First, I apologize for my not too good english
A very sad and old topic. I have read a thread about this topic in a clarinet forum, and that almost make me cry. There are numerous of musicians living in poverty. They do not have a car, living in studios with roommates (in their 30s), not able to pay for health insurance, doing night time jobs for living (mcdonalds, starbucks) working 7 days a week, and hence, do not have time for their family, some cannot even have one.
Why does that happen? because there are too many professional musicians in this country. I do not have any stats about how many music major graduates every year, but I am sure that there are not enough job vacancies for them, as you can see the competitiveness in major orchestra auditions. Other jobs such as regional orchestras, teaching jobs simply cannot provide a living. Since I am not from this country I do not know the usual wage for such jobs. However, I can draw a conclusion. According to supply and demand law, if there are fewer pro musicians, the wages will raise. Imagine if a couple want a string quartet in their wedding, if they know there are numerous of musicians around, are they willing to pay a lot? musicians are unique, and should be rare too.
Therefore, I think the number of music students every year has to be controlled. That means, only the most talented sector of people should be trained as pro musicians. The remaining, probably those who are very passionated but less talented, should be given a chance to study a dual degree.
I think music teachers as the responsibility to evaluate whether the child is capable of being a pro musician. and the standard should be pretty high. (I remember a conductor in my homecountry saying that you should not have any technique problems by the time you enter college in order to be a sucess musician)
Okie, here comes my personal problem. I am graduating this April with a violin performance degree in a university (which is so called among the top tier, but not the best) I am 22 now, and I am so worried about my future. My technique is fine, and my fingers move quite fast, just not always accurate, and a lot of people said my tone is sweet and gorgeous. Right now I am applying for grad schools, and I hope I can get into one(I probably need full scholarship since I am an international student) However, I am still not certain whether I can get into a good orchestra after the master (not likely) What I am concerning is should I give up being a pro violinist if this happen two years later?
I like playing violin (should I use the word love) but I am very concerned about job security. Being raised up in a middle class family in Chinese society (I am from Hong Kong btw) I really do not want my life style downgraded, and I really want to have a great family and provide good education to my children in the future. This is why I am really deperate for a good orchestra job. I am fine with doing something else, but I would really miss my violin if I do so, and of course, 4 more years for another degree. (I dun think an i bank will hire a music major :P)
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