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Starting a life in Music

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by G-force, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. G-force


    Jul 1, 2004
    oslo Norway
    Hi, this is a general call to all of you about to graduate high school and start conservatory level training.

    what do you expect to get out of your music school experience other than chops to get a great job ?

    The reason I ask this is that in the past years I have seen an increasing amount of young people start studying at this level without any real idea of what it is they expect from a musical education.

    I was recently informed that only 12% of ALL graduates from music schools actually make their livings from what they studied, music.
    I know that when I was 18 and if Homer told me this I would probably have said what I felt at the time which was "yeah but thats not me, I'll get a job"ยจ

    I know so many extremely talented musicians who become so jaded after their conservatory experience and real life hits full force.
    This was in the days when only 50 basists would show up for an audition.

    I also remember Roger scott saying at my audition, " Don't put your eggs in one basket"
    I had no clue back then. Then again I didn't even know what a modem was either....

    OK I look forward to your responses.
    Maybe this will take the heat off Masterbass for a while

  2. sibass89


    Jan 29, 2006
    Cincinnati, OH
    Going into a conservatory, there is much more to me than just getting a job when I get out. Music is my life and it has had such a huge impact on my life and experiences.

    When I am in the conservatory, studying music is something that I feel I can learn more from than studying books. Music is a very emotional thing. To play music is to portry an emotion to an audience and hope that they feel the same way. To learn how to connect with something emotionally and put every bit of energy I possess into it and then try to portray that to others is in my mind the greatest education one can receive.

    After undergraduate and maybe even graduate education there is more that I am looking for then a job with a major symphony orchestra. Of course I have dreamed since I can remember about getting a job in the NY Phil or the Met Opera (growing up in NYC), but I would like to take music and give it to teenagers.

    I have been so fortunate to attend the pre-college program at Juilliard and attend a school with a great music program, but there are so many kids who don't have that. Many students coming into my highschool are now beginning players and it is a shame that they cannot be exposed to music.

    I attend many symphony and opera concerts and constantly find myself being one of the youngest persons there. To me, attending a conservatory is much more than just getting a job right after college. It is a passion, and a fire inside of me which I wish to be able to share with everybody I come in contact with.

    I will work to get a symphony orchestra job when I leave college, as it is my dream, but I hope this has supplied the answer to your question with my insight into music and the conservatory atmosphere.
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    You have to want to play bad enough that you find a way to feed yourself with it. This includes everything, up to and including a day job. You also have to have realistic expections for your lifestyle. Music isn't a job, but a way of life. If you want a job you need to check out engineering or nursing or something.
  4. Peter Ferretti

    Peter Ferretti

    Jun 7, 2005
    I'm at Idyllwild Arts Academy, so I'm essentially already in a conservatory setting, in a sense. I've got a steady chamber group, orchestra rehearsals a couple times a week, Theory classes a couple of times a week, jazz classes daily, I usually get in about 5-8 hours of playing time a day. I honestly don't care what happens to me after college. I wan't to be involved in music because for as long as I can remember, music has been my life, music has been my soul. It's an incredible esperiance when your playing in an exceptional orchestra, or when your jazz combo is really getting hot.

    I would love to get a job, but more importantly I want to learn. I would love to play in a premire orchestra, but more importantly I want to play.

    That's what I expect out of music school.
  5. ILIA


    Jan 27, 2006
    12% ???!!??

    It's more like 5%.

    And that figure is from the golden era "when only 50 basists would show up for an audition."

    As dismal as that may sound, consider this.....
    Only 25% of ALL college graduates actually work in the field that they trained in. And that figure is also from the same golden era "when college graduates had job security."
  6. -----------------------------------------------------------
    My friends, you have struck upon such a poignant subject!!! One that no teachers want their incomong studentias to be aware of... schoools are like corporations and those talented students are job secrutiy for the teacher. All the other so-so students are mearely paying the bills or filling in those other spots that need bodies like in the school orch. Or I suppose to give them something to polish their egos... some get off on that sort of thing.

    Yes, I read those stats, too. That's why it's REAL f#@king lame when an audition is rigged bc it ALWAYS screws some deserving, innocent, wonderful bassist froma job and makes them believe they suck. Very unfair. Some loser gets fat anf arrogant sitting in a chair that he didn't deserve whilst one of his talented friends is scraping the crumbs from Kinkos copiers or dumpster diving to live. Funny thing too is that the unfairly won jobber will most likely be disliked sooner or later by the colleagues bc no section unanimously wants to rig anything. There is always at least one who is totally against it and usually many more! Think too, if the rigger gets retired/fired than the riggee is left all alone to fend for themselves, which of course, they are unable to do othrwise they would have done so at the audition.

    ALl you entrerers, behold the truth of your chosen career. These people like G-force and ILIA are speaking a serious truth!!!
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    The Truth!....said the anonymous screen handle.
  8. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    There's one that we needn't worry about.
  9. G-force


    Jul 1, 2004
    oslo Norway
    OK a discussion that actually learns me somthing..without throwing crap around.

    First of all I didn't realize the stats were so low as 5% AND 25% FOR ALL COLLEGE GRADS. iT IS FREAKY MADNESS YOU ASK ME.
    Sorry I didn't see the caps lock.
    OK . When I auditioned here in Oslo there were 18 who shoed up for two spots. So I am extremely grateful I have a gig. But of course in light of seeing how the symphony orchestra is a sinking ship in many ways the thought goes through my mind. " What can I do if...?" " what did I learn from Mr x at the musicyard school if this doesn't work out? "
    I have heard that in millitary , musicians are respected for their ability to work in code .

    I have a good friend who is trying to freelance in LA. Great chops , awesome person, a gift to any section. He can not afford health insurance. He gigs from place to place in the area trying to get into the film industry only to find that it is not so easy.
    This is a scenerio we never discussed while playing quarters and Bon Jovi at school.
    Maybe today young students are different.
    Anyway keep this up it is an interesting thread.

    Oh an Ray Parker, I know many many musicians who I dare say don't come close to loving their jobs as much as some engineers or nurses.

    I will quote Schubert very badly here " Those ( speaking of musicians in a prominent viennese orchestra at the time) are not musicians but only men who have a particular nack for blowing through a horn.....
  10. Allan Santos

    Allan Santos

    Dec 17, 2005

    Please say "Hi" to Marshall from Allan Santos. He was my first teacher.

  11. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    That has nothing to do with my comment, though.

    The only thing that you're guaranteed in life is that you'll get up tomorrow -- and you eventually get screwed on that deal, too. Don't expect a cush-slot in life just because you went to some school and bought a piece of paper. It doesn't work that way.
  12. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    * Applause *

    That's the reason I went to music school, and IMO it's the best reason of all. I had no idea what I was gonna do for a living, and in truth, I didn't care. What I wanted was two things: some basic tools to help me get deeper inside a subject that I loved more than any other, and a chance to learn how to use those tools with others following the same path. At this point, I'm making my living working in music, but if that changes and I have to do something else, life will go on.

    I can't help but wonder how much poorer my life would be if I had put feeding my belly ahead of feeding my soul on my priorities list. Sometimes I feel like I spend way more time trying to pay the bills than doing "fulfilling" things with my time, but that's just life, too... and I always know that when my belly is full - even temporarily - I can go feed my soul a little bit at that point. How many people never get that chance? How many people don't have outlets like that at all? I think we're damn lucky. Sure the life is hard - but to me, chasing a dream in your spare time beats the hell out of not having one in the first place. Again, and as always, YMMV.
  13. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    * Applause * like the man said.

    I dropped out of music school because I had an unpleasant vision of myself playing in a wedding band and living in a closet in a big city.

    Several years later I returned to college, supporting myself by playing weddings.

    Several years later I went to law school, living for several years in America's 5th-largest city.

    Tell me again why I dropped out of music school?
  14. G-force


    Jul 1, 2004
    oslo Norway
    Isn't caring about people, a way of life for some in which nursing is a great way to earn a living while following your call . Or maybe desigining stable grounds on which to build great things . engineering or figured bass ?
    Sounds a lot like what we do...

    Maybe I missed your point.
    Could you explain how I misunderstood your comment?

  15. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Please, Ray....watch your language. You're scarin' me.
  16. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001

    Engineering and nursing, my examples, are practical vocations. Everyone needs these people. Chances are far greater, and I would say almost certain with perserverence, that you will find steady work in these fields. Nobody needs a musician, figuring per capita.

    Any sort of living that you make in the playing of music in the music business is an extreme study in bootstrapping. You'll almost certainly have to create a need for your service and then sell it. The only alternative is to move to a large center of population, like NYC, but then you have the problem of a glut of supply and you then have to really shine to create a need for your playing -- and not just shine playing, but in hustling, salesmanship, showmanship, etc.

    Further, of all of the best players that you hear or know about, an EXTREMELY small segment make a living by playing alone. Most teach, either privately or through a school.
  17. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I don't know but I'm trying to figure out a way to go back. :meh:
  18. Anon2962


    Aug 4, 2004
    Yes, but did you also know that 47% of all statistics are simply made up?
  19. G-force


    Jul 1, 2004
    oslo Norway
    Thanks ray for clearing me up on that. I really misunderstood you. Good points though . But I still disagree with you. There is a need for musicians otherwise my cellphone would sound like everybody elses...
  20. mdurell


    Mar 9, 2006
    Boulder, CO
    I guess it depends on one's definition of "musician".

    This thread is a good reality check for the most part however, one does what one is meant to do in life. If one is meant to be a musician than one shall be. Often it isn't even about the destination but abut the journey.

    I have recently left a 14 year career in the computer industry. I have walked away from a good paying (though stressful) gig to start learning double bass and go to school for Jazz Studies/performance. I have *NO* idea where I'll be in 3 months let alone in several years but I do know this is something I *have* to do. Who knows where it will lead me? And, yet, this is half the fun!

    I think the most important things anyone can do is follow their heart and keep an open mind. One's path will become clear if both things are followed.

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