ONE HAS TO REMEMBER that being a professional musician resembles all other careers in a number of respects. Playing in an orchestra, for instance, may look glamorous, but travel, clothes, taxes and housing all have to be paid for. Orchestral players have partners and families like most other people, and time has to be found to devote to them as well.
Joy Farrall discusses how she balances her time as an orchestral player with her other musical interests as well as her family commitments. It’s a busy life that takes a good deal of organising – indeed, personal organisation is one of the things at which professional musicians have to excel. No one will forgive you for playing badly in a concert just because you've been up all night looking after a newborn baby or coping with a family crisis. Personal discipline requires that you don’t take your personal life on to the stage. At its harshest it’s worth remembering that, as with acting, the audience as a whole don’t care.