Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Blessings of Being a Musician During the Holidays

The holidays are such a hugely busy season for most musicians, that it can be pretty hard to step back and appreciate how lucky we are. I know, you're tired and overworked, and you have three performances of the Nutcracker or Handel's Messiah this weekend, as well as an early morning Christmas service at one of those churches with way too much electric guitar. I mean, most people get a break during the Holidays, but even if school's out or you get time off your day job, your music job is sucking the life out of you. And how many electric guitars can one church possibly need anyway?

But, there are plenty of advantages that musicians have over regular folks this season. Here are a few I've noticed.

1. You can sing Christmas Carols and stay in the right key!

Yes, as a musician, you likely have enough pitch sense that you can sing a Christmas carol and stay in key, even if that key has far too many flats, and, oh my, what is that key change the choir director thought would be a good idea for the bridge? 

If fact, after so many Christmas concerts, you even know the correct lyrics to most carols, including the second verses!

2. You get extra money!

Sure, some people get end of the year bonuses, but others get tons of seasonal concerts and gigs. All that extra money means this time of year is likely your most profitable! Financial stability, here we come! At least until next month.

3. You have the perfect excuse to avoid awkward work or family functions.

I'm playing in a concert for the such and such symphony means no more uncomfortable small talk with your boss's nephew, the one who constantly insists he's not racist despite all evidence to the contrary. Or avoid trying to remember the names of everyone in the accounting department.

4. Special Effects and Celebrities 

Classical music doesn't get them very often, but Christmas and 4th of July Concerts can have as much fire, explosions, older celebrities, and glitter as they please. Anyone else played in the Transiberian? Or maybe along side a famous gospel singer?

 5. The whole "bringing joy to children" thing

Yes, most of the time classical concerts are less than kid-friendly, but once you have a  Santa Claus with a good baritone, let the little ones come! Let's face it, you have to be five years old to really get the plot of the Nutcracker anyway. There's mice and toy soldiers, and now dancing chocolate, and... just roll with it.