A carriage is something that, in simple terms, gets you places. It’s also a word that’s apropos as an acronym for what I consider to be important in my own work. My goal is to instill these same ideals in those I instruct. Let’s, well… get you places!
Creative: Think inside the box, think outside the box, just be thinking – and don’t worry about what other people think about how you think!
Active: In physical exercise as well as in society; being active will stimulate ideas, continually motivate you, and connect you.
Resourceful: Musicians are not just hard workers… we are hard independent workers. How I practice is different than how you will practice. Each individual needs to determine his or her best system for personal practice and growth (i.e. time of day, setting, warm-up regimen, etc.). Own it, and work toward mastering it on a daily basis.
Resilient: We are never going to get better if we are not challenged – and if we are not given criticism at some level. Take in the bad stuff: accept it, learn from it, appreciate the lesson, and move on. It may hurt, it may not always be pretty, but it will make you stronger (and pretty darn savvy). Bonus: you’ll end up with some great stories, which segues into my next point beautifully.
Interesting: The less common you are, the better. There are a lot of cookie cutter musicians out there. You don’t have to follow the same path to ensure success. Let your personality shine – and let it show through your work!
Accountable: If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you say you’re going to do something and you don’t do it, own up to it – and give it 150% next time. If you say you’re going to do something and you consistently do not, clearly it is not something you feel strongly about.
Grateful: No one ever got to where they are all by themselves. Give credit where credit is due, always.
Ethical: Do the right thing. It will pay dividends in the long run, and… it’s just what you do. There are two types of really great musicians: the ones people like to be around, and the ones people don’t like to be around. Which do you think get farther in life?