Don’t Call Yourself a Tuba Player

I’ll go ahead and subtitle this Make Music Happen This is a riff on “Don’t call yourself a programmer,” published on Kalzumeus last year.  Until about a year ago I defined myself primarily as a musician, partly as a potter, sometimes a programmer and web designer.  Something I learned in the trenches as a musician and as a programmer was stirred by that article, and I’d like to explore it a bit. I’ve played tuba for my entire adult life.  I’ve had the joy of playing with great musicians, in wonderful venues, and teaching engaged students.  I’ve also had my share of drudge gigs, never-ending graduation ceremonies, and hand-holding sessions with disengaged apathetic youngsters.  On the whole though, it’s been great.  But as I straddle two careers, I try to take lessons from both and apply them to all. People like to specialize.  They like to put their heads down and burrow into their own little kingdom.  They feel special and powerful there.  I don’t know if it’s innate, cultural, or what, but go into a university department and strike up a conversation with a faculty member and you’ll be talking to a Specialist.  Go into a programming/IT department; talk to one of the software coders there, and you’re talking to a specialist.  Talk to someone in accounting: specialist.  And on and on.  Businesses need accountants the same way orchestras need violins.  It just is. But I think people get their signals crossed on causation.  Causation is one of my pet peeves.  For instance, throughout history, people who eat bread die.  All of them.  Isn’t that tragic?  You’re probably...