We get paid for this?

Discussion in 'Orchestra / Solo / Chamber Music' started by Anonymous, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Forte User

    Oct 21, 2003
    Hi Manny and everyone!

    I was struck today by how lucky a person is to be a professional musician. To make a living by doing something that you love is a rare and amazing opportunity. To sit on stage behind a great orchestra, watching (or sometimes ignoring) a great conductor, and listening and working with the greatest soloists in the world is unreal!

    Since this is a forum for questions, I guess this is mine: does this feeling ever go away? Could someone possibly have a job for 30+ years and love it each day? If so, this IS the greatest "job" in the world!

    Thanks Manny!
  2. JunkyT

    JunkyT Pianissimo User

    Jan 6, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    keep reminding yourself of that every day! don't ever take it for granted. i'd venture to guess that maybe 2% of people make a living at what they truly love. we are very fortunate to be in that position, but sometimes we can loose sight of this when we get buried in the day-to-day. don't let that happen!

    for me, it's the gigs that really give me the payoff. sometimes the daily practice can get tedious, but when i'm on the gig i try to make sure to take a deep breath, look around the room, make eye contact with my band, and remember that i'm doing the thing i love the most and getting paid for it.

    but even in the practice room i still try to remind myself that i could be pumping gas or selling insurance or...god forbid...waiting on someone in a restaurant. as bad as it can seem in the practice room, it still beats a real job! ;-)

    it doesn't get much better than that.
  3. missednote

    missednote Pianissimo User

    Jul 24, 2005
    Naples, Italy
    I'm a trumpet player in the US Navy and even though I've only been in two years now that feeling is still with me every day. I really feel blessed that I found an avenue to do what I love to do and get paid for it. One added benefit of the military is job security, it's much less fickle than say a major orchestra. Not to mention the job benefits. I really feel lucky to be where I'm at.
  4. MahlerBrass

    MahlerBrass Piano User

    Oct 1, 2004
    Houston, TX
    You know it's funny you mention this topic, every time I've talked to a pro trumpet player that's been sitting in an orchestra for years, they love every minute of it, and never really tire of doing what they do. My brother is a bassoon player and knows a lot of pro woodwind players, and I keep hearing stories about a lot of them retiring because they just don't enjoy it anymore. I believe him quoting another pro bassoon player saying "Rite of Spring isn't quite the same the 20th time around." I'm curious to hear what some of the pros here have to say about that. Is Mahler 5 or Pictures ever "not the same?"

    PS: Sorry if I hijack this thread, my intention is to just add on to the original question
  5. Rick Chartrand

    Rick Chartrand Piano User

    Nov 22, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Hey Guys

    GREAT SUBJECT! :D I've been at it for 15+ years and I always thank my lucky stars to be making a living at something I truly love; music. Few people get to do what they love for a living and even fewer make decent money at it like a pro musician.

    My late Aunt was a world class pianist with the Toronto Symphony years ago and she knew so much about music that near the end of her life she confided in me that she was getting bored with music, but never got bored of the beauty of playing.

    I really don't think that I'd ever get bored of music because every time I pick up my horn, its a new experience for me. I try and build on what I learned the day before and always try to learn something new each day

    Rick AKA Trumpet Man
  6. Jimi Michiel

    Jimi Michiel Forte User

    Mar 22, 2005
    As far as bassoons and oboes go, I think a lot of that might have to do with reed making. Imagine that you're ability to produce even the most basic sound depends not only on your technique, but on the level of precision in which you turn raw cane into a reed. I have seen incredible musicians reduced to tears because, even though they spent hours and hours in the practice room, they didn't spend enough time with their gouging machines, razor blades and scrapers. I think in that respect, trumpeters are incredibly lucky.
  7. trumpetpimp

    trumpetpimp Piano User

    Dec 6, 2003
    Old Chinese proverb: Pick a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life.
  8. Fusion2002

    Fusion2002 New Friend

    Dec 11, 2004
    Now I just gotta make sure I'm good enough to make it my job.....
  9. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    I can't imagine what the rewards must feel like. Something so difficult to get to must yield incredible personal dividends. I have tons upon tons of respect for those of you who can and do go to work in the morning at symphony hall or the recording studio or the tour bus whith horns in hand. Few people can and do get there (and it's not by luck, either). Hats off to those who do.
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    My first summer as an Army Bandsman I was in heaven - Every day brought new experiences and new places and I absolutely loved what I did for a living. I was playing music, improving as a player daily, and getting paid for it. Granted, much of the time it was marches and ceremonies, but even marches if played well can be enjoyable. My life was exceedingly simple back then; I would check the board the night before to see what time I needed to be at formation, and what uniform I had to wear and the next morning I would be where I needed to be when I needed to be there. Then I would get on the bus, get to the gig, play the gig, get back on the bus and come home, and most of the time, I had no clue where I had just been! I simply didn't care, and I was loving every minute of it.

    One thing that never changes is that nothing ever stays the same. Had things stayed that way in that unit, it would have been great, but as time went on, some new members came into the unit who were much better solidiers than musicians (and some of them were in key leadership positions) and the focus of the job shifted from music to being a soldier.

    However, I still loved what I was doing WHEN we were actually doing it - actually playing music and performing.

    If things had stayed the same at either of the Army units I was in, I never would have left - sure, the day to day stuff could be tedious at times, but I alway loved playing shows - THAT for me was where the rubber hit the road, but eventually, I just couldn't deal with the Army aspect of it anymore so I left. There are times when I really regret that.

    I guess the overall problem for me was that I was no longer getting paid to be a musician, I was getting paid to be a soldier; the Army always seems to have had a hard time reconciling being a musician while being a soldier.

    To me, there is little that is as rewarding as playing good music with good musicians AND getting paid well for it. If I could find a way to make a living playing music where I could still meet my financial obligations, I'd stop being a DBA in a heartbeat and do it, and I envy those that can.

    So, after a long ramble, I agree, it's great to get paid for playing music.

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