Photo by Jefferson Santos on Unsplash

The lessons I learned from the live performance of Prince

(Originally appeared in my FaceBook Notes, 23-APR-2016)


This note includes my story about the lessons I learned the most from (the artist formerly and now known as) Prince.

I once saw one of his live performances on TV. The unbelievable improvisation skills of Prince on playing the guitar and the keyboards forced me to abandon becoming a paid music live performer. He told me what a professional should become on their fields. The lessons were so simple:


  • You must be able to immediately replicate what the other players are playing. This is a basic form of communication by the music, and is also applicable to all professions; you must be able to steal from the others. The learning time should be as short as possible.
  • On a live performance, you cannot retreat what you have played; the show must go on, or stop altogether. Time doesn’t go backward.
  • You must be able to do all the things you have to do for completing a project.

On music performance, I won’t be able to fulfill the requirements above. So I quit.

On programming, administering and designing computer systems, I’m more confident that I can do my best on meeting the requirements above. I have to get the most out of myself anyway, simply to survive. I believe, hopefully, the response time requirement is not as tight as that in the music performance.

On speaking and writing English and Japanese, I have to work really hard on keeping up myself to meet the requirements above. It’s more like playing music and it’s difficult, but I must do my best anyway, simply for my survival.

So that’s what I’ve learned the most from Prince.

RIP Prince.