Through one-on-one in person interviews over coffee, we strive to tell the unique stories of everyday artists’ struggles and triumphs. Pursuing a career in the arts can be difficult to navigate, especially when starting out. In fact, in a study released by HelpMusicians UK, for various reasons artists are 3x more likely to suffer from mental illness as compared to the general public. A’tudes & Brews takes this seriously, and therefore tells these stories to:
Back in the summer of August 2014, I was beginning the final year of my Masters degree and preparing to enter into the real world. One morning while nursing a cup of coffee, I caught myself spiraling downwards into a very negative and depressed mentality. It wasn't a new feeling, but like never before I began to obsess over whether or not I had what it took to ever be considered a 'successful' professional musician.
I decided to open up to close friends and relatives of mine about my stress, and found that I was not as alone as I had imagined. I discovered that not only were these doubts a product of me confusing my value as a person with achievements I may or may not someday have, but that this confusion was something we collectively as a society are plagued by. This inspired and motivated me to promote change, and thus, A'tudes & Brews was born.
In music, an étude is defined as “a composition designed to improve the technique of an instrumental performer by isolating specific difficulties” (The New Harvard Dictionary of Music). I of course don't disdain that études are important to our profession, but overcoming other "specific difficulties" we endure certainly does not come from études. Therefore, I propose another adaptation of the word. A'tudes, unlike études, aim to improve upon our ability to adopt positive 'attitudes' towards ourselves and others, and shift the collective conscious away from feeling that we go through life alone.
In this project, our goals are to encourage musicians and non-musicians alike to practice being honest and open with their stories, as well as connect our audience to the resources that address artist specific mental, emotional, and physical issues. Why? At A'tudes & Brews, we believe that in pursuing these goals, sharing individual experiences, passions, values, struggles and triumphs, will strengthen and connect us together as a society. Because though we may be great musicians, engineers, teachers, etc., first and foremost we are people, and even in our differences we all relate to each other in similar ways in our struggles and triumphs. SO, let's allow music, a little caffeine, and good conversation be the common purpose everyone can practice and positively benefit from.