You have a gift. A gift that should never, ever, ever be taken for granted. A gift that is always better served when you share it. It should never, ever be disrespected. Your individual creativity is a responsibility to the art of making music. It is something that can never be taken away from you. It comes from your soul, from your gut. And that’s what makes you unique. You’re still a musician.

It doesn’t matter if you know just two cords or can play a concerto by ear. It doesn’t matter if you’re self taught or spend years in school and private lessons. You can be a talented lyricist or arrange for an entire symphony orchestra. You can compose timeless originals or play heart felt covers. You’re still a musician.

It doesn’t matter if you play for $20.00 and pitchers of beer at the same bar every Thursday in front of 5 people. Four of whom work there and one that came in asking for directions to Walgreens. Or, if you play for 20,000 fans and you’re opening for Metallica. You’re still a musician.

You didn’t get into this for orange slices and a participation trophy. Nor did you get into this for “exposure”! You got into it to share your talents and your story telling abilities with the world. You got into this because it’s your calling. Because you want a career and not just a job. You got into this to succeed! You got into this because music is a part of you. You got into it because you’re still a musician.

Your fingers don’t bleed, your lips don’t split open, your legs don’t cramp up or you just ache all over because you are just passing the time. You don’t rewrite arrangements until three in the morning or mix your music until it’s just right because you’ve seen all the cat videos on Facebook already. No. You do it because of the dedication and the respect you have for your talent and the art form. You do it because you’re still a musician.

Look at how many people look at musicians. Notice how everyone wants to be a rock / pop star. How many “talent shows” are there that promise the fantasy that you too could be the Idol everyone will want to be like and see. How many want to take the easy way to success. And how many of those dreams are completely destroyed for that very reason.

You’re still a musician. With the opportunity and responsibility to inspire the next generation of musicians and listeners.

Being a musician is a privilege. It takes talent, dedication, soul and vision. Not many can do it. Although there will always be those who think they can. Those who think that it’s easy. Those who think they’re entitled.

But no.

You’re still a musician.

Honor it.