Musician

Robert Stuberg is fascinated with music. He received his first instrument when one of his older brothers gave up playing the clarinet and passed it down to Robert. At age 10, he entered the 5thgrade music program and loved it. Robert started making awful sounds from day one, and it continues to the present day. When Robert reached Junior High School, he convinced his parents to buy him a tenor sax so he could play in the jazz band and make even more noise. Eventually, he took up almost every woodwind instrument including clarinet, saxophone, flute, recorder, oboe, English horn, and even bassoon. He studied all of these instruments at the college level because he initially wanted to be a college music professor and a professional studio musician. Since studio musicians often get paid by the number of instruments they play, Robert thought he would surely hit the big time with his arsenal of instruments.

Enter reality.

It turns out that Robert doesn’t have that certain mix of DNA that makes for a world-class musician. He doesn’t have the kind of talent that Mozart’s father discovered when he learned his little 3-year old son could recognize and immediately identify any note he heard. Mozart’s papa would later discover that little Wolfgang also had a photographic memory for music, and could write down symphonic compositions note-for-note after hearing them just one time. This is what Robert calls a Unique Talent™ on steroids!

Interestingly, even with Robert’s lack of musical talent, he has managed to sneak his way into playing with some amazing musicians in genres ranging from classical to  jazz. However, he learned early on that he couldn’t keep up the world’s greatest players so starvation would have been in his future had he stayed solely in music.

Robert has been fortunate to do well in the world of business, especially as an entrepreneur, so today he gets to spend a lot of time playing music with his primary emphasis on jazz. He loves to show up unannounced at jazz clubs and ask to sit in. Often he’s kicked right out, but sometimes, he’s invited to play because people see his vintage Selmer Mark VI tenor sax that his parents bought for him. It turns out that saxophone he received from his parents as a teenager has become known as the saxophone by which all others are judged. It’s the Stradivarius of saxophones, so to speak. So when people see his vintage sax, they just assume he can play. Of course, after he plays a tune, he’s often asked if he’d like to have a drink and just listen.

As for all of the other instruments he owned and played, he decided to limit the damage he was causing by using a technique that has worked extremely well for him in business, i.e., focus. He sold all of his instruments with exception of that childhood tenor. He did recently buy a curved soprano sax because it looked so cool he just had to have it. Since it’s basically just a shrunken down tenor sax, it doesn’t really count as another instrument. Besides, it’s easier to travel with because of its small size, and Robert likes to surprise audiences with a little music when he’s giving a talk. It always adds some fun and humor just for good measure! (“Good measure” … A little music pun!)

You should be warned that Robert is currently working on an album of jazz standards which he is planning on releasing to the public. It will be offered for free on his website as a warning to others that it’s good to decide which talents are meant for vocations and which ones are meant for avocations.