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Amateurs and their Day Jobs

October 11, 2010 at 11:13 AM

I thoroughly enjoy playing in a local string orchestra. It is an amateur group, in which no one ever got a cent to play, but we do all have a certain level of abilities, which allows us to explore a wide variety of pieces within the string ensemble repertoire.

As we were playing recently, I looked around and marveled at the variety of people there. One of the best things about playing an instrument, I believe, is the people you get to know. All members of my group are highly intelligent, cultured, enthusiastic and overall wonderful individuals, with the most interesting backgrounds possible. Ages range from 17 to 86, with a nice spread in between. Professionally, 6 are musicians, who either play their second instrument with us or mostly teach and play with us for a group experience. Two are high school students, one a college student majoring in Biology. Three of us are scientists, and three are architects (professions of choice for amateurs?). We also have two doctors, a vet, two business men, one person who runs an advertisement agency, two public servants and an orthodontist. Finally, the cherry on the cake: One psychiatrist, one psychologist and one psychoanalyst (our mental health is, therefore, well taken care of).

I´m curious to know the "day jobs" for other amateurs.


From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on October 11, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Hi, interesting... Thanks! 


ps: pls let us know if the psy trio do have stage fraight or not  (just to know if they really do what they preach ; )  

I am amateur and don't play in a group now but want to join one after my studies for sure.  If everything goes well, I'll be an OT.  Analysing motion, ergonomy and knowing well the muscular/nerve/bone mechanics of the body should be fun for a musician!  (maybe I'll switch in something else but on the other hand, I want to start to have a life i.e. not beeing at school until 35... ; ) 

From Lisa Van Sickle
Posted on October 11, 2010 at 11:32 PM

Let's see: three doctors; lots of teachers, elementary to university; a few lawyers; a landscaper; a picture framer; lots of physicists, mathematicians, etc; two executive directors of other music groups in town; government employees; a paralegal; retired professional musicians and one composer; a video artist; a writer; a pharmacist; an industrial hygienist; an art gallery owner; manager of a small press; a used-book store owner . . .

From Alice Kowalski
Posted on October 12, 2010 at 8:31 AM

Wow, great list!

The psychologist is a normal well centered person who deals reasonably well with pressure. The psychoanalyst is rather strange and I have trouble figuring out what goes on in that mind. The psychiatrist is very nutty and tends to FORGET about our concerts, arrive late and sneak into the stage midway. Once he did this and the audience clapped, thinking he was a soloist walking in!!

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on October 12, 2010 at 11:57 AM

wow...  ; )   This is quite funny.

Any physios or OTs???

From Alice Kowalski
Posted on October 12, 2010 at 12:04 PM

No physios or OTs. We had a nurse for a while, but she defected.

I think your professional choice is really interesting for violinists. Luckily I don´t have any players aches and pains, but if I ever do, I´ll consult you!


From Lisa Van Sickle
Posted on October 12, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Well, Alice, my mother always claimed most psychiatrists went into the field to sort out their own issues.  Just sayin'!

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on October 12, 2010 at 6:40 PM

Lisa interesting! 

Alice, cool and I would be very happy to tell what I know about a problem but now I still have to suffer all these anato/physio/neuro books before feeling competent to the disadvantage of...  poor baby in its case : (   But I have to earn money one day for poor baby in its case!    

Good luck to all of you!


From di allen
Posted on October 12, 2010 at 10:18 PM

i am a retired historian and librarian.  i play and perform with loggers, mechanics, nurses, car-wash owners, millworkers, health care aids, custodians (our best fiddler)  tow-truck drivers (fantastic ear and useful to know) morticians, dentists a surgeon, , Mormons (not really an occupation), grocery story proprietor, hairdresser, mailman, (among others) and it's a great way to meet people you wouldn't normally run into.  many retired folk who never discuss what they did in their previous lives. 

From Alice Kowalski
Posted on October 13, 2010 at 9:25 PM

Mormons and morticians! What a combination!

From Tom Holzman
Posted on October 14, 2010 at 8:45 PM

I belong to the NIH Community Orch.  We have a bunch of NIH researchers plus a variety of other professions including lawyers, docs, etc.  A bit of everything.  Typical for an amateur orch. 

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