Nothing is more contagious or tenacious than music. Once you are exposed it gets inside you and you can never get rid of it. It is also non-discriminating. It can be Ride of the Valkyries, In a Gadda da Vida, the Jeopardy 15 second thinking tune, your most disliked commercial jingle - it doesn't matter. Once triggered, off you go, like it or not.
I will chime in here as I think I can offer some first hand experience. I actually went to college for trumpet performance/composition. After looking at the career possibilities and income levels I got to thinking it wasn't all that great. I believe you have to be the special 1 out of 10,000(or higher) to get the top paying jobs. One summer I started working as a car salesman to make some money for school. I found that I really enjoyed it and decided to make a career out of it. By doing so, I had the income to do what I wanted musically and had a good lifestyle to boot. That was 7 years ago. I had no idea I would like selling cars, but quickly moved up thru the ranks into management. To this day I still practice everyday and have found that playing for myself or in a small setting (church/jazz/quintets), that I enjoy it much more. I don't think I would be happy wondering if I was going to win an audition to put food on the table. If you feel you have to talent and drive to make it, I say go for it. If there is any doubt, do something else.
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There is a lot of good advice in these replies I think. I particularly like MAX3K. I would like to add my advice based upon my experience and life. For me I had a wonderful teacher, Carlton MacBeth, and lifelong friend. Carlton was a great player and possibly the foremost exponent of Louis Maggio. I took from him for about 3 years in the 1956 to 1959 time frame, my last two years of high school and first year of college. In college I majored in music my first 2 years but found that my classes in Harmony, Piano, etc. were really a drag and any opportunity to use my trumpet playing ability in concert band was practically nonexistent. I had discovered during high school that I was really good at mathematics and enjoyed it very much. In my last two years of college Carlton was playing in Las Vegas or was on the road so my lessons became really irregular so I decided to switch to a math major. Math was really and truly a piece of cake for me. I would often study my math only the night before the finals and would get an A on the finals and a B in the course. I had to spend all my time on other required courses like the French language, History, etc. which were really hard for me.
I am retired now after spending 45 years of constant and enjoyable employment as a mathematician. Now I am back doing what I wanted to do in the first place, play the trumpet. The recommendation I have is find what you enjoy doing and what you are really good at and what you can make a good living at. For me that was mathematics. Although I loved the trumpet, my ability was in no way commensurate with Carlton's or others such as Chet Baker, who I also knew. Now I have the time to practice and my greatest desire is to pass onto others what Carlton taught me. And there is a subtle but profound difference in playing the Maggio way, primarily in the area of relaxation. As Maggio said "If the player is relaxed, you can hear it in the sound." This is simple to say but difficult to achieve, and I think you can only learn it from a teacher where you can hear the desired sound.
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