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  • Writer's pictureMahaliah Edwards

A week in the life of a musician

Updated: May 21, 2022

See what a week in my life can (sometimes) look like...

In my last blog post, I talked about what versatility as a musician means to me. I also touched on the many different facets of my portfolio career and in this blog post, I'm taking you through a week in my life. Due to the nature of being a musician with different projects, events etc. and also being education, each day and week although structured can be different. I'm giving you an insight into a very interesting 7 days: Thursday 21st - Thursday 27th April.

Thursday 21st - A varied day of violin playing, meetings and a show...

I usually wake up at around 6am on a week day in order to leave the house at 7am This day, I dropped my partner to the train station before going back home to practice.

9am-10am I had my violin lesson on Zoom. We looked at some studies for better and more seamless shifting, some double stopping studies and scales before so playing some Bach partita in D minor.

1pm - 3.30pm- I had a meet up with a dear friend and colleague who plays piano. We played through some Elgar for future work together plus some,Mozart and Wieniawski for fun.

I then had to rush to East London but not before taking a zoom meeting for an exciting event happening in May with one of the schools I work at.

6.15 - The doors opened to Punchdrunk, an immersive theatre show. I don't want to give it away but it was probably the best "stage" production/live show I've ever experienced. I'd highly recommend.

I then got the train home from London and didn't get in until after midnight...

Friday 22nd - Wedding Gig

This day, I had a wedding to play at with my string quartet - The Dunev Quartet. I had been working with the couple in the 6 months before hand to prepare music bespoke to their wedding day.

10.20am - Packed the car and left the house to pick up Hristo our first violinist form the train station. I picked up a delicious breakfast and smoothie on my way.

We arrived 11.30 set up to get started before the guests arrived later on. It was a really lovely day and we were able to play some recently added pieces to our set lists which was exciting. Of course, 1/2 the quartet used our trusty Scherzo stands which are so lightweight to transport and perfect for gigs like weddings!

Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th

Honestly, Saturday was a very relaxed day for me not doing very much. I had been to see the amazing immersive theatre show Punchdrunk 2 days before in London then had the wedding gig on Friday so I was completely shattered.

Usually Sunday is a day for me to watch online church live and catch up with other bits. I just need some practise and preparation for work and my MA studies too.

Monday 25th - A day in school & teaching

On Mondays I work in a Surrey Hills school. Like usual I'm up at 6am and out by 7am to get to work for an 8.30 start. This was a relatively chilled day with a few meetings but I was busy prepping for an event coming up.

After going into school, I go home for dinner then head out again to teach a private student at their house for 7.30pm.

Tuesday 26th - School again & The Proms 2022 Launch

Usually on Tuesdays, I work from home for myself or in a freelance capacity for other companies i.e Black Lives in Music. Today I had a different day because I went into my school in the Surrey Hills to be on a recruitment panel and also to meet a future collaborator for the school's music department.

In the afternoon, I went to Printworks where I was to co-host the BBC Proms 2022 launch event. This was in my capacity as BBC employee on the BBC Open Music scheme. The scheme is a new addition to the music department and I'm on the first ever cohort of 30 amazing creatives and creators who hail from so many artistic backgrounds including musical, theatrical, sound design and more. It was a great evening to get excited about the Proms this year and also to meet lots of industry professionals. This was another get home at midnight event!...

Wednesday 27th - London School

On Wednesdays, like most, I wake up early drive to the train station and I get the 7.30am train into London then take the tube and bus in order to start teaching at 9am.This teaching work is with Music Masters and I work with Year 2s: pairs in the morning, group lessons in the PM with my wonderful colleague Louisa. This day was the first day back at Easter.

During my lunch break and after work is when I try and do some practice!

Thursday 28th - London school, teaching & orchestra.

Thursdays are pretty much the same except I can get a later train to my London School. I work with Year 2s in the morning then lively year 1s in the afternoon before rushing back on my 2hr door-to-door commute to get to a private student for 6pm. After my private student, I drive home for a quick dinner before heading out to my local symphony orchestra rehearsal. It is a good 20mins in traffic so I like to get there for 7.30pm. This lasts until 10pm and by this point I'm usually very tired or hungry and have been known to get a cheeky McD's drive through meal on the way home. When I get home, I check my emails and prep for the next day in school before going to bed.

I hope that has given you a little taster of what a week of work and can look like for me. I'm sure for many working musicians and educators it can look different. For me, I have a set schedule 4 days for week during schools' term time and it often varies depending on the different engagements I have going on. Some weeks are pretty uninteresting events and then others have events, concerts etc - it's the nature of life but also a partially employed and partially freelance creative! I'd be interested to know how other musician's day-to-day goes. Let me know.

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