You have probably heard this from almost every person you told that you were going into music: “It’s competitive, cutthroat, and you won’t make any money.” But is that really the case? Okay, you might not be living in a mansion, but I’ve heard the upkeep is a hassle anyway. Anyone who pursues music as a career does it for a reason much larger than it’s monetary value; they do it because it’s their passion, and honestly, why do anything else?
Many of us were taught incorrectly from the beginning that the only way to succeed in music is to be the best, far better than everyone else, and you must make your way to the top alone. NONE OF THIS IS TRUE! As the great Leslie Knope once said, “No one achieves anything alone.” So your studiomates, classmates, and even social media acquaintances should 100% become your tribe and support system. While many flutists will compete for the same seat in an orchestra, there is a whole group of people out there who do not want that life and fulfill their musical destiny in other ways. For those of you who are still in college, you will be far more successful if you are inclusive with your entire studio - do not weed anyone out because you are a senior and they are a freshman. You all have so much to learn from each other and let's face it, between studio class, ensembles, and practice rooms, you’re bound to run into each other at least 15 times a week, so you might as well be friendly.
How do you build your tribe, you ask? It starts with one conversation. Say hi, listen to each other play their favorite piece, have meals together, game nights, and definitely go to the Symphony together. Developing bonds as students and flute friends will make your life so much better, trust me. It will also teach you how to communicate with one another which will reflect in ensembles. Another way to remove the divide between your studio is if you are in an upper grade, to mentor the younger students. This will benefit both parties involved; the student gets to learn and you get to practice teaching in a relaxed setting.
For friends who are not in college anymore, Instagram and social media as a whole are great ways to build your tribe! The flute world is scary small, but in all of the best ways. You never know when someone you interact with on social media could end up being one of your best friends, supporters and live in the same city! We all have so much to learn from each other and we all benefit when we support each other. #Flutefriends are a thing for a reason, it’s not just a catchy hashtag. How do you build your tribe? What is your favorite flute studio bonding activity?