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Dedicating your life to music- Regrets, fears, pros?

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If there's already a thread for this feel free to merge- my quick searches didn't find one.


So, I was wondering if those of you who have musical careers could share any worries you had while pursuing one, any regrets you have now, and perhaps how you would've done things differently or what you felt were particularly good decisions.


I'll be attending Drexel University for Music Industry with a technology focus- Thankfully I got a very nice scholarship and my parents can loan me the money instead of a bank or the government. However, it is a bit unnerving to be attending a school with such a high tuition for a career in Music Tech- it's not exactly a field I'm guaranteed a job or decent pay in (at least not initially) whereas my earlier life path (Computer Science) guaranteed a decent job and decent starting pay.


I'm more than a bit scared of 'throwing my life away'- but hey, working with music has always been a passion of mine and better to live a life as a $45k Mix Engineer than a $65k programmer working a desk job, in my opinion ;-)


Thanks for your input! ^.~

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  • X + Passion = 100%
    X + passionless < 100%
    so the $$$ is kind of a wash...
    (X + Passion) x (Passion) > 100%
    (X + passionless) x (Passion) < 100%

there's always a double major option, but that takes a lot, of the fun, out of the equation... passion is a ++

:twisted: wishing the best

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The only thing worse than the feeling of throwing your life away (now) is the awful regret you will feel if you are looking back realizing that

you didn't follow your passion (then).

The other part of the equation is hard work. Money follows ability and will.

Good luck.

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As a youngster I read a book called "Rhythms of Vision" the opening page had a quote

"Everything in the Universe vibrates".


I had no idea at the time just how important or indeed how this simple law of nature would influence the rest of my life.

Music has been an integral part of my growth since before I can remember. An engineer by trade my path changed when I met a Luthier (Musical Instrument maker) and resulted in the in depth study of "The physics of the vibrating plate". Cello, violins and guitar tops etc., Engineering using steel as the medium moved into engineering in wood, the principles remained the same. Repairing orchestral instruments in the local educational authority followed and I've some of the fondest memories to date whilst running my own Luthiers shop. Life moved on and a serious accident change my path yet again. Bones and the human form became the medium and yet the bones "Vibrate" at a different frequency to muscles etc., the principles remained yet again.

The skill is being able to tune in to these vibrations and follow natures laws.

Holding someones hand and passing on a relaxed "vibe" can heal when medication without compassion will fail.

What I'm trying to say here is don't be scared of 'throwing your life away' be aware, not afraid.

As for money, your opinion is spot on…

I meet people daily with Loads of money and you'd be surprised at just how sad and incomplete some of their lives are. On the other hand I've seen addicts who's lives have been completely turned around because I've shown an interest in them and introduced them to a few basic guitar chords.

As Fz said "A mind is like a parachute, it only works when open"


Yours is, I love reading your posts here.

This community is priceless and is an important part of my daily life.

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If all else fails, you could try your hand at comedy.


Shh! You're ruining my image as a pious Christian saint that I've worked so hard to build.


As a youngster I read a book called "Rhythms of Vision" the opening page had a quote

"Everything in the Universe vibrates".


Indeed! Everything you've ever experienced is vibration; be it the wavelengths of light that enter your eyes, the ever-moving subatomic particles that make up the bodies of everyone you've ever loved, or the electricity that powers every thought your brain has ever given to you.


Musicians simply shape these vibrations on a relatively macroscopic scale. 8)

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Indeed! Everything you've ever experienced is vibration; be it the wavelengths of light that enter your eyes, the ever-moving subatomic particles that make up the bodies of everyone you've ever loved, or the electricity that powers every thought your brain has ever given to you.


Musicians simply shape these vibrations on a relatively macroscopic scale. 8)


Yes! you understand. So when I mirror this...


Healers simply shape these vibrations on a relatively macroscopic scale. 8)


We can eliminate much factual information from our studies because the musical mind e.g. improvisational skills are the key here. If my clinic had been the first profession entered after leaving school I'm quite sure my passion for music would have continued to be just that. A love of playing music.


However, my apprenticeship was to take much longer than "planned".

Engineering and Musical instrument construction introduced skills and "experience" into the equation to such a degree that some osteopaths and GP's fail to comprehend the language spoken here.

Yet you, musicians, artists and others completely understand where i'm coming from.


When working full time in the music profession as a repairman it also became obvious that I played music much less!

Sometimes working full time in a field we "Love" can diminish our passion for the very thing we loved initially.

It was only when the circle completed and I found my true vocation my passion for playing returned.


After all these years as a guitarist, learning to play the keyboard is proving to be quite a challenge.

I know the keyboard is the best interface to communicate with my DAW (Logic).

I also know from experience (Guitar) that practice will eventually give results.


If you have the opportunity to develop your music skills, my advice would be take it.

It sounds like you have your parents full support here, some are not quite so lucky.

Retain your open mind because you really don't know what's around the next corner. :D

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I've been in, or near music all my life. In my early twenties I took a day job, because I couldn't quite make ends meet gigging & teaching. I don't regret that, because working in an office taught me a lot about people and how music works in the lives of non-musicians. It also let me bank some serious cash that funded gear I still use and travel that helped shape me as a person.


Later I decided to go back to university and wound up spending a decade as an academic. I don't regret that, because the experience taught me how to think, how to solve problems and gave me the chance to study some really useful stuff (including art history) that I still draw upon.


Then in '04 I came back to music full-time and while it's been hard and I've made plenty of mistakes, I don't regret the decision.


Where I do have regrets, they are usually come down to two things. First, I moved too slowly, hesitated or didn't take opportunities when they first came up. When I came back to music I spent too long taking courses, reading books, watching instructional videos and not enough time making and releasing music.


Second, this business is really about dealing with people. And, I wish I had been better at that. Of course talent matters, but being the kind of person people want to work with is a lot more important, for most situations and jobs in music.

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Here's my take on music, education and life. . . .


First, any education is good education. (What's sad to me is seeing the price of attending college go up and up. Such expense is just so wrong. But that's another topic for another thread for another time.) I think that learning is cool. It really does broaden the mind. Of course one doesn't have to go to college to learn. This is true. But college offers opportunities to discuss and experiment with different ideas in a safe, casual setting. This is not always the case when one has a "Nine to Five" type of job. (Even working with music can be a "Nine to Five" job, by the way.) It is very nice to see that you're going on to college. You seem prepared for it. You seem focused. I hope you savor every minute of your time there, even the times when you go to a "dreaded class" on a subject that you just hate. Trust me when I say that some day you'll look back on that class later on in life and hate it a little less. LOL! But the fact that you're going to study music, which seems to be a deep interest for you, is just wonderful to my weary eyes. This leads me on to typing more words to this post.


I hold a degree in music. I have a BM degree! (Gosh, I LOVE saying that.) It's in "Film Composition" and I hold no regrets in going through the process to earn that degree. Of course, my "Main Profession" is nursing. I love my nursing. There's something cool about helping people literally live and making them as comfortable as possible during a rough time of their life (while in the ICU). But I still do music. I still compose. I use the compositional "theories" that I learned 30+ years ago in music college. Heck, I even use some of the stuff that I learned while taking Acoustic class!! Remember what I said about appreciating "that class", later on in life, that you'll most likely hate while attending college??? I HATED acoustics! There was just too much math involved. But the two-semster class on acoustics made me appreciate. . . . well. . . acoustics! I'm not a sound engineer. But I do appreciate the skill involved in creating good sound. In order to do this one has to have a good understanding of acoustics. You seem motivated. You seem focused. I can only imagine that you'll "soak it all up" while attending music college. While attending music college, my advice to you is to remain focused. Also, practice, practice, practice!! And finally: NETWORK! The people you meet in music college might be your future co-workers, musicians, contacts, employers, etc., etc!! In other words, networking will help you land jobs after college. It seems that in the world of professional music-making, this seems especially true. It seems that getting "That GiG" will be met with much competition. Remember that there are a whole lot of other focused, motivated and talented musicians out there too. However, one can be the most talented composer/musician/sound-engineer in the world, but it will most likely be "who you know" that will help land you your first break. This thought now leads me to continue to type even more words.


I got my first job as a full-time musician from my former music college roommate. It was a very cool job as a musician on a cruise ship. Without doing the little networking that I did, I would have never had that experience. I tell you, as a twenty-something year old, it was a very, very cool experience!!! This leads me to want to type even more words on this post.


Remember when I said that I received my BM (Bachelor of Music) degree in Film Composition several typed-words ago? Well, it seems that one has to be really open to the idea of being flexible in the world of professional music-making. This was actually mentioned during our Class of 1982 Graduation Ceremony from music college. Gary Burton, a famous vibraphone player, spoke at our graduating ceremony. Gary said to be prepared to be flexible as we venture out in the music-business world. He very clearly said that chances are we will not end up doing what we studied to do during music college. Well, at the very least, this was true for me. For a while in my life, I ended up being a "Lounge Lizard" on board a cruise ship. It's all good.


But now I want to finish with just a few more typed-words. . . .


But I still compose music. And during these past few years, I've even done some very modest film composing. Here is what I do. I'm a full-time ICU staff nurse. I love my job. The hospital where I work has me video-taping many of the educational in-services that are shown there. The purpose of video-taping these educational in-services is so that the off-shift hospital employees (I work the night shift) can benefit in learning from them, too. Along with editing these video-taped educational in-services, I also write music to them! FINALLY, I'm doing some film-scoring. It is a WONDERFUL creative outlet for me. It combines my trained music know-how with my nursing. I could not ask for a nicer balance in life! In addition to all of this, my wife and I own a small production company. Although business has been slow during the past couple of years, since around 1993, we've produced a few music-comedy CDs for healthcare professionals as well as live-shows of our music for nursing conventions. We've had gigs throughout the country. My wife, who is also a nurse, is also a very talented singer. Together with the rest of our performing troupe we've made a whole lot of healthcare professionals laugh at the silliness that we provide them.


Being flexible is key. But I do believe that you'll eventually will do what you LOVE to do if you put your mind to it. Again, you seem motivated and focused. This is also key, especially during your stage in life as you attend music college. Your focus and motivation will help take you far into the music world. Networking will make the process even easier. Being flexible will most probably ensure that you'll get some job in the music world. With all of this combined, you should do well. Most importantly, hopefully you'll be happy!


It's all good!


No more typed-words from me.


Honestly, I'm going to stop now!


I'm going to stop. . . RIGHT NOW!!


Peace! :)

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I hold a degree in music. I have a BM degree! (Gosh, I LOVE saying that.)


My music degree will be BS, which is an unsettling acronym for a career path you're uncertain about!


For a while in my life, I ended up being a "Lounge Lizard" on board a cruise ship. It's all good.


Cruise musicians always seem to be fantastic. What pisses me off is that the club 'DJs' who play pre-made sets of the same Top 40 songs every damn night get far larger crowds and the nicer onboard venues.

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