In troubling and uncertain times, the best things that we can do are to look forward and find a vision of the future. It probably won’t be correct, but the exercise is the point. Identify what we do have control over in the present moment.
We don’t have control now over when our gigs will return or how quickly others will work on keeping the Coronavirus at bay. We cannot control in any way our preparation that has already passed. In both of these cases, we can waste a lot of good mental and emotional energy thinking of what could have been or trying to schedule things without the absolute knowledge that they will happen at all. But we do have control over how we approach the situation, what we do with our time, how we choose to react. At these times, when a mighty obstacle stands in our way, there is no better time to find the weakness in the armor that we’ve built for ourselves and sure it up. Our field of classical music is clearly reliant almost completely on live performances and gatherings of people. But obviously, that’s not happening now, and it’s taken us by surprise because most of us weren’t prepared for anything to change in that paradigm. The Berlin Phil was ready, but that’s partly luck and partly because they’ve known for years that their performances can and should reach beyond those in attendance.
Whether you are a musician, teacher, or administrator in music, the only thing that’s certain is that now, clearly, nothing is certain. Except for what you decide to do with your time. Use it to practice, connect with others, start a podcast, start a blog, build virtual teaching means, tell your story, redesign your website, read, practice, study. Be creative in your money-making while you have the time and the necessity to make it happen. Take the space that you have to bring new ideas out and then focus intently on them without distraction. This is what we can do in the face of uncertainty and that which is out of our control.