Are you expected to work to your highest ability every day for £0?

Sadly, as I was growing up and learning the violin for many years, my violin teachers did not offer their lessons for free. Funnily enough, other necessary services which came as a direct result of studying the violin were not free: music books, strings, my violins themselves(!), the transport costs to lessons across the UK, examinations to progress throughout music. Also, by the time I reached university, my tuition was not free, neither was my accommodation, food, or general living costs and my lessons with professional violinists were certainly not free!

As a professional violinist myself, providing the excellent standard to which I have achieved throughout my life, having paid for all these services: I now play the violin to earn money.

This enables me to be able to exist, to pay, as a little example; my mortgage, energy bills, council tax, public liability insurance, PAT testing for my equipment, PA systems, connector leads, instrument insurance, violin strings, bow rehairs, my car, the diesel which runs my car to drive to gigs, car insurance, AA in case my car breaks down on the way to a gig, car tax, MOT, parking costs, computer running costs to respond to client enquiries, website administration fees, broadband, web address, clothes and shoes to wear to perform in. I’m sure there are many more items/services I could add to this list, but don’t wish to moan!

Let me ask you: are you expected to work to your highest ability every day for £0? I don’t imagine so.

Claire Stranger-Ford