Music is not Work

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

  1. Patric_Bernard

    Patric_Bernard Forte User

    Oct 25, 2007
    wow... these are all very well said. I especially love tedh's last post. that is a very true statement.
  2. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    I think a lot of the disagreement here is really over the definition vs. connotation of the word "work." As a kid, I always got the impression that my dad kind of hated his job (office type job) and he always talked about "going to work," "after work," etc... So I've always had a very negative view of the words "work" and "job." Personally, I avoid using those words when I have a gig or rehearsal, but I also know that it's just MY screwed up impression of a couple of words. Being a great musician takes a tremendous amount of work and so does having a successful career as a musician (the first doesn't always lead directly to the second!).

    To help me stay positive about music and playing the trumpet and practicing etc, etc, etc, I don't think of it as "work," because it calls up those old feeling of my dad not enjoying his work, but that doesn't mean I don't work hard at it. Another annoyance of mine is musicians who approach playing music with no more passion or enthusiasm as a clerk punching a time clock...but that's another discussion. Avoiding that attitude it important to me, and the words I choose to use helps me with that.

    On the business side, my own feelings about a couple of words are totally irrelevant. Non-musicians need to know that it's work and we provide a service just like a plumber or lawyer. We've worked hard to be in a position to perform and we deserve to be compensated for it and I'm totally with Wilmer and others on that.
  3. krossum

    krossum Piano User

    Aug 23, 2005
    New York, NY, USA
    It's cyclical of course, but a rough average would be:
    30% business (booking, emails, promotion, producing)
    25% practice (trumpet, piano, bass, drums, plus composing)
    25% teaching (private and classes)
    20% performing

    Total = 100% jazz musician, trumpeter and composer. I'm not saying this to put anyone off. I'm just reminding those who do not make music for a living that there is much more to the music business than meets the eye. The definition of a performing (jazz) musician has changed drastically from back in the 30’s and 40’s. Today’s musicians are also small business owners (some of us, quite literally), in regards to operations and management.

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Music is the easy part.

  4. krossum

    krossum Piano User

    Aug 23, 2005
    New York, NY, USA
    "The Golden Triangle" hehe ;)

  5. BlackWhite

    BlackWhite Pianissimo User

    Feb 27, 2008
    I have known of people who have turned ot musicianship not because for the love of it,but because they have talent and people love them to perform.Especially when these peopel have not done so well academically.
  6. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    How many of the great players you listen to in your collection of CDs (or whatever) got that way without a great deal of effort? Don't you wish you could play like Satchmo or Miles just with a snap of your fingers?
    I am sure many of us imagine ourselves someday playing at that level, but imagination just won't do it. The ONLY path to that goal, if achievable, is through absolute tons of practicing - the term woodshedding exists to describe that kind of dedication to developing your skills. You may love it or hate it, but you must do it in either case. It is work. You expend energy. You get tired. But you persevere, if you are to reach your goal, because there is no other way.
    It's great to be idealistic, but don't lose touch with reality. Making a living doing what you love is absolutely wonderful. But that doesn't mean it isn't work. Getting loads of pure pleasure from your vocation is totally awesome. But it's still work. Work and pleasure are not mutually exclusive by definition, though for many folks they can be. Those of us lucky enough to truly enjoy what we do for a living are justifiably offended when we are told that it isn't work.
  7. rickperon

    rickperon New Friend

    Jan 17, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    I tend to think of the word "work" in a more general sense when speaking of the music world. When I'm performing I am usually enjoying myself very very much! So at the time, I'm not thinking to myself - this is work - It's like someone asking me if I'm giging much, or they could have said are you working much? Same thing to me.

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