I was having a coffee discussion today with my friend (and fantastic bassist) Kevin MacIntire about what drives musical/artistic progress in individuals. We spoke and thought about the various forms of work ethic in young musicians, and also our own journeys as instrumentalists.

As a somewhat regular private lesson instructor, I can speak from experience in saying that there is a noticeable difference between students who desire accomplishment/status in the music industry vs a skillful relationship to their drum kit. It’s like the love of money vs the love of the game. Which makes someone work harder? We all know that “hard work” is necessary in achieving any form of progress, but what is the end goal of the work? Where does the desire to work hard at something originate? Does financial gain produce the same work ethic as inspiration?

I have my own thoughts and life experiences that relate to these questions, but I’m writing this post because just now I came across a Kierkegaard quote which seems to intersect the topic nicely:

“If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never. And what wine is so sparkling, what so fragrant, what so intoxicating, as possibility!”  – Either/Or: A Fragment of Life

*Soren drops mic and walks offstage*