When I think about musicians that I recommend for gigs, for clinics, or for lessons, they are always highly skilled (of course) but they are also just some of the nicest people I know. I think being amicable, affable or just friendly is something that all musicians need to work on and finding character role models on the bandstand is useful. If you are from the southern Ontario region and are in the music biz, you will know Rob Somerville and Mike Malone; two fabulous musicians. In addition, they are two of the most humble and kind-hearted people I know, which makes them amazing colleagues and teachers. These two are unflappable in any social or musical situation and are gracious at all times. I strive to be more like these two. So besides having a musical model to emulate, find a social model in the music community, because it can be a bit rough-and-tumble at times and some people just maintain a great disposition, raising their fellow musicians to a higher level. On a side note, I will hire a lesser player who is of a higher moral character. A healthy band environment is key and it only takes one or two players to start souring that mix. I will end with this: if you know of someone that you feel is such a role model, let him/her know. It will be appreciated.
Dr. Michael Kearns
Musician, educator, husband, father, web designer ... my life is like a mosaic with each piece vying for my attention.