Share your expertise and skill!
This is a quote from gooseinthenettles from the "Playing Irish traditional music" thread, and it is great advice! Sharing your expertise and skill with music (or just about anything) is really a positive thing in so many ways:
* It can be very useful for the people learning
* It can help solidify your thoughts on playing this music
* It can make you a better player too
* It can help you build a music scene around you
* It can give you a sense of accomplishment
* It can help you make new friends
The list goes on and on.
In the other discussion, the topic has rubbed a few people the wrong way, saying that we’re too focused on getting "better", and even that it somehow becomes a "competition". And that made me think more about this topic.
Many of the really great players like to teach. Yes, it can be a decent way to augment your income when you’re traveling around and performing. But it doesn’t have to be a paid teaching thing. Sharing your expertise can be as simple as talking informally about things with another person. This is one of the things that first turned me on to Irish traditional music - the social aspects, where (in general) people’s egos don’t get overly inflated (like you might find in, say, Rock and Roll), and it’s generally about the people, learning, sharing, friendship, and enjoyment, instead of being about money or fame.
Even if you’re not an "expert", you still have things to share. I started teaching music when I was still a beginner. I would teach tunes to people (and I still run a weekly free tune learning session). Now I teach private lessons, and at festivals, not because I think I’m the greatest things since sliced bread, but because I like sharing what I know, encouraging people to try things that are fun, and it’s a great way to make new friends. (And fortunately, my playing has gotten to a point where I actually get invited to teach. Part of how I got to that point was from teaching others).
So I encourage you all to share what you know, even if you don’t think you’re good enough. Because there are always people that can learn from what you have to teach, and you might learn some new things in the process too!