Advice to a Young Musician


(from a signed Dave Brubeck letter I have)

July 27, 1988

Dear Pat,

Thank you for your letter. It is very difficult to give someone else advice, because I believe, in the end, one makes choices not from heeding other people’s advice, but from listening to one’s own inner voice. So, the best advice I can give to an aspiring musician, or to someone else for that matter, is to try to know yourself. The life of a musician is not always a rewarding one in terms of money earned, or social position, or family life, so to be a musician means lifelong dedication to music.

Often people ask me why I chose to be a musician. My answer is “I had no choice”. In other words, it has been as far back as I can remember and will be until I die, as integral a part of my life as breathing. I hope my comments will help you.

Yours sincerely.

Dave Brubeck


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“Know thyself”--words in a temple in Delphi

“To thine own self be true.”–William Shakespeare, Hamlet

(posted in memory of the great jazz innovator-pianist-composer, Dave Brubeck, 1920  -2012, one day shy of his 92nd birthday)

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