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Career not in music, teach bass lessons?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by egdbl1, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. egdbl1


    Dec 31, 2011
    Hi talkbass,
    Does anyone know of a person with a career in something other than music (say being a french or english teacher in high school) but who also has an extensive background in double bass who teaches lessons on the side? This is a potential career option that interests me and I'd love to know if someone is already making it possible.
  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    In my view, you could probably do OK if you're up front about your credentials, committed to doing a quality job, and realistic about your expectations. I've thought about doing some teaching myself, but have just a couple of misgivings due to my lack of post-secondary music training:

    1. A lot of stuff that I'm simply ignorant about, such as theory, music history, and so forth.

    2. Not really having much of a clue about music as a career. For instance, I couldn't advise a student on their prospects of getting into college or succeeding as a pro.

    As a result, I'd have to admit that if a student were to advance beyond a certain level, or get interested in music as a career, then they'd have to find a new teacher.
  3. I have a degree in Education, taught English at the high school level for many years, and now I have a private teaching business averaging 15 students at any given time. It is a big chunk of my annual income.

    An education background of any kind can only help you as a music teacher. Many of the basic principles of education such as skill assessment, structure, appropriate standards, skill mastery and testing, using method books and other practice strategies, real-world application (recitals, performance) etc., come in real handy with your private music students.

    Plus, your formal approach and holding students accountable for progressing in a meaningful way is most impressive to the parents.
  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Around here, the busiest jazz instructor is a guy who runs a flower shop.
    He gives lessons in the backroom of his shop.
    I don't know which job makes him the best living.
  5. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Depends on the type of flowers. :D
  6. As a kid, I took music lessons (elec. bass, guitar & banjo) from a music teacher who's day job was teaching Latin and religious studies classes at my high school.

    The sax player in my jazz band teaches music lessons and his day job is selling commercial phone systems.

    In all honesty, I find the question a bit odd. Why would you need to be a full time music educator in order to give lessons? I think the more important criteria is, do you have something meaningful to share with others, and can you convey that material in an understandable fashion.
  7. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I think there's a point where a student needs to be either guided towards a career, or given the news that a career isn't in the cards.

    It's more common on the BG side, but there have been posts where a young player is asking basic questions about the college audition process, which suggest that they are months or even weeks away from a train wreck. I think that this is the point where the student needs a teacher with more of a formal background. The teacher doesn't need to be a full time player, but needs to be capable of making a frank evaluation of where the student stands relative to the competition.

    Granted, my words make this seem more black-and-white than it probably is in reality, and if the teacher is up front about what they can offer, then it should be OK. When I was a kid, I was lucky to take cello lessons from a very nice and heroically patient teacher who lived in the neighborhood. Not having to drive me an hour away for lessons was doubtlessly a blessing for my mom. But one day, my teacher gave us a list of more advanced teachers.

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