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Amazing how quickly it comes back

Discussion in 'Off Topic [DB]' started by Aaron Saunders, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    So, it's been a while since I was a regular poster here on the DB boards :p.

    Throughout my second term at school, I became increasingly less motivated regarding my program...I was staying at school partly because of the amazing friends I had made (in and out of the music program) and because I just didn't want to admit to myself that it wasn't for me.

    The thing is, to be honest, a full-time living as a musician is not my future. Christ. Between witnessing the competition (one thing the world is NOT lacking is young, talented jazz musicians) and knowing that I had better options for myself, I basically "checked out" of the program (giving only minimal effort by the end.)

    When I got home for the summer, I played more in the first month than I had for the last 2 while at school because I actually wanted to, but after May my poor DB went sadly unused until very recently partially because I had not resumed lessons with my old teacher, the quintet from last year had broken up (drummer in Ottawa, singer in Toronto) and I was really honestly reacquainting myself with my electric fretless that had gone all but unused during the school year.

    I've been teaching lessons 2 nights a week on electric to a few kids (14-15 years old) since early May, and I have an audition for another part-time teaching gig tomorrow at a small music school (literally the size of a house, but a nice place) very close to my new apartment that I'm moving stuff into gradually over the next couple of weeks. I picked up the DB soon after I got the call about the audition/interview and immediately started shedding technique stuff and tunes from school...like I said, it's amazing how quickly it comes back (and I can't believe I spent so much time NOT playing it now :().

    I'll be living in Kingston, ON, and attending Queen's University for their psychology program with plans to do grad work out in British Columbia and find my way later in life making my day gig as either a practicing psychologist, or some sort of research/law/corporate/government position in the field. A year older and many, many years wiser. Probably starting twice a month lessons again this fall, getting a band together and doing some pick-up gigs in town with some guys from the Queen's music program, and teaching 2-3 nights per week.
  2. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    My relationship with music has changed a bunch over the years. I even had a few years of not playing as I finished the last two years of my Psychology degree.

    A couple thoughts.
    • You were probably born a musician like most of us so if you quit for too long you'll just get nuts. Don't let anyone tell you different.
    • Taking time to live a life is crucial. Well done.
    • Competition is not relevant in making decisions about what to do as a musician. Play, be an artist, be true to yourself, and the work you are supposed to do will come to you and you WILL be happy. This is true regardless of your skill level.
    • Competition can be a good motivator for self improvement or self deprecation, the path you take is your own choice.
    • I was a full time musician for awhile. It really does suck for the most part. I'm much happier having two jobs, one being musician. I've had many others, all paid better but none were near as emotionally/spiritually satisfying. I need to separate the bills from the art. I envy those that can do both but I can't see it working for me.
    • I quit music school after a year and it derailed my long term playing quite a bit. If I could go back and do it again I'd at have finished with a music minor or at least continued with music theory, lessons, and ensembles as they would allow non majors.
    • Spend more time playing outside of the University setting than inside. The University thing really does give a warped perspective of the overall music scene. Music school prepares you for life as a musician in New York or the symphony where competition is fierce, gigs are few and everything is kinda tense. This is NOT what music is about on most of the rest of the planet. Music is a celebration, a communication, a community builder. It weaves throughout the fabric of life. Those of us who are musicians have been given a great gift where we get to not only listen and enjoy but create as well.
    • Many of the gigs that I play with jazz school graduates are competitive and tense. Most of the gigs I play with non degreed musicians are a party. They don't know any different.
    • My musician brothers are the best friends I've ever made and the biggest pains in my ass I've ever had. They are far more interesting than most of the other parents I meet in daycare.
    • Mix it up. Play country, bluegrass, hard rock, top 40 whatever in addition to jazz. There is great beauty in all of music.
    • My psychology degree has qualified me for an excellent post in the food service industry. I learned how to read books well. Grad school is in your future.
    • Learn as much as you can while you still have the capacity to. It diminishes quickly as you move away from academics.
    • Always remember music study and performance is a way of life. Settle back in it like your favorite Levis. You'll be doing it till they bury you, enjoy every minute of it.

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