August 13, 2011


I was consulting with a doctor recently, and in the course of the conversation, he asked what I do. I told him that mainly, I was a mother, but that I was also a violinist. Later on in the meeting, he referred to music as my "hobby," and then talked about how he wished he had more time for his hobbies.

Had I been a lawyer, who had put my career on hold to have a family, occasionally offering legal advice now and again, would anyone refer to that as a "hobby?" I dare say, they would not!

I guess that is one of the perils of doing something you love, rather than something that makes money. To be fair, no one has to certify in violin playing to perform--and there are certainly a lot of fine amateur musicians who really do play just for fun. In a way, I wish I could say that I play "for fun," but I really don't have fun unless I'm seriously playing.

So, I bristle when someone asks me if I'm "still playing the ol' violin," as if it were something I could ever not do. As much as I hate to be defined by others as a violinist, as if there were no other human qualities about me, I AM a violinist--and it's no hobby!


Anonymous said...

AMEN!!! Keep fighting the good fight Jen. You're one of the best violinists [i]I[/i] know. :-)

Judy said...

You are just going to have to respond: "I am a professional violinist" or "I am a concert violinist." You would be absolutely correct.

Marie said...

Maybe you should rename your blog "Jennifer Lynn Dunn, Violinist, not hobbyist." I also think you should say concert violinist.

Melonie said...

I don't know if it would have been any different but maybe if you would have said, I am a preforming musician he would have had a different understanding of what you do with your time away from your first job as a mother. You have to agree there are different levels of skill and time dedication to one being called a "violinist." It can range from one who plays once a month or less just to keep up with the skill to one who practices and performs on a regular basis. Can you say that you enjoy playing the violin as much as one enjoys practicing law? I am sure you enjoy it more, because it is your enjoyment of making music that makes others enjoy listening to it. :)