For Comparison’s Sake

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Iowa native Katherine Siochi is principal harpist of the Kansas City Symphony. The Juilliard-trained musician became only the second American to win the USA International Harp Competition in 2016. Siochi enjoys experimenting in the kitchen and playing with her Siberian Husky, Brooklyn. (photo by Tricia Koning)

Five tips for navigating comparison

—by Katherine Siochi

Comparison: it’s something that all of us deal with at some point, especially as musicians. Whether you’re a student or a professional, a beginner or an advanced player, none of us are immune to it. 

Comparing ourselves to others is often considered to be negative and counterproductive—something we should never do.  I think of it more as a double-edged sword, as it can push us to improve. I don’t think it’s realistic to say that we should avoid or abstain from comparing ourselves to others. Instead, we can approach comparison with a healthier mindset that will allow us to better ourselves, focus on our goals, and learn from others. 

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