The beat goes on...
Most people are shocked when I tell them that I haven’t touched my instrument for more than 10 years. As someone who made her living as a freelance oboist for almost a decade, I understand why it could come as something of a surprise.
But just because I went ‘cold turkey’ doesn’t mean that the years of practise and study have gone to waste. Music is still part of my everyday life. It plays an important role in my new profession as a freelance writer, and is a love that I am delighted to share with my 5-year-old son.
The fact is, once I went back to university for a degree in arts administration I simply didn’t have the two to three hours a day needed to keep my oboe chops in shape. The school refused to give credit towards my degree for performance courses. And so I put down my instrument to concentrate on such inspiring subjects as accounting, finance, and organizational behaviour.
Not wanting to spend the rest of my life dealing with numbers, I decided to top off my BA with a quick Masters in Journalism, in the hopes of getting into the communications end of the music business.
And although I now write on a wide range of topics and for a variety of clients, music has been at the core of my freelance writing career since the beginning.
It sure helps to know the difference between Bach and Berlioz when you are interviewing people who do make their living as a performer, whether they play classical, jazz, pop, or world music!
And I understand the importance of following your passion, whether it is in the rodeo arena, or on stage.
For now, writing about music – or hockey, the stock market, or a new kitchen renovation - fills the creative void left when I stopped performing. I can no longer say that I miss it, although I could see myself picking up an instrument again for fun at some point. It might even be an oboe.
What kind of role does music play in your life?
Nicole Laidler is the owner of Spilled Ink Writing & Wordsmithing. www.spilledink.ca She is happy to count Conservatory Canada among her clients.