Major quesitons...major decisions...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by silverstar, May 17, 2006.

  1. Billy B

    Billy B Pianissimo User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Des Moines, IA
    Brent is a very good friend and a great musician. You are going to have a lot of fun at the U of I. There are a lot of good people teaching in the music department. Whatever your major, you will be welcome at the music department.
  2. Siegtrmpt

    Siegtrmpt Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 21, 2005
    Lots of good comments from everyone here. I'm glad to see more emphasis on the business side of music being offered. Many fine musicians fall by the wayside because they have no idea how to run a business. A little earlier you mention that there were several people in your band better than you. It's that way everywhere for most of us. While you have to be good enough to do the job and should always strive for excellence, much more opportunities will arise from good marketing and being pleasant to work with. Many good players make a decent living in music without being the next Herseth or Maynard. Good luck wherever you go.
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Nick's last post has really inspired me and Lara, I see where you are coming from and the dilemma you face.

    From my own personal experience, music is something that I have never been able to let go of. I know a lot of good players who went on to do something totally outside of music and I wonder how they could have just let that go.

    In high school, my entire identity was wrapped up in music - both as a singer and as a horn player - and I didn't want to do anything but play trumpet. It was what I loved, what I worked at and the only thing I wanted to do, and I thought only about the here and now and I didn't give much thought to the future. My grades outside of music were in shambles - what did I need all that other stuff for, I was going to be a musician, right? Anyway, as my senior year got underway all of a sudden it became clear to me that while I was a good player and there were state colleges that wanted me in their programs, my grades negated the possibility of scholarships (do you ever wish you had a do-over?) and since money wasn't exaclty flowing like honey in the Gleason household, I was looking at being financially strapped in college, never mind the fact that I wasn't emotionally prepared for that step anyway.

    Thank goodness the Army recruiters came calling!

    The Army Band program provided me a way to continue with music, AND make money doing it, and I just followed my nose with whatever came along over the next 10 years:
    Job change to a DC area "permanent duty" band
    Purchased a home

    In terms of "success" I have probably passed on some opportunities that might have made a bigger difference in my finances because I couldn't let go of music. In my early days in the Army, they had a "Green to Gold" program that I could have opted for - go to college, get a degree, become a commissioned officer. The problem: you get commissioned to do what the Army wants you to do and I would have had to give up music. Not gonna happen.

    When I got out of the Army in 1999, I thought I was done with the trumpet. I was going to put it down and concentrate on being a nine-to-fiver career/family man. I was miserable, although I couldn't really put my finger on why until I picked the horn back up after more than an 18 month layoff.

    These days I'm still as heavily involved in music as I can be and like Nick says, I have had to set aside some of my other interests due to a lack of time - I simply don't have the time to do everything I would like to, but within the last few years my focus has changed more to drums than trumpet and just like Nick said, at some point, if I want to enjoy a greater measure of success, I'm probably going to have to choose one or the other.

    I still don't have a college degree either. With everything going on in my life, in order to get back into the classroom to try to finish that, it might mean I would have to set aside something I'm actively doing with music - I'm not sure I want to do that, and besides, I have no desire to get a degree in anything other than music and with where I am in my life and what I do for a living, a music degree would do nothing for me.

    But, that's what inspires me about Nick's post. I had an experience the other day where I was in helping the trumpet section of my son's middle school band. I took charge of the sectional, the kids really took to me, we got some stuff done, and most importantly, I got really fired up about teaching and passing along some of the things that I know from years of cumulative experience. I'm 35 years old and seriously thinking about going back to school, getting a music education degree and embarking upon a new career as a band director/teacher. 10 years ago, I don't think I had the patience or temperment for it, but I think that I do now. Actually working the logistics of that career move, which financially is a major step backwards, is another matter, but it is something I'm thinking about doing.

    So, to make a short post long, Lara, you don't have to have it all figured out just yet, but I do think you need to take a serious look at how much you love music. Your situation reminds me of my older sister who was an excellent trumpet player in high school. It was always a foregone conclusion that that she was going to go into music. During her senior year, she took a long, hard look at music, what she wanted out of college and what she wanted out of life and she stepped away from it. Other than a chromatic scale to high C over Christmas break during her Freshman year of college, (to see if she still could) she hasn't played a note since the band feature during her graduation ceremony in 1986. She set it down and never looked back, and I have always thought it a bit sad that she let it go. But, she has been quite successful with what she has done with her life and is happy with it. I kid her from time to time that eventually she'll get back into music, but again, going back to Nick's post, she has had to make decisions about what she wants to do with her time, and music is just not on her list.

    Sorry for the ramble - I just thought I would toss a few thoughts out there on this fine Friday morning.

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