Last week, I shared my musical background and my music education. This week, I want to talk about why I can’t stop playing music and why I can’t just let music go. I love music more than anything, and while I have other strengths, such as blogging, music far surpasses everything else.
In the past few months as I have prepared to graduate and join the real world, I have gone through many phases regarding my future as a musician. At the start of this (academic) year, I was gung-ho, ready to apply for graduate school. Then I had a phase where I wanted to quit music and couldn’t wait to be done.
Now, I am somewhere in the middle, right where I should be. I don’t want to quit music, because I have spent too much time on it, but graduate school is not for me. At least not right now.
My Career Prospects
As a musician in the 21st century, there are actually a lot of ways in which I can make money. I am no longer limited to finding an orchestra job or a college teaching job. I can do whatever I want with music.
Granted, most of what I can do is very high risk. I have to spend the time and money to create stuff and then try and sell it. I won’t have much income for awhile, and that is okay with me. I will be living at home, so I won’t have to pay for rent, which is nice. I might find a part time job to fill in the gaps as I am getting started.
Now, graduate school is not in my immediate future, but I might apply within the next year or two. Over the summer and fall, I want to discover what I like and don’t like about music. That way, I can figure out the best program for me.
I am good at a lot of things, but the thing I am best at is music. I pick up instruments fairly easily, and I can learn music theory almost in my sleep. I could pursue a career working with languages, because that is another passion of mine. However, I have yet to become fluent in a language other than English.
Meanwhile, I have been good enough to perform on almost a dozen instruments. Let that sink in.
So, while music is not the only thing I am good at, it is the only thing that I have a huge passion for and can see myself doing full time. That is especially true because most musicians do not just play music all day. They have to contact clients, students and parents, book lessons and gigs, and a ton of other stuff.
I think that all of the strengths I do have for music, writing, managing a website and online presence and more, can all come together to help me build my music career.
Now, some people, including my oh so loving parents, wonder how on earth I can make money with music. People think that musicians should find a “real” job and pursue their passion on the side.
While I understand where these people are coming from, that isn’t always possible. I know that with me, I would be miserable in most day jobs. I would dread sitting at work all day doing something that I could not care less about. When work is over, I would be too worn out to even think about touching my flute.
Yes, being a musician is going to be tough, and I will be broke. But I know that it will be so fulfilling for me to work with music all day.
What’s the Point?
The point of telling you all this is to share my story and to encourage any budding to musician to at least try to pursue a career as a musician. It will be difficult, and you will struggle with money and time, but it will be worth it.
If there is nothing else you would rather do, then go for it. If you could handle a day job with music as your hobby, that might be a better choice.
But, if like me, you don’t think of anything besides the music you want to play, how you would teach future students or what sort of music you want to make, music just might be for you.
Hopefully next week I can come up with a more educational post, but graduation and my career have been at the forefront of my mind this week so…we shall see what the future brings.
I hope you gained something from this post. If you are a student, maybe it got you thinking about your future. If you are a parent, I hope that I can set your mind at ease. And for the pros out there, you did it. You’re a musician.
What sorts of blog posts (or videos) would you like to see? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!