Music Major

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpeters_Lullaby, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. Trumpeters_Lullaby

    Trumpeters_Lullaby New Friend

    Apr 10, 2006
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Hey everybody, i'm new here this is my first post. I'm a freshman in highschool whose been playing since the 6th grade. I really enjoy playing the trumpet and over the years have gotten pretty good. My plans after graduating highschool are to enter college as a trumpet major in performing. My question is, will there be job openings as a trumpet major and will I be able to make a decent living?
  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Huge numbers of posts discussing this option for a life career here. You can use the "Search" function to find them although most will be in Manny's forum.

    Welcome to TM.
  3. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Welcome to TrumpetMaster!

    There will always be work for good trumpet players. Stick around a while and you will see a great many contributers here that are making a very good living playing the trumpet.

    As with everything in aware that you will get out of it what you put into it. The people making a very good career in music have put their life into making that happen. Ask some questions in the Big Three columns

    Manny 911

    Wise Talk!

    EC Downloading

    These three men are top professionals and can give you PRICELESS advice.

    Happy Trumpeting!!

  4. Trumpeters_Lullaby

    Trumpeters_Lullaby New Friend

    Apr 10, 2006
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Thanks for the replies, and i'll search around for some of the other threads.
  5. BFlinch83

    BFlinch83 Pianissimo User

    Dec 12, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    This is a fine topic to be thinking about so early in your plans. As someone that just got a BM in performance from a conservatory, I would HIGHLY recommend studying a combination of performance and education or some other dicipline. The attitude that I'll practice real hard and worry about getting a job later is fine for now, and even as you progress through college, but when you graduate, spend about $100+ on education to get a piece of paper and no job security, I think you'll be less happy.
  6. lonelyangel

    lonelyangel Pianissimo User

    Nov 8, 2003
    Hi Trumpeters Lullaby and welcome. I dont know all the details of the US education system so I have no idea a) how old you are, b) when you started playing or c0 what you mean by 'college'. However I won't let that deter me from making an observation or two if you'll allow me.

    I would agree with CW that there will always be opportunities for the best players but competition is fierce - in London, where I live and work, just as much as anywhere in the world.

    My best guestimates of the success rate of good high school players going on to make a decent living are as follows - based on my own experience. Maybe 20% of the best high school players I studied with went on to major in trumpet at either Music Conservatoire, University or in the Armed Forces. Out of the seven players in my class at the Guildhall School of Music - the Class of 86 I guess you'd call it - only two of us earn our living as players. Out of the 450 trumpet players in the London branch of the Musicians Union I would say that maybe 25% earn a decent living from playing but in terms of job security and financial peace of mind ..... you are talking about the top 5% of players.

    My advice would be to strike a balance with the institution with the best teacher and the institution in the best location. It's no guarantee of success of course but if you can get entry into one of the top Conservatoires in the world, Julliard, the Royal Academy of Music or Berkley in Boston - you give yourself a fighting chance.
    Please - no offence meant to any of the other great institutions in the US with mighty fine reputations - Pat Harbison, who posts here would be a great person to talk to if you want to know about colleges running creative and vocationally based courses. I am just saying that in my case I had no other goal in mind than to get to London - where all the music was - so that I could steep myself in the musical life of the city as a whole and rub shoulders with some of the finest brass players in the world.

    The only other thing that occurs to me is that I don't think any of my colleagues ever asked themselves the question - will I beable to make a career as a player? We just kept playing anyway - in my own case I honestly had no idea that it would ever be possible that I might earn a living as a player until I was in my 3rd or 4th year at college.

    I didn't decide to become a professional player - I just evolved into one by following a path that was set in motion when I started playing aged 4. I don't remember not being able to play trumpet, I don't remember learning to read music - trumpet playing is not something I do - a trumpet player is what I am.

    That's just my story (or part of it) of course. Make of it what you will.
    I hope its been of some interest to you.

    Its fantastic news that you love the trumpet so much that you want to make it your life. I believe that if you have a dream of being a pro player you must follow it. The people who rise to the top and succeed in the long run are not necessarily the most talented they are usually the ones who just never gave up. There is a huge amount of luck involved - and I know I've been blessed in that regard - but you can really improve your 'luck' with hard work and thoughtful practice.

    Congratulations on finding this site - it can be an invaluable resource to you. Please PM or email me if there is anything I might be able to help you with in the future.

    All the best. Noel.
  7. CJH

    CJH Pianissimo User

    Mar 15, 2005
    Boston, MA
    I couldn't agree more. Follow your dream and persue a music performance major at the best school you can with the best teachers you can, and practice your butt off, but consider a double major in something else that you enjoy as well. It doesn't even have to be music related but make sure it's something you like doing! Apart from doubling your job opportunities (at least) after you graduate, it will give you a different perspective on the world than a purely musical education can. Take an extra year at college if you have to, to get it all done (I did, it was well worth it).

    Education is an option - if you like to teach - but if you don't have any desire to be a teacher then in my opinion, stay away. You won't be doing any service to yourself or your students if you grudgingly drag yourself through every day of teaching, and there are plenty of other disciplines out there to explore. Try as much as you can while you're still in H.S. and see what you're good at, and like to do.

    Of course, when you win that NY Phil job straight out of college, you can go ahead and toss the other major out the window (you'll still be glad you did it though) :)

  8. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    The teaching will always help; it'll help you raise your own kids and it'll sure help when you are operating your own, "private studio" in between practice and rehearsals for the orchestra job.
  9. Trumpeters_Lullaby

    Trumpeters_Lullaby New Friend

    Apr 10, 2006
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Thanks to everyone who replied! I already love comming to this place, and i'll stick around to learn as much as I can.
  10. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    Noel's Post

    First, welcome to TM, Trumpeters Lullaby!

    Next, since you're new here, check your PM's. I just sent you some links.

    Now, I found Noel's post VERY interesting. I met and hung out with Noel last summer. He showed me around the theater, let me tick off some cast members by letting me try his lovely Eclipse trumpet until they asked us to leave (sorry about the Noel). We had dinner and then went over to catch Maynard over at Ronnie Scott's. During that time we had an almost continuous dialogue going. One of the things that captivated me was the music scene in London.

    Noel's is correct in suggsting that in any vibrant music market there will be stiff competiton. However, the market is what impressed me!

    Neol is so busy it's amazing. He's playing theater work, big band gigs and too many sessions including major film score work of an international stature. I live in Chicago, a city of comparable size and stature, and we have NONE of that! The music business here is a mere shadow of that Noel is so privilaged to work in. I must confess, it crossed my mind that a leave of abscence and some ex-patriate work might be pretty cool. Alas, that wouldn't work for me, though I do want to come back to London, maybe with my band and plays some jazz clubs there.

    My point is this. You are young and in a postion to make some unique choices. If you're serious about making music your professions, look at potential markets you could choose to live in. NYC, LA, are still big markets. You cold also look into Nashville, Dallas, Las Vegas, Reno, Branson, San Antonio, SF, Seattle, etc. Being a professional trumpeter will be a lot easier in towns like that as opposed to, say, Macomb, Illinois. Now, if you live in Macomb, don't take it the wrong way. I am NOT judign the quality of life there. I am just using it as an example of a lovley rural town that doesn't have the demd for the services of many musicians.

    I love Chicago, and I have no immediate plans to leave (unless someone made me an offer I couldn't refuse!). I know the ropes here and I can keep my work load up, but it is getting tougher and tougher. NYC is still quite beguiling to me, though for every extra gig they have there they've goota have a hundred extra players, compared to Chicago!

    You'll get some great ideas here, TL! Read and learn. I wold suggest thoroughly reseaching the markets available to you someday.

    FWIIW, coming from me!



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