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Discussion Starter #1
As a Senior in High School I'm preparing for auditions like the rest of the world. However, I promised my family I would try to also acquire a degree in Business, and have even fiddled with the idea of Pre-Law and playing just for myself.

The question... I know there are some of us on here who have day jobs (most of us probably), could you let me know about your experiences related to your occupation. If you enjoy your career, if you regret it, how it relates to you being able to play on the side, if you play in public or not, etc etc.

Then, if anyone feels compelled could you recommend schools? I wasn't thinking about this until now, so I'm not really sure on the ideas here.

[Edit: Part of the problem is my interests have always been crazy in range. From playing select baseball and basketball, to painting, to skateboarding, to history, to debating in general. Thanks]

Thanks a lot,
Bubba06
 

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It takes all sorts to make a world. Don't feel you have to be shy about a career other than music.

In my case I've had a couple of major careers both of which have allowed me to live a decent life and bring up a family in relative comfort. One career was in topographic/cartographic/engineering surveying and was very interesting but involved a lot of travel and working outside in all weathers. Sounds attractive but really isn't when you'd rather be in the one place most of the time. I did it mainly in the military.

My second and main career has been in history and heritage conservation. I find it fascinating and a pleasure to go to work every day. It's also nice to be in a profession where you're something of an authority in your field.

Music for me has been something I've done for 40+ years because I love it. I play jazz and have been lucky enough never to be out of work. Although what I earn would not have fed my family it has been an important lagniappe to my regular income.

As for schools to recommend I guess you are in the US and, like so many on this forum, I'm not - so no help there.

Good luck. Enjoy what ever career(s) you decide on and have fun with your music.
 

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The world needs creative entrepreneurs. The does NOT need MBAs.
 

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When I was a senior in high school (1983!) I had no intention of attending college. I was going to make a career playing after I left high school. My family was terrified and tried to convince me to go to school in a conventional major "as a backup plan" in case the music thing didn't work out. We came to a compromise. I would go to college, as a music major. I auditioned, got in, and promptly dropped out two weeks after classes started. I started gigging, got an apartment, and in about a year I realized that I had made a pretty big mistake. To make a long story short, I moved back home, went back to school, but all the while continued to play. Today I'm a college professor (not in music) and gig on the weekends. LOVE my job and wouldn't have it any other way for twice the money. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I suppose I could be more specific in a way. My biggest fear in life (as an 18 year old), is I'm going to "grow up" having a family with needs beyond my reach. Or I won't have a good enough job that I could go away on a nice vacation. That being said, music education might not be the greatest idea. Though I'd ultimately like to be a professor.

I'd still like to hear about more experiences from SoTW.

-Bubba-
 

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I am a mathematician - which is a super background for almost everything technical. Somebody has even told me that there is a high correlaton between mathematics and interest in music.

My working career has been in electronics, software, system design etc. I have used playing as a sort of buffer against working too much (an occupational hazard for software guys in the latter part of the 20th century).
 

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I was a music major at a college that is fairly well regarded but the music departments was one of the weaker departments at that time. In my junior year I had a revelation that there was no way I would ever make a living as a musician, so I began taking computer classes. (I had a programming class my freshman year, enjoyed it, and did well.) My senior year I had four computer classes and the bare minimum music classes to complete my major.

After graduation, it took almost a year to actually get a job in computers. I was surprised to find out that a number of professionals in the field believed that musicians often turn out to be good programmers. (Unfortunately that perception didn't seem to help me get a computer job!) Back then (late '70s) computer jobs often offered a wide variety of experiences, which made the job very enjoyable for me. Nowadays the world of government IT contracting doesn't have much to say for it except that it continues to be a solid means to provide for my family. (with enough left over to buy another instrument every now and then!)

I have a few opportunities to play sax and clarinet currently, mainly filling in with the local community college jazz ensemble (and the wind ensemble before that). Interestingly, I was invited to join the wind ensemble by a former boss of mine who is now a fairly high level manager for a computer consulting firm. (and he stills continues to play clarinet and saxophone with various groups)
 

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One thing to consider is that you don't really need to do a pre-law major. Most people that go to good law schools didn't do pre-law, they did some sort of liberal art or business major.

I think double-majoring is a great idea. Music/Econ myself and have found employment opportunities to be plentiful. I have plenty of time to play music and it allows me to play fun gigs that might not necessarily pay the best but provide more satisfaction musically.

You'll find that employers care much less about what your degree is in than where it is from and if you're a hard worker/quick learner. Many investment bankers for instance, don't even have business degrees...places want to hire intelligent individuals and having a music degree won't disqualify you for many business jobs. Something like accounting you obviously need a specialized degree though.

People who get music degrees and end up poor waiting tables or unable to support their families aren't in that situation because they have a music degree...it is because of how they applied it once out of school. You have to be realistic with what is necessary to live as a "musician" full-time and understand that half of it is business anyway.
 

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If I were doing it over again I would pursue a JD degree. If you get your BA is almost anything (probably not music) like science, engineering, business etc you can apply it to the practice of law in a specialty field. Even with out that specialty practice I don't think there are many more versatile degrees than a JD.
 

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Played since I was 16 (now 71). Joined the US Army shortly after high school, played on the side. Joined LAPD at age 21 and stayed in public law enforcement for 30 years (leaving the public sector as a police chief), then into private law enforcement for the rest of my working life (another 12 years). Played on the side the whole time. Married, raised three kids and raising four grandchildren, still playing. The saxophone kept my mind right through years of street and admin battles. Whatever you do, keep those reeds wet. DAVE
 

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Career! Yeah right! Just lucky to hold down a job! I never went to college (my ACT score was 18), because I was so narrow minded on what I wanted to do (I thought music was my life, I was wrong!). I joined the USMC field band program, but due to many circumstances, only made it half through the school (roughly equal to 2 years out of a 4 year. Literally 3 months out of 6), by just failing by 1 point. I neither had the drive nor ambition to keep going that route, so I changed MOS (military occupational specialty) and became an airport firefighter instead. Hated that job!

Well, since then, I still play sax, and get the paid gig on occasion (such as I did in High School), but mostly play in Jams, Community Bands, and Community Theatre.

My day job has varied from Maintenance, to Shipping, to Kitting, to Metal Scrap Supervisor. Now I wish I'd gone to college! My wife did go to college, but only received her AA, because she ran out of money and had to drop out 1 1/2 years from completing her BA!

I want to go to school, just can't figure out how people do it, and still make the bills, w/out taking on more bills (ie student loans) later!

A Career would be nice. Just never had that luxury.

I have found out that I am quite good at metal fabrication and welding, but I learned that through a 4 day class, so I have no training certificate or paperwork to follow me (which many employers look for).
 

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For me I had already graduated University and was working before getting into music taking private lessons. 10 years later I auditioned for the Navy Band during a period of unemployment and got in but decided not to proceed after being put off after talking to a couple of pro's who had been in there.

I practice an hour a day, play 1st tenor in a community big band, and sit in once every couple of weeks on my ex-teacher's gig. I know several working people who graduated from music school and play jazz at a high level often playing alongside the pro's. I happened to be lucky enough to sub last night on bari in one of the top big bands in town. About half of the band are pro's and the other half are players with day jobs and play gigs on the side.
 

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There have been plenty of threads on this with a lot of very good, albeit conflicting, advice. Maybe since you're going to be a college man, you can start refining your research skills by looking for some of these threads. :mrgreen:

But they basically come down to two camps, those who spent a lifetime in a profession other than music and have enjoyed the stability and material rewards that come from that, and the freedom to play what and when they want, and those (by far the minority) who went into music full time.

I'm one of those who chose music full time and I'll just say this. Don't do it unless you feel like you can't not do it. That is, you should feel compelled to do it.

And also do it for yourself, not because you intend to become rich and famous. There are those who are driven to do that and a minuscule minority really hit the jackpot but the average musician is not in that category.

Be prepared to put together a mosaic of musical activities to make ends meet, not just to do your own thing exclusively.

I've been a full time musician my entire adult life and I wouldn't trade it for anything. And it's worked out pretty well for me. But you have to be very good and it's best if material things are not too high on your list of priorities. If you're not willing to sacrifice and take your satisfaction from more aesthetic and spiritual things, better to have a day gig and play on the side.
 

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they basically come down to two camps, those who spent a lifetime in a profession other than music and have enjoyed the stability and material rewards that come from that, and the freedom to play what and when they want, and those (by far the minority) who went into music full time.
Some people are not in one of those camps. Without getting into how I got to this eventually, I am doing the "full time" music that I want but I also have a second job that I like and wouldn't want not to do. Lucky for my it all happened organically and I want to do both. If I was in music "full time" like you describe I wouldn't do anything that I want in music more than I already do now. Instead...

Be prepared to put together a mosaic of musical activities to make ends meet, not just to do your own thing exclusively.
Exactly. I would have to compromise a lot more and do things in music that I don't want to. Just because something has playing music in it or is related to music doesn't mean I (i.e. any musican) want to do it.

I'm one of those who chose music full time and I'll just say this. Don't do it unless you feel like you can't not do it.
I pretty much feel that way about what I do. Part of that (a big part) is music. I don't feel that way about some things in music that I don't do and wouldn't want to do. I feel that way about the not-compltely-musical things I do also. You can feel this way about more specific things.

For example, someone might have photography as their first "love", but they don't like working as a photographer in weddings and other events. They might also like to work as a teacher. So being a full time photographer for them (i.e. doing all they can and want in photography) might mean they have time to also work as a teacher. If they were a "full time" photographer maybe they had to take wedding gigs and give up teaching. This might be a terrible compromise for them. Same for music, it's entirely possible.
 

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I graduated with a degree in business studies, majoring in Quality Management.
I am the department head for a multi national company offering solutions in supply chain.
I love my work and pursues my music passionately, at a professional level, having performed for various artists, pop stars and jazz festivals, not forgetting club/hotel/church gigs.
I am also finding my other passion in training/education and has a soft spot for Fine Arts.
well, I am blessed to be able to a blessing.
Live is for living and living without passion, will be such a mistake.

for what I am doing now, I am glad that I am able to take care of my family, my parents, and still have some space for my music.

Go for what is in your heart. live your dreams.
 

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I am an attorney, working primarily on energy and environmental issues, plus some water and telecommunications issues. I like my job - it is interesting and challenging, but a lot of lawyers do not like their jobs. As someone stated above, you can have any undergraduate major to get into law school. No need to do a "pre-law" program unless you really want to. (I would suggest doing whatever sounds most interesting to you, so you bring passion to it - you will get better grades that way, which is more important for law school admission than your major.)

But the only good reason to become a lawyer is because that is what you want to do. It is too demanding and time-consuming to be done just for the money, and it is a less secure career path than it used to be. I get to play some - I play in ensembles at the JazzSchool (Berkeley), go to a week-long summer music camp, and play twice a month at my synagogue - but with my job, an old house, and two kids, my playing time is often constrained.

If you have more questions about being an attorney, I would be glad to give you more info - before my current gig, I was a prosecutor, and did securities litigation, and I have worked for law firms, public agencies, and a non-profit. (And I worked in camera stores and photo labs before law school.) Feel free to send me a pm if you have other questions re being an attorney.
 

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I play music all of the time now that I have retired from 30 years as a grade school classroom teacher. I really enjoyed teaching and was able to play on weekends in bands all through those 30 years. As a teacher who rose to the top of the salary scale by taking extra classes, I was able to buy and pay off my house before retirement, send both of my boys through college w/o taking out a loan and do all the fun things people like to do over the years. I was always able to satisfy my musical interests and needs during my teaching days. I also was able to accumulate 13 saxes, 8 electric basses, 6 electric guitars, a keyboard, nice tube amps, a drum set, etc. etc. using only my gig money. Long three month summer vacations, two weeks at Christmas, one week during the spring, allowed all kinds of fun, rewarding musical experiences as well as great quality time with my family. I'm glad I went this route. God is good!!
 

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i started as a theater major in college. i still played my sax in the school jazz ensemble. i didnt see anyone i knew getting jobs when they graduated so i switched to engineering and kept playing as a hobby. you wont regret that. i dont regret engineering but would have changed a few things. engineers are mostly treated as skilled labor these days. aerospace companies ae totally driven by government contracts except a few comercial companies. ive had to move every 4-8 years to stay where the work is. this sounds ok when youre younger but isnt near as much fun when older. moving doesnt always treat relationships well. some comercal companies expect engineers to work a lot of overtime without pay or they pay significantly less. My impression is being poor is worse.

dont take the mba comment seriously. the world needs all kinds of people. just pick something you find interesting. youre still young enough to chang your mind a couple of times.

either way, i say keep playing regardless. You wont regret that.
 
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