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What Do You Do?

When I was a classroom teacher, conversations about my job felt assumed; everyone (erroneously) seems to know what a teacher does since most of us observed them for 13+ years. Now, when I tell someone, "I'm a professional musician," people immediately ask, "So, like what do you do?" First and foremost, all of my work is centered on the firm belief that "Music Changes Lives." Here's what I do surrounding that theme.


I write, record, and learn new songs to share with others, well-described as a "Song Farmer." I practice and play my violin and guitar, sometimes for any entire day. I perform both as a solo artist and in the band, Horseshoe Road. I maintain a private violin and guitar studio of around ten students. I consult in music education, teaching short-term orchestra classes and music camps or leading large-group workshops. I maintain my small business, Peter Markes LLC, which includes sales and accounting, social media posts, upkeep of my website, networking, and creation of content (subscribe to my YouTube videos or this blog). I'm sure there is more, and yes, these multiple streams of revenue do add up to a living wage.


What is most interesting to me is that we all say "play" music, we never "work" the violin or guitar. So there you have it - I never have to work a day in my life!

A gift from the students of the Oklahoma Youth Orchestra 2018 Summer Camp, commemorating our week together.


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