Musician personality

What is it like to be a musician? According to the book “The Science and Psychology of Music Performance”, the musician personality is introverted. Is that surprising? It certainly isn’t to me, but it might be for a lot of people, especially “outsiders”. This certain kind of introversion is not just your general shyness though. The musician’s introversion outlines a very reserved, aloof person. Someone who’s pretty much detached from the world. This personality is already there in childhood, and remains there into adulthood as well. Why is that? – you may ask.

Musician personality – the nature of the beast

musician personalityThink about the circumstances it requires to develop certain skills and get good on an instrument. And I mean really good. Not just the usual thing to be able to bang out 3 chords and the intro of a Mozart piece on the piano. With your genitals. When a kid is an extrovert, shit like that is simply not going to happen. They will rather go and play football with their buddies. They surely not going to sit (or stand) through a practice session. Therefore, they will not find joy in development, in figuring out new things on the instrument. The privacy, the activities that require a high level of imagination, and the symbolic thinking are all natural traits of an introverted person. It means that chances are high that introverts not only won’t mind having to practice; they will downright enjoy doing it.

Another trait that can be easily recognized in the true musician personality is a high amount of sensitivity. Think about how a certain piece of music can move you on an emotional level. It’s because the (good) musician constantly finds ways during the performance to intuitively render these personal emotions into the music.

All of these above mentioned traits work the other way around, too. While they might help making it pleasant for the musician to be involved in such activities, these activities also help deepening the traits of the musician personality as well.

Musician personality – the nature of the beast

The downfall, of course, lies in any negative feedback towards the musician. Being such a sensitive person, being so personally connected to the performance and music itself makes it rather hard to remain detached from such criticism. This sensitive nature then manifests itself in (often increasing levels of) anxiety. Except singers. They are usually fukken extroverts. Ba-dum ching (not the Chinese kind of ching, ya n00b).

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