Real Talk: I’m an Aspiring Musician

By Danielle Roberts

danielleIt’s easy to look at me and think I have it all figured out. People see me and they see a person who is driven, motivated, passionate. They see a person who goes out there, who does what she loves and is genuinely happy. But they don’t always know what’s going on underneath.

Below the surface I question what I am doing every day. I question if being a singer is right for me, if pursuing a career in music is what I really want.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved music. I’ve found an outlet and passion for a field that not many people are successful in. At certain points I feel so sure that this is what I was made to do, but then that little voice creeps in. Professors, neighbors, friends and even strangers tell me it’s hard. They tell me maybe I should forget it and be a teacher. They say that I could do something music related, but not to be so set on becoming famous. Sometimes I start to believe it. “What makes you so special?” I ask myself.

Now that I’ve graduated college, I see that maybe to a certain degree they’re right. Maybe fame won’t help me change the world. But that doesn’t mean I’ll quit music. There are so many ways that I can help people through music. I can write songs that relate, lift people up, comfort them when they’re down and even soothe them with some feel-good rhythms.

My journey through college has helped me to narrow down my interests. Now I know that I want my career to involve music and creativity, expression and passion. I want to be surrounded by culturally aware people and I want to help people. But as I sit home during the summer, only wanting to binge on Netflix and not face “the real world” that I’ve just entered, the doubt still boils. Sometimes I am filled with so much self-doubt, worry, confusion and a feeling of misdirection, that I think I should just quit. It’s even difficult to motivate myself to practice piano or warm up my voice.

So what motivates me to keep going? I think of all of the people who have had the same dream as me, and who have given up. The people who were complacent, who got stuck in their 9-5 jobs, who listened when everyone told them to stop. I think of what they could have been if they had the drive. Who they could have been if they told everyone: back off! I never want to get comfortable like that. I never want to feel that my talent goes unnoticed. I want to feel on edge – to put myself on stage and in uncomfortable situations so I can be versatile and unaffected by the thoughts of others. I act confidently on the outside so that I convince myself on the inside that this is the right path for me.

Right now I’m working on setting up a regimen for the days that I’m free this summer. It looks something like this: 8:30am write, 10:00am warm up voice and practice piano, 11:30 read and research, 1:30 learn a new song (piano and voice), 5:00 exercise, 6:30 plan an adventure! This is a loose schedule that leaves time to do other things in between, but has a set time to practice, sing and write. With this schedule, I will be able to make lots of progress while doing the things that I love! The next steps after I get into the swing of my schedule, are building my repertoire, booking gigs, networking, recording, and more! As long as I continue to battle the black vortex of Facebook, I will be able to accomplish what I was set out to do!

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