Monday, April 13, 2009

Questions on Music University.. (Careers in Music)?

Hello! I have a few questions hoping to be answered.

I%26#039;m a 17 year old female residing in Canada, finishing high school through correspondence. I am working a job to save enough money to buy a harpsichord after being in love with the instrument and music for many years now.

Near where I live, about 40 minutes away is a university that has a section specializing in early music, which I was very happy to find out.

Once I graduate, (and get a diploma in flower arrangement) I plan on spending a year or two practicing the instrument, to hone by skills, I%26#039;d then like to attend that university for about 4 years.However I know how difficult it is to get a career in music... but I love music and the instrument so much, and I always would like to learn more.

My question is, is it okay to go to a university if only for pure interest in the subject? If you are not 100% sure that you%26#039;ll get a career in that subject-- to spend 4 years of your life going to a music university?
Questions on Music University.. (Careers in Music)?
FlowersBirthday FlowersSympathy FlowersHi there. Great question, and of course I can%26#039;t answer for you but I can share my opinion and my experiences. To begin, my answer is yes, it is perfectly okay and indeed a great experience to major in something that you truly enjoy. Life is short, and while you are young and have the freedoms that you may not enjoy if you choose to marry or have children later, you can use your talents and let them take you as far as they can.

With that said, you will need to be willing to experience the following things, though they may not always happen:

1. You will need to be able to live very frugally at times. Luckily, I have found that because I am able to play music for a living, I don%26#039;t get the same temporary pleasure from having a new stereo or five new pairs of shoes that others seem to get. Material things just aren%26#039;t important to me, and I like that, because the few people I do know who are focused on buying things tend to be generally unsatisfied with their 9-5 jobs and so they buy things to temporarily make them happy.

If you can%26#039;t deal with a little bit of financial instability, then music may not be the spot for you as a full time career.

2. You will need to have the energy to pursue opportunity. This means traveling to study, looking for new ways to play music for people, and the like. People with 9-5 jobs know where they are going to be going every day, and for many people that is a very good thing, because it takes energy to pursue work. You have to travel to gigs, to rehearsals, sometimes quite far, especially in early music because the jobs are more spread out. In a 9-5, you go to the same place every morning, and can stay all day.

3. You will need to be willing to be in other cities and possibly other countries long term to study. For harpsichord, I would imagine that you would want at least a year or possibly two in Europe or somewhere else that will be far from home. Again, early music is a small world - to be hired when there are a smaller number of jobs you will need to have made quite a name for yourself, and travel looks good.

4. As a harpsichordist, you should be aware that you will probably need to teach as well as perform.

Most important:

All of the above points are for someone who wants to work full time as a musician. In reality, as a harpsichordist, you may never be able to do this, but the adventure of taking a degree in it, of using your skills for something you enjoy, is worth it in my book. Even if part of your work is not related to music, you will still be pursuing what you love and have that knowledge and expertise, and be much richer for it than if you had never learned it at all. You can lose a job any day that you have one (even a CEO can), but no man or woman can take away your expertise in a field you love once you have gained it.

To sum up, my way of looking at it is that the most fulfilled humans have always simply found something that they enjoy and that they do well (both are important) and then committed themselves to it. Blacksmithing, soldiering, making music, teaching, one should always choose if one can. If your choice is real estate, or banking, or business, then so be it, but if you only choose those to make money, then I believe that you are living like the people that get pleasure from buying a new stereo or new shoes, seeking a surface happiness.

With only one life for each of us, why should we not get the most out of it if we can? If I had been hit by a bus today, I would be grateful that I pursued early music while I could, even if I didn%26#039;t die the richest person in the world. And, when Iook back from my death bed (many, many years from now, fate willing), I know I would regret it if I had not pursued what I loved.

Good luck!
Reply:I think it is. People spend too much time focusing on the %26quot;getting a good job after graduation%26quot; aspect of university and not nearly enough on actually learning about something they love. If after a few years of serious practice you are still passionate about it then you should go for it.

One practical thing to consider though is this- you will need to have some sort of skills for a decent job after graduation, either in music or another field. You do not want to finish university and find yourself stuck in a job/life that doesn%26#039;t allow you time or money to follow your passion at the very least in your spare time.genealogy mormon

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