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Things I learned as a Musician that can help in any Career

by Dan Gosling

Recently, I had a chance to speak to a group of young musicians. It was actually a youth orchestra and there were many aspiring professional musicians in the group. As a professional trumpet player turned business man, my message to them was simple. The skills one learns as a musician can be applied to careers outside of music. Here are some of the most important, in no particular order.

Music Lessons – Life Lessons
  • Persistence: When you spend hours in a practice room perfecting one phrase.
  • Patience: When those hours turn into days and weeks perfecting one piece.
  • Focus: The concentration needed to make those hours productive.
  • Rebounding from Disappointment/Rejection: Learning from performance mistakes and making it better the next time. This is especially true when taking auditions.
  • Networking: Building relationships with teachers, mentors, and colleagues.
  • Performing: Developing poise under pressure.
  • Teamwork: Playing in an ensemble develops both good leading and following skills.
  • Personal Accountability: Being on time and well-prepared.

The point is, all of the traits listed above will help you no matter what you are doing. Whether you are working on a marketing plan or learning a new concerto, the process is very similar. When I prepare for an important meeting, I use the same preparations skills I learned as a musician. These include visualization and rehearsing in my mind what I’m going to say and the outcome I want to have happen. And I treat pitches and presentations the same way I would treat an audition or big performance. Like any “performance,” it’s never perfect, but striving for the best you can do is how you make big leaps in ability, no matter what the endeavor.

Dan Gosling is a professional trumpet player and the inventor of ChopSaver natural lip balm. He earned degrees in trumpet performance from the University of Illinois and Northwestern University and has performed in every genre available to a modern-day player, including symphonic, opera, ballet, jazz, chamber music, solo recitals and studio recording. Dan has served as principal trumpet of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and has done extensive work with the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra, the Louisville Orchestra and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. He created the formula for ChopSaver in 2004, and formed Good for the Goose Products, LLC later that year to market and distributeChopSaver. Dan continues to perform on a freelance basis while serving as “ChopSaver Guy” and CEO of Good for the Goose Products.

For more information about Dan and the ChopSaver story, visit