I have been busking for six years. Busking, as I define it, is the art of performing in public places as a gift to the community. Gifts are often returned.
I first started busking because I wanted to to attend summer music programs and had the opportunity through the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Concert Tour to Austria, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Since meeting that first goal, busking has been part of my fundraising that has enabled me to attend the Meadowmount School of Music, and take violin lessons from Paul Kantor in Houston, Texas. As I mentioned in my last post, I have been accepted to study with Almita Vamos at the Music Institute Chicago (MIC) Academy Program beginning in September 2015. To get there I will be raising 20-25% finances I need to attend the Academy program through busking. So I have been playing almost every Sunday at the Portland Saturday Market and other farmers markets and street fairs.
I am getting very close to reaching my busking goal but to be honest, busking is about giving a gift to the community as much as it is about receiving. For example the other night, when I was busking on Aberta street at the Last Thursday street fair, more than one child watched me intently. Inspiring children is amazing.
I have also fist bumped homeless individuals in appreciation for my music and even received their pocket change. which, by no means is spare change. These acts of kindness are powerful.
I have received inspiration and encouragement from other street performers who have given me advice, coaching and a spirit of generosity and the gift of community. Elvis, Pug, and even the Balloon man have all helped me navigate the ever-changing rule enforcement and street culture around busking.
Busking is challenging. You can never play at your best because you are outdoors with distractions, noise, and ever moving people. You have to play loud andsacrifice a certain amount of stylistic accuracy. Its as if you are always playing Eine kleine Nachtmusik (Mozart), in the style of Brahms. Yet, even the challenges are gifts as well. They teach me discipline and focus and are lessons I carry back into my practice room.
I recently tweeted that “Busking is more about giving than it is about receiving” and that through busking “I always end up richer as a person, even if there was no tip jar included.” I believe that fully.
Thanks to all who support street performers and all who have supported my success. I am richly blessed
While the community has supported by busking goal, you can still help because I have an online fundraising goal in addition to my busking. Click the Donate Button ~or find my address~ on the sidebar (or below for mobile users).