Career in Music

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Monday night in brass band rehearsal, I was giving a little mini lecture while we switched up tunes.  The topic and point was to know your repertoire, bringing home my point that musicians need to listen to music and get completely inside the music they are performing.  I polled the band to see who was considering a career in music performance, and about half responded in the positive.  Wow!  Half of them are considering this.  I was surprised, and pleased.  Some also mentioned that their All State clinician said they should NOT consider a career in music.  RANT ON:

Call me crazy, but a clinician for an all state honors band should not be discouraging students from exploring their passion for music.  He is standing in front of talented and passionate kids, and they should be encouraged to follow that if they see fit to.   Honors band should be a place to encourage music, not denounce it.  I find it odd that a music educator would advise students to not spend their life following their passion for music.  That is certainly the fast way to end art music in our time, and worse, in the future.

It is enough to inform students of the tough road ahead of them in their career choice, which, by the way, is going to be tough in whatever field they choose these days, unless they want to move to India or China.   They will figure it out on their own when they study music in college.  Nothing kills your passion for something like studying it.  Never the less, students need to find their own path, and the longer they continue to play, the better off the arts will be in the future.

I am somewhat put off by hearing about this, as I think it sends the wrong message.  I understand what he was trying to do, and I hear musicians follow this train of thought all of the time.  I simply do not agree with it.  if I listened to this reasoning when I was in school, I would not be in front of the kids I am today.  I feel certain that many TYBB students have continued to play music into college because of their involvement in TYBB.  It is an inspiring environment for young musicians, and there have been students over the years that have chosen to study music in college because they loved playing their horns in brass band.  Some have given up on it, and there is nothing wrong with that, but I pride myself on the fact that my band is a safe haven for people who want to, and love to play music.

This sort of behavior should be nurtured, and encouraged, not the other way around.

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