Music is not Work

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

  1. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    As a very elderly comebacker I take exception to many of the postings on this thread. I have been working very hard for the past three years in an attempt to regain those skills that I once had as a professional trumpeter. I repeat, "I have worked hard'. I am now at the point that I play in a 'big band' and in a community concert band. In the 'big band' I get paid. In the community concert band I pay for the priveledge of being a member. On the other side of this coin, I do a good bit of church solos and brass ensembles, along with accompanying the church song services. This church work is 'Pro bono'. It is my way of thanking My Lord for the talent that he gave to me. When I sound Taps at military funerals I also do not request payment, but will accept it if it is offered. I consider it an honor to send my military compatriot to his just reward in a proper fashion.

    The point that I am 'attempting' to make is that we are all a bit different from one another. For me to try to make myself come off as being an equal to Wilmer Wise would be vain and false bragadocia. I work hard to reclaim what I once had and love every second of my successes, while hating my failures.

  2. miles71

    miles71 Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 8, 2004
    Great post Lou. I hope I have not said anything to offend.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2008
  3. the_crime

    the_crime New Friend

    Oct 7, 2006
    Main Entry:1workPronunciation: \ˈwərk\ Function:noun Etymology:Middle English werk, work, from Old English werc, weorc; akin to Old High German werc work, Greek ergon, Avestan varəzem activityDate:before 12th century 1: activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something:
    a: sustained physical or mental effort to overcome obstacles and achieve an objective or result
    b: the labor, task, or duty that is one's accustomed means of livelihood
    c: a specific task, duty, function, or assignment often being a part or phase of some larger activity
    2 a: energy expended by natural phenomena
    b: the result of such energy <sand dunes are the work of sea and wind> c: the transference of energy that is produced by the motion of the point of application of a force and is measured by multiplying the force and the displacement of its point of application in the line of action

    3 a: something that results from a particular manner or method of working, operating, or devising <careful police work> <clever camera work>
    b: something that results from the use or fashioning of a particular material <porcelain work>

    4 a: a fortified structure (as a fort, earthen barricade, or trench)
    bplural : structures in engineering (as docks, bridges, or embankments) or mining (as shafts or tunnels)

    5plural but sing or plural in constr : a place where industrial labor is carried on : plant, factory

    6plural : the working or moving parts of a mechanism <the works of a clock>

    7 a: something produced or accomplished by effort, exertion, or exercise of skill <this book is the work of many hands>
    b: something produced by the exercise of creative talent or expenditure of creative effort : artistic production <an early work by a major writer>

    Dictionary and Thesaurus - Merriam-Webster Online
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Music is WORK. It is a never ending search for better. For the professional musicians that have given up on that concept, music has been reduced to, well, work!
    Even although I enjoy playing, many things are not fun, but part of the necessary big picture. When I behave myself, the work is also fun!
  5. Patric_Bernard

    Patric_Bernard Forte User

    Oct 25, 2007
    Generated alot more interest than i thought. Alot of new idea flowing around here. I love it.
  6. ozboy

    ozboy Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 17, 2007
    I was asked by a Doctor if I could play at his b'day party. I gave him a price which he grumble about. I said to him,
    "Buddy if you had studied medicine as long as I have studied trumpet you'd be a brain surgeon. I notice your name plate only says MD."
    I politely hung up. He rang back later and apoligised and paid us my asking rate + a bonus.
    Don't undervalue your skills. You have to be tradesperson like in attitude despite the fact that it is an art form. This means professional dress, punctuality, a positive attitude and preparing yourself. It annoys me that nobody quibbles about paying a sportsperson yet musicians should stroll out their skills for nothing.
    I love playing and love practice. I am proud that I am considered good enough to be financially rewarded for what has been a life time of commitment.
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Another thought is how fragile the human state is. Even as a successful performer, your career can be over very quickly if nerves, alcohol or relationships mess your life up.
    Anything worth having is worth working for-to attain and maintain. I think Patric is not aware of the true cost of business when playing for a living.
    It is also a mistake to assume that "work" means less enjoyment or fulfillment. There is NOTHING more satisfying then going home after a job well done!
  8. krossum

    krossum Piano User

    Aug 23, 2005
    New York, NY, USA
    I’ve gotten home from a gig at 1:45am only to have to 'play' my horn with a practice mute in the bathroom because I was teaching lessons all day and didn't get in my personal practice time...

    Not work? Damn man; don't know what planet you're on.
    (No offense intended, but, sheeesh!)

  9. mcstock

    mcstock New Friend

    Aug 15, 2005
    Norman OK

    I'm curious, remembering the couple of times we've hung out when I'm in town, what percentage of your time would you guess is spent on the business/promotion aspect of your career?

  10. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    I'm an educator and an engineer, I too expect to be paid for my work - there is no difference. Consider my band leader's comment on the subject; it takes in excess of 5 years to become a competent musician, but only two to reach sufficient skill to be a fighter pilot. Read into that what you will, but pay a "tradesman for his trade".

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