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  • Courtney Ellian

Whatcha Doin' on March 29?

So, I’m going to let you in on a secret:


I’m a musician. People pay me to make music, and people pay me to teach music.


(That’s not actually the secret I was going to tell you… but you probably already knew that, because you're reading a blog for, well, music.)


I love what I get to do for a living. It’s natural to assume, though, that because I teach, play piano and sing professionally, I probably am appreciative and aware of how amazing music as a whole is, too. Maybe I wax poetic about its virtues to anyone who might listen.


But, the truth is, in the past, I suffered a lot from artistic burnout. What musician hasn’t? Overworking, poor pay and ever-changing schedules are some hard truths about the industry. So (here’s the real secret), I honestly didn’t put enough thought into celebrating music for all that it is. I mean, there exists this beautiful universe of music--one of the integral ingredients to humanity, with rich history in all cultures and the incredible power to heal and lend meaning to life--and I was just over here, in my little corner of the artistic job pool… benefitting from it, generating my livelihood from it, and generally taking it for granted. It didn’t feel thrilling to me at many points; it had just become my everyday routine.

Like any talent or passion that gets retrofitted into an income, my lack of creativity for personal enjoyment embedded itself over the dreams that made me choose this path in the first place. Over the last years of my twenties, the squeezing of my mission into the boxes of too many W-2 forms and work week calendars became too much. I needed to make difficult and risky decisions to overhaul how and where I worked and performed--so, I began that slow investment towards balance and security as an artist in my community. I wanted to re-ignite my energy as a teaching and performing artist who fell in love with music again. To do that, I strove to find work that could give me not just a better opportunity for security: it needed to allow for a return to what sparked my artistic mission, building up a stronger foundation from that seed of gratitude. And, writing this now, it thrills me to say that I’m moving closer to that dream, and renewing love for my art more every day.

(You probably already knew that, too… this is a music blog you’re reading, after all.)


Making music, playing an instrument; it is an expression of the soul in every facet. Music for music’s sake is the core of my message to you today. Its avenues and influence should be celebrated in whatever way brings us all the most joy! In recognition of music’s gifts that help make life beautiful in turn, I encourage you to mark March 29 on your calendar--join Encore Studios and performers, appreciators, and listeners alike worldwide in celebrating the official World Piano Day! The piano has expanded musical dimensions, history, and horizons for centuries. With the world changed in ways we never imagined, there are even more reasons to hold appreciation for the instruments and the music that keep humanity dreaming. Take some time on the 29th to celebrate the piano--stream a playlist, sit down with sheet music, share a favorite performance…show some love in any way you wish for the grandest instrument of them all.


Check out WPD’s website for info and other ways to get in on the fun: https://www.pianoday.org/


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