I've often wondered how far I could go with it if I really dove in and tried to make a go as a musician. Right now, only gigging about 35-40 dates a year I make between $8,000 and $10,000 playing in just one band. I'd have to put at least two more regular ensembles on the books, plus any kind of wedding work I might be able to scrounge up, and I'd have to start teaching. That's also keeping in mind that I have the ablity to gig on two completely different instruments (trumpet and drums) and voice. With all of that, I'd still take a major pay cut from what I make now being in the technical field and gigging on the side, plus the headache factor would increase immensely. That's too much like work, and I'd probably hate it after a year or so. I love music, but I don't know if I love it THAT much. That doesn't account for the possibility of landing a really solid gig that paid well, but if I had to spend a lot of time on the road, it would wreck what I have going on with my family. It's not really answering the question about how many trumpet players are "making it" but it clearly illustrates to me that aside from being in the Military Band program, I'd want nothing to do with trying to be a full-time musician at my level of proficiency, even though my playing would improve greatly if I was doing it full time.