What comes to mind when you think of a successful flutist? You probably see the first-chair flutist in an orchestra, an international soloist, or a fancy flute professor.
But success isn't a job title; it's you feeling confident and happy doing what you love. If you love playing the flute but hate practicing, you probably don't feel successful at it, even if you are pretty good at it.
After over a decade of being in the music industry, I've known lots of successful flutists, but fewer who are successful AND happy. Here are 3 things that I've seen flute players do to become successful:
Be a forever student.
I don't mean to say you should stay in school forever (YIKES). However, some of the best knowledge you can gain happens outside of the four walls of your school.
Life is the best educator, and lessons are not always so obvious in the moment. Be open minded to learning something new in any situation, and practice what you gain!
Reward effort more than perfection.
You can't always be at 100% for everything. Sometimes you can try really hard and just fall short from your goals.
Instead of beating yourself up for failing, embrace the effort you were able to make. Try again later or adjust your goal, but DEFINITELY reward yourself for trying!
(My favorite reward is ice cream.)
Look forward to feedback.
Even when feedback is constructive, it's easy to focus on the negative or to hear it as cold hard criticism.
Remember that feedback can point out what you can't see or a new approach. Rephrase criticism in a more positive way, and if that's not possible then leave the negativity behind!
Final Flute Notes
Success isn't a one-size-fits-all formula. Whether you're a beginner or a professional, it takes an open mind and a willingness to adapt to be successful in whichever situation you find yourself in. Take the time to find out how you can learn from your experiences and make playing the flute something you can be successful in!
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