Professional or Semi-Professional?Life in general: Professional or Semi-Professional?
From carla bosman
From Lily MorrisI would consider them professional if their music fully finances their life, and semi-professional if they also have another job outside of music.
Posted on June 15, 2012 at 09:09 AM
(Though of course everyone can have a professional attitude, that's different)
From Sandy HerraultI would consider them a professional if they consider themselves professional, and if they have a business card of course. No, all kidding aside, it seems a bit too grey for calling. In any other career is there such a thing as a semi-professional builder, semi-professional nurse, cook? It's pretty funny when you look at it that way. Playing well, and getting paid to do it, or teach it,is my only criteria.
Posted on June 15, 2012 at 11:34 AM
From Paul DeckIs one a professional if one is not a member of a union and works sometimes below scale? Are buskers professionals if they have no other income? What about a college professor who plays once a month with a jazz group and brings home a pizza?
Posted on June 15, 2012 at 01:57 PM
There's no definition. You and your immediate peers can decide if you're a professional or not.
From Tom HolzmanI would go with Lily on this. A professional is someone who makes a living of some sort using his music or is otherwise able to be paid for making music (e.g., does gigs of some sort). I think the term "semi-professional" probably does not have a place in the music world.
Posted on June 15, 2012 at 06:27 PM
From Carlo BallaraI think it rare these days just to do one job. I agree with those who have posted above. Professional to me means you earn your living doing that job, just as amateur means "for the love of".
Posted on June 15, 2012 at 09:27 PM
From Frieda FrancisWhere does one draw the line though? I know outstanding, conservatory-trained opera singers who have day jobs (like receptionist) while they take any gigs they can get as they try to make it in the opera world. Kind of like the typical professional actor who really makes a living by being a waiter. Then there are people like doctors and scientists who do paid gigs several times a year just for fun. Are these all professional musicians? The former are trying to make music a career, the latter are not, both are making their living from day jobs and getting paid for making music.
Posted on June 15, 2012 at 09:44 PM
From Patrick TinneyI would never call myself a "professional musician", hardly even a competent one, certainly not classically trained. I have lead church choirs and amateur groups, taught guitar and recorder. But in some cases “professional” may be an aspect of context as well as why do you need the title.
Posted on June 15, 2012 at 10:32 PM
We used to have a wonderful music store here, Alpha Music. Not so much instruments, but scores and books and wonderful advice. When I was a church choir director and even as the current “music resource person” for my parish, until they closed their doors I was always offered their “professional” discount.
I still have a stipend, many, not including myself, consider me a musician. And I am asked on occasion to help and lead choirs.
I am not a “professional” musician but as a full time parent I certainly appreciate the “professional” courtesy to help support my musicianship.
From carla bosmanThank you all for your wonderful thoughts on the idea! Much appreciated!
Posted on June 16, 2012 at 08:02 PM
From Joyce LinPeople with wide degrees of competency and knowledge on the violin can make a living out of it and call themselves professional musicians. The word "professional" is used so loosely nowadays that it almost doesn't mean anything...
Posted on June 18, 2012 at 09:09 PM
In my definition, in addition to earning income from playing/teaching the violin, only a refined musician who is devoted to hone his/her skills and expand his/her knowledge, who has integrity, humility and empathy, and who adheres to the highest standards of professional conduct, is worthy of being called a professional.
I also agree with Frieda that generating one's main income from music is not a requirement - one of my teachers is a LMT/consultant/freelancer/violinist at our city opera and ballet, etc., and one of the co-concertmasters of our city opera is a Feldenkrais practitioner. They probably make more money outside of music, but they are no doubt professional musicians in my mind.
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