How Competition Effects the Sound of Your Music

For years now, I have struggled with the fact that competition is often a large part of the music business. But it took me until now that it has absolutely NOTHING to do with music itself, unless you make it that way. One thing I absolutely hate is when people play music in order to impress people. You know what it usually ends up sounding like? Like a bunch of immature crap. Take a soccer player for instance (soccer happens to be one of my other loves). The greatest players are fully capable of using all the tricks in the book, but they only use them when necessary. They are team players, meaning they do what is best for the team, rather than doing a bunch of moves to get the crowd going and going for goal themselves even if a better opportunity exists for another player. Music is just like soccer. You have to play what is best for the music, not what is best for yourself. The mature musician saves his tricks for the right moment rather than spewing them all over the place to get a reaction from the crowd. Too many musicians end up being the immature soccer player! How does this all relate to competition? Well, the reason people turn into show-offs is because they feel competitive! Forget competition when you’re playing music. That’s NOT EVEN CLOSE to what your music should be about. Play music to evoke emotion. Play music to send a message. Play music because you LOVE PLAYING MUSIC.

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About Noah Kellman

I am a hard-working and devoted pianist, composer, songwriter, blogger, arts management student, self-marketer, and entrepreneur who happens to also be obsessed with creating art, connecting with people, watching Tim Burton movies, and many other things. I started playing piano around the age of three when my dad started teaching me to play some of the simpler Beethoven, Chopin and Mozart pieces for piano. I think the first song I ever learned was Für Elise. My ear ended up being far better than my reading skill (an unfortunate circumstance that continues today), and the many teachers I studied with in my youth allowed me to play only music that I could read. I ended up truly disliking most of these simple tunes in lesson books, and finally quit the piano until I discovered jazz in 5th grade when I heard the 315 All Stars, an incredible Syracuse, NY high school jazz ensemble that existed back in the day. From there on out, it’s all a blur. I studied with Rick Montalbano for the next 8 years, all the while meeting hundreds of incredible musicians and friends who I still love today. My freshman year of college, I attended The Brubeck Institute in Stockton, California. It proved to be an incredible year and really helped me develop as an artist. I am now a senior Arts Management major at SUNY Purchase College, in Purchase, NY.

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