Take the musician mensch quiz

If you’re a musician here’s an important question: Are you also a Mensch? [An upstanding, worthy, honorable adult person regardless of gender identity.] It turns out being a mensch has a lot to do with people wanting to hire you. So, if you want more freelance work? Take the Musician Mensch Quiz.

In a relationship-driven profession such as music, how you treat others matters. Not just to your freelance and teaching income, but to your quality of life. Are you becoming the person you want to be?

Take my Musician Mensch Quiz

Answer the following questions A-G . . .

A. Do other musicians enjoy rehearsing with you? [What evidence are you basing this on?]

B. Do audience members feel good after speaking with you at post-performance receptions? [Again, how do you know?]

C. In what ways, beyond your music making, are you contributing to your community? [Be specific.]

D. When is the last time you did something generous for another person with no expectation of any return?

E. Are you treating others in a way that would make your grandmother proud?

F. Where would you score on the Village Voice‘s own Luke Winkie’s Biggest Egos in the History Pop Music rating?
I find this works well no matter what genres you play. Luke assessed for five different aspects. Rate yourself using a 1, 2, or 3 for each (1 = minimal, 2 = well, yes I am this way at times, or 3 = YES, THAT’S ME!)

  • “Self-Importance (how much better they think they are).
  • Self-Righteousness (how much better they think their ethics and practices are).
  • Diminished Self-Awareness (how little they’re aware of their own silliness).
  • Messiah Factor (how much they think they’re leading people out of darkness. And, lastly
  • General Dickishness (self-explanatory).” 

G. Why are you making music?  [Hint: is it all for self-glorification or what?]

How we see ourselves behaving in relation to others determines our quality of life. I don’t know about you, but there are days when I know I could do a whole lot better.

The good news is we CAN change. Here’s how.

Tips to Boost Your Mensch-ness

1. Be thoughtful: when you come across articles and blog posts that you think colleagues would benefit from and enjoy, forward them. (For example, maybe there’s someone you know you can forward this to . . .)

2. Help connect people by doing in-person and networking e-introductions.

3. Be kind and look for ways to be of service to others. What goes around comes around.

4. Refer work to others (gigs you can’t do, students you can’t take, recommendations you can give).

5. On gigs, be good with the hang. Don’t just show up at the rehearsal or gig and do the work as an isolated individual. Connect with others: make it a point to get to know your fellow musicians and the presenter or contractor, be friendly, easy to work with to all, including the stage crew, administrators, and service people.

6. After performances (your own or others), go to the reception and be interested in others. If you performed, accept compliments graciously. Extend yourself: if you’re shy, work on having a few good open-ended questions—ask what the other person has found inspiring lately. Same goes if you’re backstage after another person’s performance: be gracious. Be specific about what you especially appreciated in the performance.

7. Act today with the end in site: after you’re dead and gone, what three things do you want people to remember you for?

Wait, there’s more help with becoming a better YOU . . .

Watch Tiffany Shlain’s short The Making of a Mensch (11 minutes).

And if you’re interested in developing your quality of life, along with your career, check HERE,

Dream Big, Plan Smart, Live Well

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