Is it realistically possible for me to go for a career in music?
I am 15 years old and still an Ameture violinist but I have 2 years of experience in choir. So I know how to read music and have relative pitch but I am wondering if it is a realistic goal to go to a university for music by time I am 22 or should I try focusing for another career and do music for fun on the side. I get I'll have to work hard and I practice seven hours a day. I want to go to school for performance or music history. Please let me know if you think it's realistic or crush my dreams!
P. S. Sorry if this was long I'm still new to violinist.
It is possible, but very hard to happen. And perhaps too risky. Keep music for fun.
If you really practice 7 hours a day I think it's very achievable, although life as a working musician is a hard one, so you might question whether or not it's worth it to you.
Are you crazy???!!
The real question is what do you mean by a career in music.
Practicing 7 hours a day (or saying that you will) doesn't guarantee anything. You still have to have natural gifts or the practice is just wasting time and courting injury.
I do not expect to make all income off of music and I am going to regular college just to be on the safe side but I am looking for a career in music education and performance. Thank you all for your responses it was very much helpful they were very helpful!
I practice so much because I go to continuation school for an hour three days a week so I have a lot of spare time I split it up into two practices one in morning and afternoon. Yeah I get it's a lot but I just get caught up and one hour practices turn into three hours and it just became a routine.
Thank you mr. McGrath this is helpful and I know a lot about music theory already
No worries Siana.
"It is easier and more likely to teach music in a public school or university"
That's true Scott, I was just grouping the two together. I also included all forms of professor - theory, history, performance, composition, etc, in my statement.
"I'm not sure I've ever seen a publicly advertised job for a music professor"
"The most likely place to end up 'for pay' will be as a section musician in a lower end orchestra, or as a session or gigging musician, and that is if you work very hard over the next 10 years."
If you don't expect to take all your income from music, don't even bother.
Even if you don't expect to make your living from music (which you are extremely unlikely to do), there is still value in spending your spare time becoming the best musician you can, especially while you are young. It is often more difficult to improve as fast when you are older and have responsibilities that claim more of your mental bandwidth. Make sure you have a very good teacher and pay close attention to their instructions. Later when you come to enjoy music as a hobby you will be glad that you built good fundamental skills, because more opportunities will be open to you such as community orchestra or small ensembles such as you might arrange with like-minded and like-skilled others. If that's what you want, the important thing will be to stay with it.
It depends of what you want to do. A "career is music" is vary vague by itself.
Consider doing a music minor, at a school that offers private violin lessons for non-music majors. Then major in something deliberately practical, where the supply of workers is actually less than the job openings. It's better to be a high-end amateur than an under-employed, second-tier pro. Seven hours a day sounds excessive, inefficient, possibly dangerous. Leopold Auer recommended 3-4 hours, and he taught the very best students of his time.
7 hours a day doesn't necessarily mean straight playing, guys. That could include stretching, warming up, listening, studying, and so forth.
I'll throw in my usual two cents here, too, which is that just because something is a lot of fun when you're not doing it for money, doesn't mean that it's going to be fun when you have to earn a living that way.
Thanks everyone! I'll try cutting my practice to four hours. Is that safe? I kinda over do it sometimes. I believe I'll just wait to see at where I'm at in the future and go from there. It doesn't matter really as long as I can play and take care of my family. I'll be fine with whatever!
What ever time interval you choose, you must learn to recognize the onset of tension and strain so that you can avoid them assiduously. 15 minutes of reckless practice can be damaging. I was taught that mild fatigue is okay but pain never is.
Wow, not a single musician recommending music as a full time career. I should show this thread to my little girl :-).
Stan, we just don't reccomend performance on violin.
Good descriptions on how to do something that can't realistically be done by many unfortunately.
I've never had a pro musician tell me that it was an easy life -- not even people in top 5 orchestras, or who have secure tenured university positions. Some musicians can't envision themselves doing anything else with their life, and all the sacrifices they make are worth it. Some musicians think that they could have done something else, and perhaps been happier.
Stan wrote, "Wow, not a single musician recommending music as a full time career." Not exactly. We're just not recommending a classical performance career to someone who is starting the violin at age 15. Were she 9 years old with four years of study completed and a youtube video showing herself playing Mozart G Major Violin Concerto nicely, that might be different. But then she wouldn't be asking us, either.
"It is a hard world. Some instruments have better prospects than others, different genres, etc."
Stan Yates: very few are recommending it because of the specific situation. Would you show your daughter this to discourage her from a career in music, or to use it as fuel?
I will be the one and only. Go for it! Life is too short not to try. Get financial aid; get a scholarship. Attend a public university for music school! But hey, if you have the money, try for Juilliard! If you're accepted, work your tail off! If you're not accepted, that's ok; at least you tried. If anything, playing for auditions will make you further hone your skills and teach you the lesson of rejection. But hey, life doesn't end at 22. I know several people who just entered music performance degrees after age 40. Message me and I'll give you names. Once again, life is too short not to try. What I suggest:
Also, I started violin at 14. I've taken my own unique path in life. I also can point you in the direction of several other extremely successful musicians who started after age 14. If you're truly serious, message me and I'll give you names. It's always great to have mentors. Also, don't knock International travel for the right lessons and even eventual career search. Terje Moe Hansen in Norway is a prestigious professor of violin. He started at 19. I have always wanted to study with him and pick his brain on how he did it. Of course, if you can't afford International travel, there's Skype lessons. I think the big difference between someone who has a higher chance of success and someone who doesn't, the person who doesn't is always looking for excuses not to climb the mountain. The person who does, will always find a way up, around or even through the mountain. The opportunities are endless, and the journey is precious. But the most courageous person is the one who isn't afraid to turn back and find another route after giving it a serious try. Sometimes we just can't climb the mountain all the way to the top and it starts to become no fun once you reach the no oxygen level. It's ok to turn back and find the next new adventure.
Erik, I would show her to plant a seed that may lead to an informed decision rather than a romantic or easy/default decision. She's 11, has played for 6 years, is talented, and teachers already ask her if she will study music. The candid discussion is good.
PET PEEVE: Teachers who ask, subtly push, or not-so-subtly push a talented young student towards the expectation of pre-professional study of music at a conservatory followed by a career.
To be clear, her own teacher doesn't talk about this! :-) (Sorry to hijack the thread...) So often kids make significant life decisions about college and course of study without really understanding much about where it leads. So I like that Siana is asking and I really like seeing professional folks' perspective, because I know this will be coming for us not so long from now.
I think the very first thing is to look inside of yourself. There's something that you are already in the rough.
I'm intrigued by your pet peeve, Mary Ellen. :-)
Realism is a wonderful thing, but lets give a little credit to people with a dream, dedication, and hard work. It wasn't realistic a small garage EBay store would become the global powerhouse that is Amazon, nor was it realistic that a kid with a little programming experience would write the program that 98% of computers in the world use. If everyone followed what was realistic, instead of following their desires, we would all be living in Africa with no computer, no Amazon, and no violins.
Just wanted to toss in a correction. Amazon was not a small garage eBay store, and in fact was founded almost a year before eBay. (I don't know what program you're referring to that's used by 98% of the world's computers, and I would bet you that anything you're thinking of wasn't written by a kid with no experience, either.)
I like to say that you can do anything if you want it enough, but the problem is most people don't want something long enough to actually follow through, so they end up with a half-completed dream. BUT a half-completed dream still teaches you something, and a dream that was never even attempted teaches you absolutely nothing.
Part of your issue, Erik, might be that you're thinking about hobbies in terms of their end goals, rather than the joy of the journey. If that's the case, it's actually probably good that you aren't sinking your time into that hobby.
I believe most people will be who they really are. If they don't continue an interest then they probably don't want to do it. If they have a strong motivation they will try for as long and as hard as they can.Not because they have anything to gain other than satisfaction.
When I think of all my friends who are in a ton of college debt, I tend to agree with sticking to reality. I started working with $0 to my name, and richer than many of my contemporaries.
True, Timothy. This is also the nihilistic conclusion that I've come to as well. We can minorly influence the trajectories of others, but they're going to do what they're going to do, and they're going to be who they're going to be.
Mary Ellen: if your pet peave response is to Stan Yates' post; on the bright side, Stan himself doesn't seem to be pushing for the career/study option. And his daughter's teachers seem to only be asking, rather than planting seeds or pushing. I have a similar pet peave because most people have no idea how much effort is actually required to make money doing music, but I don't think that's the case here.
Lydia: I don't think you and I are talking about the same set of students. You're talking about future competition entrants. I'm talking about the "typical" talented kid who ranges from pretty good to very good but who was not playing Tchaikovsky at eight.
I'm more thinking about the kid that is playing Tchaikovsky in, say, their freshman or sophomore year of high school, and sounding pretty professional by then, as opposed to the wunderkind playing Tchaikovsky at 8. :-)
I'm talking about high school kids with a respectable Bruch.
"We do people a huge disservice when we just tell them to dream big and work hard."
I think the right approach is usually something in between, " the sky is the limit ", and "not even in a million years".
I completely understand Mary Ellen's pet peeve. What's that quote about universities not doing *enough* to discourage young writers again?