2020 has been a difficult year worldwide and, like many others, a lot in which I had planned to do for this year didn’t go to plan, or even take place. For as long as I can remember I’ve always been a “glass half empty” person and tend to perceive the world as black and white. The ongoing pandemic and constant news updates with death rates and new cases really fuelled my negative mindset, in addition to the live music industry being on hold and everything in general being uncertain.
I graduated university this year and thanks to the pandemic, graduation ceremonies were postponed to October, and then postponed to an unknown date in 2021 (Will we ever have a ceremony?? Who knows). At the beginning of the year I was very ambitious (if a little naïve) and thought that I would start a new job immediately after graduation, and that I would pick up more freelance gigs and new students to teach. As everything – and a lot of things are – was on hold, I began to feel hopeless due to struggling to find music work or any kind of work for that matter. I was planning in applying for a masters in music therapy to start in 2021, but I have decided to place this on hold until there’s a vaccine and to gain some more work experience – there’s no rush! Some positives that came from this was that everyone suddenly had a lot more free time; I am really bad for planning years and years in advance, but this has helped me to see things in smaller time frames and to be more present rather than worrying about what I’ll be doing in 10 years time. I also began to put less pressure on myself, and after months and months of job applications and interviews I started my new job at the beginning of the month which I love!
In terms of music, I was heartbroken (and still am) that live concerts were getting cancelled, some gigs that I had lined up were cancelled, I lost some students that I had been teaching. I briefly considered applying for a random masters to retrain (thanks Rishi Sunak) in another field with “more job prospects”. Having so much free time motivated me to set up a website to advertise my teaching and performing after months and months of wanting to do it. I had always been scared almost to put myself out there as I was constantly overthinking “what if I get nothing from it?” and “people are going to rip me to SHREDS.” I told myself that if I don’t establish myself on social media and “get myself out there” now, then I’ll constantly put it off and never do it. If anyone reading this has something that they keep putting off – just go for it!! After all, what’s the worst that could happen?
As a result, I have some new students for the new year and I had my first paid performance (online) since March, and some more projects in the works for 2021! I’m constantly amazed by how much we can do with music performance and teaching online, it’s not the same as being in person but I have hope that we can get back to some kind of normality sooner rather than later.
I’ve had some good moments this year, along with some understandably low ones. Being in lockdown is incredibly tough for us all, but one good thing that has come out of it is how I’m slowly starting to find more positives in life despite all of the chaos the world is in right now. I began to practice violin more due to having more time on my hands, and I set up this website along with my Facebook page and reviving my old music Instagram!
My main goals for 2021 are to keep working on building my confidence in music and outside of this, continue to build a network with other musicians and creatives, and hopefully get some pieces recorded to share online! Happy New Year to you all x