I regularly get to play with amateur musicians (or hobby-musicians as I like to call them), and it can be one of the most rewarding things you do.
In working with them I meet highly intelligent people who loves art and loves to perform.
One time I was told by one of my hobby-musicians colleagues that he had the pleasure of meeting so many great and nice professional musicians. And on the down side, he also got to meet a few professional musicians who was not very nice to him. This made me sad.
If we as professional musicians are not able to work with hobby-musicians without judging them, then we are failing tremendously.
It is not our job to judge others and their level of skill. It is our job to share our music as professional musicians. And that sometimes includes playing with non-professionals, and they should be treated the same way as any other musician.
Your level of playing does not mean you are any less of a musician, and you should not accept being treated any different than a professional.
In my more than ten years of working as a musicians I have decided on not judging others on their level of playing. Everyone is doing their best, and not everyone has chosen to spend all their life on becoming the best musicians possible.
Actually I think hobby-musicians have something to teach us professionals about their love for music. Because we sometimes forget. Their relationship with music could be way better than ours, because they have kept playing as their hobby.
Since they do not have to make money out of it, or even have to practice everyday, usually they have a much better relationship with the music. They are happy to play, and happy to perform.
Often they see it as a privilege, but we professionals can sometimes forget that it truly is a privilege to get to play, and get to have it as our job.
It is not hobby-musicians job to strive to be on a professional level of playing, it is our job to accept them and treat them with respect, no matter what
It is the love for music that drives us. We all have in common that we love to play and we love the music. It gives us a life, a dream, a hobby, a goal.
We are all in the same boat, and it is our job as professionals to make sure that every musician knows that his or her playing is good enough, because it always is.
If you are not inspired, go work with hobby-musicians! Test it out, go to their rehearsal, watch them play and have fun with the music. See if you can adopt some of their joy! They can help us remember why we started in the first place.