Hey there Abundant Musician friends!
How often do you think about what you're asking of people when you invite them to a concert or recital? For most of us, the answer to that is likely a variation of "not very often", or "never", or "hmmm".
As a musician, I always strive to offer my audiences an experience which makes them feel like the time they spent listening to me was worth giving to me. This is because I've realised that when I ask someone to attend a concert or recital of mine, especially if they will need to pay a fee to attend, I am asking that person to say no to everything else they could possibly be doing.
To everything else.
I am asking someone for the most precious thing they have - time.
I feel like thats a pretty HUGE responsibility.
A performance is an exchange of a service (yes, performing is a service), for something which the other person values - generally this is time and money. As such, the things that we offer to the world should ALWAYS come from a place where we genuinely want to provide someone with more value than they are expending.
This doesn't mean you should do things for free. Especially as you move toward creating a career for yourself - after all, we work because we need money, and no amount of "but I love my art and love to just create, so I don't need money" will pay that rent or mortgage bill.
Think of it this way, to quote one of my favorite books - The Science of Getting Rich, by Wallace D. Wattles - we
" ...must give to every man a use value in excess of the cash value he receives, so that each transaction makes for more life".
Think on that for a moment. If you are always providing someone with a service, or product that they feel is worth more than they spent in time or money, they will always come back for more. You will always remain in business, or always have a following if you keep people happy while you take care of your needs.
Again, please don't read this as a justification for holding yourself in lack as you attempt to keep prices low so value can be high. Think of what you can offer, and how much this is worth to you. Would you pay $50 to attend your concert? Or $60 an hour for lessons? What would you expect for that kind of money? Set that as your measuring stick. Then offer more.
Don't charge less, offer more.
As you offer more, you will enhance your audience, your clients, your students' lives.
If you strive to keep things low in cost value, people won't expect much of you. You have the ability to offer your people so much more than the minimum! Surprise them with your creativity and give them something that amazes them.
Give them something more valuable to them than the money and time they offer you, but don't sacrifice your own livelihood to do it. Know what it is you need to reach your financial goals, work out what you can offer/sell to make that happen, then increase the offering.
I will leave you with this thought (also from Wallace D. Wattles).
"... you can advance only by more than filling your present place."