Tanya Kalmanovitch: How Quitting Music Made Me An Artist

"Much of what I now teach about art-making comes from my experiences between the ages of 22 and 30, when things fell apart." — Tanya Kalmanovitch, Contemporary Improvisation and Entrepreneurial Musicianship faculty

Tanya Kalmanovitch 21CM

NEC faculty member Tanya Kalmanovitch is an educator, violist, and ethnomusicologist. In her recent op-ed for 21CM, she discusses how quitting music shortly after college led to the eventual successes she found in her music career, despite being told she "lacked the necessary discipline."

I graduated from Juilliard in 1992 with two pieces of professional advice. The first was, “Take care of the music, and the music will take care of you.” The second was, “If you can see yourself doing anything else, do it.” I accepted the first piece of advice as an article of faith: a noble contract. The second I dismissed as irrelevant. I had never seen myself doing anything else but music.

But six months after graduation, I quit.

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