I am spending too much time on the "work" that goes in to being a musician.


Why am I, Brett Copeland, in Music? Great question.

I freaking love to play the tuba. I love low sounds, loud sounds, things that go bang, things that make weird noises, things that makes beautiful sounds...and the tuba is perfect for that.

– I like collaborating with other artists as a performer, as a composer, or as a sound engineer

– I love playing, writing, and listening to electro-acoustic music

– I like orchestral music, contemporary music, wind band music, jazz, rock, punk, rap, hip hop, EDM, metal, and so many other types of music

– I like playing chamber music. Specifically, I like playing in a brass quintet by the name of Flower City Brass

– I like hearing, creating, and orchestrating interesting sounds as a composer

– I like running sound, helping people perform electro-acoustic music, and creating patches with Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) for composers writing electro-acoustic music

– I like gigging. I like waking up early, throwing on my concert tux, grabbing some coffee, and buzzing on a mouthpiece in my car as a warm up on my way to meet up with other musicians that take part in the gig's carpool.

– I like being on stage and performing

– I like talking to audience members after a concert

– I like post concert hangs with fellow musicians

– I like the feeling that happens in the seconds after a final note of a piece as the sound is still reverberating in the hall before the audience starts clapping. I love that feeling of waiting for the audience to comprehend what just happened before they applaud.

– I like patching, building signal processing effects, building interfaces, and creating soundscapes in MAX/MSP

– I like teaching electronic music to students and seeing them realize that the sky is the limit and they can create whatever they want. I like giving them tools to help them with their own compositions

– I like the business side of music. I like working with venues, sending contracts, and negotiating.



So, now it is your turn.

Ask yourself, "Why am I in Music?" Write down your answer in a journal, or some kind of log so you can come back and see your answer. I do this probably once a month. I make sure to list as many things as possible EVERY TIME I do it. It helps. I promise.


This concept is from the book Beyond Talent by Angela Myles Beeching.

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