Whom To Be Thankful For As A Freelance Musician


Since September of this year, my life has been a “go-go-go” across the Midwest. As a member of the Freeway Philharmonic, I have been on the road nearly every weekend, and only the past two weeks have I been able to stay (and sleep) at the homestead in Central Ohio. Recently, I began to reflect on whom I’ve been thankful for and the certain people that have helped along the way. As I reflect on my own, be sure to as some point thank at least one of these groups of people who allow you to do what you do as a freelance musician.

1. Your Spouse/Partner/Significant Other
Some of us are not the main source of income in our families. While we travel gig to gig, someone is staying in one location working the stable job and allowing you to continue working towards your goal of being a full-time musician. For some of you, that other person is doing the same thing you are doing as a freelancer. Still be thankful for that person as they can be your supporter, as sometimes you may get the call but they will not. One of my teachers told me:

“Be sure to thank your wife for allowing you to travel 9 hours one way to use a $3000 piece of equipment to make a few hundred dollars.”

2. Your “Work” Colleagues
I have been fortunate to play with some really great people who are genuine and passionate about making music. For four years and counting, the colleagues in the Huntington Symphony have been great to be around, and I’m thankful that they want music to succeed in that city. This was my first auditioned group to play in, and it has been a great experience. I am also fortunate to play with some of the best musicians I have encountered in Orchestra Iowa. Whether it’s been a violinist, a hornist, or a oboist, everyone has graciously welcomed me in this short time span I have been with them (the low brass section has been great as well). The level of excellence they bring pushes me to bring the same each rehearsal and every concert. It’s never been “work”; it’s always been passion for music from people coming together to create a marvelous experience. Thank you.

Be sure to thank those musicians who allow you to join them in the endeavor of music-making.

3. The Friends/Colleagues From Group One
As mentioned before, I am gone often. But even when I am home during the work week, my wife spends more time awake around her co-workers than being home. That is just the nature of this chapter in our lives. What I am thankful for is she works with a great group of people, some of whom she considers “outside of work” friends. So when I am gone on a certain weekend, she is able to interact with “work buddies.” For some, they have become my own friends as well.

It’s difficult to be away from the home so much but be thankful for those friends your spouse/partner/significant other are able to interact with on a regular basis.

If you are are supporter of Last Row Music, I am also thankful for you. Really, I don’t take it lightly that you came across this post. The people I have engaged with while writing for LRM has been remarkable and worthwhile on this journey.

Comment below to tell me who you are most thankful for this season.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone.

Jeremy E. Smith

Click here to see who else I am thankful for as a musician.

Jeremy Smith

Jeremy Smith is a trombonist, brass teacher, and blogger. He studied music performance at both Grace College and Carnegie Mellon University, and currently is the bass trombonist for Orchestra Iowa and the Huntington Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, Jeremy started Last Row Music as an online resource of job postings and artist links for brass musicians around the world. When he is not performing or blogging, Jeremy is giving brass lessons to students throughout the country from his home in Centerburg, Ohio.