If you’re passionate about performing professionally, it’s a goal worth pursuing. The trick, according to new-classical crossover duo The OK Factor, is to have an open approach that allows you to experience music broadly.

“Listen to a wide variety of music, so have wide listening ears. We talk about this a lot,” said Olivia Diercks, cellist for The OK Factor. “We’re heavily influenced by so many different genres and we think that makes us better.”

Diercks continued, giving the following advice for musicians starting out: “Be aware of what feels true and organic to you, and go for it.”

Minneapolis-based The OK Factor records, tours throughout Minnesota, and have opened for acts such as Charlie Parr, The High Kings, and Jaerv, a Swedish quintet that took Diercks and Colahan to tour Sweden.

Hear The OK Factor Perform and Give Advice to Aspiring Musicians

While it may seem like a positive to be rigid, precise and singular in your pursuit of carving out a professional career — perhaps for some musicians it is — it can be difficult to build momentum or stay inspired when options seem limited.

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“Be open about how things are going to look for your future,” said Karla Colahan, violinist for The OK Factor. “To not pin yourself into one particular iteration of what you think you could or should be doing.”

By being open, it’s easier to avoid situations that seem limiting. No matter the circumstances, starting a career can be difficult, but with a less rigid approach and a strong support system around you, it’s easier to find long-term success and happiness.

Building a career can be difficult, but it’s easier with support.

”Be aware of what feels true and organic to you, and go for it.”

In addition to touring and playing professionally, Diercks and Colahan engage in community outreach and put on educational workshops, as they are passionate about education and helping nurture a new generation of musicians. They run an education initiative, titled ATLAS, with the blueprint to excite and encourage students to explore what music means to them, to find their musician voice and to help generate opportunities.

Take CodaBow on Your Musical Journey

For more resources and advice for musicians starting out — young or old, interested in classical music or otherwise — check out the CodaBow blog. And no matter where you are in your journey with a string instrument, CodaBow has award-winning carbon fiber bows for violinists, violists, and cellists of all skill levels. Check out the collection to find your next musical companion!

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