jobs

Discussion in 'Jazz / Commercial' started by oldyoung_guy, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. oldyoung_guy

    oldyoung_guy New Friend

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    Jan 27, 2006
    calexico ca
    what kind of jobs can one get with a degree in
    jazz and commercial music. I'm really interested
    in this program but would first like to know what
    would eventually become of me if I pursue this
    path.

    gracias
     
  2. Jimi Michiel

    Jimi Michiel Forte User

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    Are you thinking an undergrad or grad degree? This is just my opinion, but I think of school as a means to get somewhere. I wouldn't go just for the degree and then ask where it will get me.
     
  3. Bob Odneal

    Bob Odneal Pianissimo User

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    Jan 5, 2004
    Houston, Texas
    Doc Severinsen told me when I was 18 years old, "Get an education degree, nobody ever asks to see my degree when I get out my horn."

    Good advise Doc, especially in todays economy.
     
  4. gregc

    gregc Mezzo Piano User

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    Apr 5, 2004
    New York, U.S. of A.
    You can get a job at Sam Ash!
     
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Oct 26, 2003
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    Nicely put, not to mention how embarrassing it could potentially be to tell someone you have a performance degree and then not be very proficient at performing. As silly as that sounds, I know far too many people who fit that category.
     
  6. PH

    PH Mezzo Piano User

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    Dec 2, 2003
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    Any kind of performance degree will not open doors for you in the job market. Your ability to play (and DO the job) is what gets gigs. A music degree is not like other degrees in business or engineering. People don't generally come to campus looking for trumpet players. Get a music ed degree if you want to teach K-12 music. If you don't want to do that, don't get a music ed degree.

    If you want to teach at a university, conservatory, etc. you probably need a doctoral degree...or at the very least a master's degree and a lot of professional experience. One thing an undergrad degree in music performance does do is qualify you for admission to the graduate shooling you need for this kind of career.

    Most professional performing musicians, especially in the jazz/commercial areas but increasingly in other arenas, are self-employed. In effect you are a small business owner. Your business is music and your product is your playing, etc. Your degree doesn't open many doors in the music business. However, if you go to a good school, work and practice hard, take advantage of the opportunities available at your school, etc. you should be equipped to start to develop your career. You must be an entrepeneur to succeed as a performing musician or private teacher.
     
  7. Jimi Michiel

    Jimi Michiel Forte User

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    Boston
    I'm going to have to disagree with a lot of you. I had two horrible band directors coming up through middle school and high school (before I went to Interlochen). Both started out as jazz trumpet players and got Ed degrees for the reasons listed above. If you get an ed degree, do it because you want to teach, not just because you need the paycheck. I almost quit music several times and ended up having to transfer to a private school because these boneheads couldn't teach their way out of a paper bag (No, I'm not bitter). I'm sorry to have to disagree with Doc, but don't get an ed degree if you don't want to teach.
    -Jimi
     
  8. PH

    PH Mezzo Piano User

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    Jimi is exactly right.

    We desparately need good motivated teachers. We do not need people who are teaching because they lacked the skill or courage to succeed as performers. Bad teaching will be the death of music.
     
  9. ecarroll

    ecarroll Artist in Residence Staff Member

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    Jul 13, 2005
    NY/CA
    Thank you Pat and Jimi...well said.

    One of the great misunderstandings out there is that certain teachers/schools "place" their students in jobs. This is 100% wrong. Teachers and performers are chosen for positions because of their excellence, not their "pedigree". A strong recommendation might help you to get through the first cut in front of an academic committee. After that you're on your own with who you are (thankfully!)

    For the record, I don't believe in "fall-backs". Choose music education as a path because you have a passion for teaching K-12 students. Those who have make unmeasurable contributions to society.

    Best,
    EC
     
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Baltimore/DC
    That's a good post Ed. I really like what you said about "fall-backs" because generally, those who have fall-back plan usually use it. At the same time I also believe that sometimes you have to play it safe and it's not always easy to make your living as a gigging musician.

    I really like passing on what little I think I know about playing - I don't know if I'm teacher material because I love to play too, but I think that I could be a good teacher too, and quite possibly be a much better teacher than I am a player. (Which really wouldn't be that big of a stretch!) I don't think that it is necessarily an "either/or" kind of thing for everyone because I have had a couple of excellent teachers who were fantastic players, and I've also had some terrible teachers that weren't so hot at playing either.
     

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