The importance of using filters (not those kind)

We filter out the things we don’t want in the coffee, in water, and even on our faces on instagram.

But as a musician, there’s a just as important type of filtering to be done.

I left high school and jumped at the chance to study a vocational course in music whilst working a

part time job and managing my own band.

My high school teachers, with all good intentions, told me this was a terrible idea.

I’d never do well. I’d never get a job in music. I was too ‘bright’ not to study A Levels.

I took not an ounce of their advice and followed what was an obvious choice for myself (after much

of my own deliberation and research of course.)

This step of dedication led me through two enriching years of college life that allowed me to study

music full-time whilst gaining music industry experience and an excellent work-ethic.

Following this, I landed a place at a dream university – The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.

Now freshly graduated – contrary to what my high school warned me – here I am writing a very

article that qualifies as ‘a job in music.’

My university years were full of golden nuggets of wisdom I’d be gifted from peers, tutors and loved

ones. I took them, considered them, recognised their greatness, said thank you very much, and

kept them treasured to this very day.

I also happily took negative or close-minded advice, went home and plonked it in our overflowing

student bin with the rest of the garbage our student house has accumulated (mainly empty packets

of grated cheese and beer cans.)

I carried this trait I’d learnt and applied it to my creativity, too. When I was advised not to try more

electronic sounds or pursue my music as a solo artist, I stuck to my own reasoning and gave things

a go. Both turned out to be, what I believe, the right decision.

On a creative journey, the further you progress, the more and more voices are going to pipe up,

stick in their 2 pence worth, and tell you exactly what you’re doing wrong and what you should do


You’ll find the wisest, most helpful, and most inspirational people are the ones who sit back and

allow you to grow – with the occasional suggestion, gentle push in the right direction, or nod of

encouragement when you do something that looks like you’re on the right path.

One of the biggest skills an artist can hone is to keep their inner voice as their focal point of

reference. The other voices – filter them down. Consider them mindfully against the belief system

and voice of reason you already have within.

I’m not saying don’t listen to people – I’m just saying take your own intuition as seriously.

It usually knows what its talking about.


Joelle Edwards