Disappointment... we all know how it feels, right? That deflating feeling of defeat, frustration, demoralization, or failure. As people we deal with this in all aspects of life, but as musicians we can really get hung up on disappointments.
Here's why it hurts so much: we can so easily put our self worth into our musical ability and start comparing ourselves to other people doing what we do. When other people get recognized and we don't, it can feel pretty crappy. Other times, we go through pain when we don't do well in an audition, don't get that chair placement we wanted, or don't get into a program or whatever. Sometimes, its jealousy over other peoples' success. Well, regardless, its something we all deal with!
I am no stranger to disappointment. In high school, I never made the Minnesota All State Jazz Ensemble. I went on to apply to four colleges (Berklee, U of MN, Depaul, and UW Eau Claire) and was rejected by three of them, both in the music program and the academic programs. The only school I got into was UW Eau Claire, so my path was set before me.
I have applied for many composition contests and have been rejected by the vast majority of them. And every time, it feels pretty crappy. Since I put a lot into my music, it hurts to feel that it was not appreciated or valued by the people judging.
But, I trust that the Lord has every failure etched into His plan for my life. By going to UW Eau Claire, I became part of a great community of people and gave my life to Jesus Christ through a musician's Bible study I joined. I met my wife, Alyssa, who I can't imagine life without anymore. I got a great education and got to hone my musical skills as well. Even though my plans didn't turn out like I hoped in that time, I can look back and say that they turned out better than I could have planned.
If I've learned one thing from watching NFL football, it's the remarkable way that the best football players bounce back from failure. The best guys all talk about how losing a game fuels their fire to get better and improve their game. Let's commit to having that attitude when we work on our musicality! Let's humble ourselves and just hunker down! We can do it!
is a saxophonist/composer residing in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.