12-Year-Old Nate Dares Classical Musicians To Do The Following Six Things

The 12-year-old version of me (in the cover photo, ha) saw my post about Universal Truths for Classical Musicians yesterday and challenged me to a game of Truth or Dare.

12-year-old Nate dares you to do the following six things:

1. DARE: Ask for help. If you’re feeling lost or like you don’t fit into the field of classical music, you are not alone. The weird thing about our field is that most of us have felt that way at one point or another (I still often feel this way). There are so many people out there who want to help and support you on your journey so be brave and ask for support!

2. DARE: Share stories instead of facts. Option One: I was a complete mess in my 20s, I felt directionless, and I write these posts out of a desire to help the beautiful people in our field find success. > Option Two: This is my 254th post I’ve written to support artists. Personal stories help others empathize with you and they help your community better understand who you are as a human being.

3. DARE: Get real with your finances. The moment you can track your monthly income and expenses and you define what an hour of your time is actually worth, you will gain true clarity about your path. Knowledge is power.

4. DARE: Set some boundaries. I understand not everyone has the luxury of being able to say no to work. However, if you don’t figure out a way to block off time for a break on a regular basis, you will burn out and likely leave the field. Nobody can sustain a career without some downtime and space to create.

5. DARE: Pursue your art for you, not for someone else. So many of us started playing our instruments before we were able to make decisions for ourselves. That set us up to follow our parents and mentors instead of paving our own path. Make sure you identify WHY you are in the field of classical music in the first place.

6. DARE: Join my newsletter. Each week, my newsletter Tips For The Unrelenting Creative provides practical, tactical, how-to tips for classical musicians and if this post resonated with you, I would be honored to have you join my community. Sign up below

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Nate Zeisler is the Dean for Community Initiatives at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. He envisions a world where students majoring in the arts have a clear path to a sustainable career, where creative minds are empowered and inspired to rule the workforce, and where access to the arts is not just for the privileged few, but for all.

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