Music is not Work

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Patric_Bernard, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. Firestas'1

    Firestas'1 Piano User

    Dec 21, 2006
    New Jersey
    To a point you are right, some gigs have their merit even if there is no "pay", this is especially true when just starting out.

    I think the general consensus here is that this must not become a habit lest it undermine the efforts of those seeking to raise the standard for those who depend on fair payment to help support their families.
  2. Patric_Bernard

    Patric_Bernard Forte User

    Oct 25, 2007
    so your saying that you would take a full time office job, and give up performing live if it didn't pay anything?
  3. brian moon

    brian moon Forte User

    My Musical Rant :D[/QUOTE]

    That's like saying playing offensive line in the NFL isn't work.

    You ought to try playing a couple weeks in a circus band or a 4 hour opera. You could also try a 4 hour latin band with only one horn player.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2008
  4. jdostie

    jdostie Piano User

    Feb 20, 2008

    I think everyone is talking about two sides of the same coin here.

    If I were a professional musician, paid to perform, then I would expect to be paid to perform. Otherwise, if I performed sometimes without pay those that pay me to perform at other times would wonder why. Also, for each performance these professionals play there is tons of prep time.

    I expect for the amateur, even the serious amateur, there is significanly less prep time involved in comparison. And for the amateur, they are getting their own sort of pay, although it's not monetary - in fact, it probably costs them do do it.

    As to doing something you love, we all hope to work in a field that we love, and we hope to be reasonably supported by that field of endeavor - even rewarded if we do it well. Patrick, I am glad you've never felt like you did not want to do something, but I can tell you that at my age I can certify that there are times that I don't "feel like" doing something that I genuinely enjoy. If that something happens to be my job, then I do it anyway, if it's a hobby, I might not. And, if it's a job, I might have to do it the way the boss wants it done, but if its a hobby, well, it's my choice (or more of one since you can leave a job, or you can leave an amateur band, but the reprocussions are different).
  5. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    So...........every professional musician is a sell out. You would have us work for charitable donations because we love what we do? Artists should not be paid? Musicians passing the hat at Symphony Hall. At the Met, singers, dancers and musicians working for the door. Stagehands would have to be paid a salary because they don't love what they're doing. Free recordings over the internet made by starving artists. How would musicians live? They would have to go to work like all the non-musicians who love all the free music being made.
    We could go back to the 18th century and have Patrons.
    Music is fun..............
    I love music. My landlord loves money. How can I convince him to accept a song or two for rent. My grocer is tone-deaf.
    Oh...............I live in New York City.
  6. Patric_Bernard

    Patric_Bernard Forte User

    Oct 25, 2007
    Ok now i'm sure your not even reading my full posts. I never said you can't make money. Make all the money you want for all I care, the more the merrier. Your saying if ALL you do is play then you should get paid, and i agree. But if you worked full time somewhere else, you probably wouldn't play gigs much anywhere because they weren't paying, or atleast thats the midset you have.
  7. Hags888

    Hags888 Pianissimo User

    Aug 31, 2006
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Patric...I seriously think you are confusing the world of amateur/semi-professional players, and full-time professional players. There is a distinct difference between these two musical worlds. One does it for a hobby, for the love of doing it, etc. The other may do it because they love it, or maybe they do it because they are good at it, or maybe they do it, because they are expected to do it, etc. I'll let you sort which of those examples belongs in the amateur vs professional realm.

    But, you're fundamentally missing the point of what it means to be a professional musician. If someone has a regular day job, and then gigs and performs on the weekends, I would classify that as either semi-professional playing or amateur playing (it largely depends on the ensembles they are playing in). But heck, you can be a professional musician and not spend all your time performing. Many of us teach in addition to playing, or do arranging, etc. But most professional musicians make the vast majority of their income from musical sources.

    But to suggest that musicians should only perform music because they "love to perform" is naive and unrealistic. And to further suggest that musicians should then not be paid if they have a day job is just ridiculous. I know lots of freelancers in the Twin Cities who are monster musicians, performing at a professional level, and they hold down non-music day jobs. Some of them perform for free and some of them don't, but to expect them to play for free is to misunderstand, basically, the way the entire music world operates, IMO.

    Just so I'm clear, is it your ideal and intention in posting this ridiculous thread, to suggest that all musicians should simply perform because they "love it", and then if they don't have a non-music job to support themselves financially, they should stand on a street corner with a hat out while they are playing to try to make a living instead? Or if they're playing in an ensemble the ensemble should have a hat/tip jar out? If that is indeed what you think, then I can honestly say, I have nothing else to say to you.

    Some rock musician once said when asked if they had "sold out", "Of course, we sell out stadiums every night." If you don't think that musicians provide a service worthy enough of being paid, then that is your opinion. But I don't think it is one that will be shared by many on this forum.
  8. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    I am a professional musician. I would guess that you are an amateur musician.
    I am paid to do something I love. There are professional situations, and then there are others. I work in recording studios, concert halls and in other settings. I am not an amateur musician. I have performed for little or no money, but it is not what I normally do. I am involved in several projects that are very exciting, but pay nothing.
    A professional musician performs with other professionals. The amateur musician's world is totally different, it is impossible to compare the two.
  9. gchun

    gchun Piano User

    Dec 10, 2003
    I don't think it matters if you have a non-music full time job. If you can provide the skill necessary for a gig, you should be paid accordingly. Part-time musicians or hobby musicians that play for free are doing a disservice to full-time musicians. It makes it more difficult for them (or any musician) to maintain decent levels of compensation for their services.

    Where I live, the hobbyist attitude has contributed to the loss of a lot of full time musicians. Who would pay full union wages when they can get entertainment for free, or next to nothing?

    If you have loved ALL the professional gigs that you have done, you in a lot better situtation than I am. I wish I was that fortunate.

  10. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    Every time you play for free you devalue the job.
    I was asked to play a show and every time I showed up I would get 30.00
    I didn't take the job and told the lady why. I found out that a bunch of my friends did take the job. I told them that they should be ashamed of them selves. They are wrecking the market. They said that they love to play and would do it again for free.

    Here you go. Exactly what you are talking about. I don't need the money and I love to play but, somewhere, there is a line and I guess for me it was 30.00

    Everybody has their price and yours is free. Mine is 31.00 maybe for others here the price is 150.00 or 200.00

    The price probably goes with how much you get hired and how good you are.

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