Struggling to make it, a violinist is pondering dumping the music thing. I read about this first here. Along with this post and this there’s some interesting reading.

Thoughts?

I know that if I had to drop this career ‘o mine I couldn’t possibly go into Law. Not smart enough. Not bold enough. Definitely not willing to do the work. I’ve tried to figure out what I could do. My only other jobs were Winchell’s Donuts cashier, Books Inc. cashier and later bookkeeper, and music librarian. What if I lost a finger? What if I suffered focal dystonia (as has happened to other musicians)? Just what would I do? I honestly don’t know!

Notice I’m not contemplating what would happen if all the groups I am involved in crashed and burned. I don’t even want to go there.

1 Comment

  1. Jerry Pritchard

    This guy has deluded himself.    He has already succeeded in
    my opinion.  He is living and making a living practising his art
    in a nice clean, safe, highly desireable resort town with good weather,
    which has all the amenities of a metropolitan area–but without all the
    crime, filth, stress, and status seeking.  A place where lots of
    people would love to live–and pay big bucks and make some small
    sacrifices in order to be able to live in such a great
    environment. 

    He hasn’t gotten to the top of the ladder and won fame and fortune, but
    so what?  The music profession is like all others in that it is a
    pyramid with few positions at the top and many more below. 

    Wait until he finishes the rigors of  law school and finds out
    what a small percentage of positions available are in high paying,
    prestigious corporate law firms.  Even if he is lucky enough and
    talented enough to be selected for one of these top level jobs, that
    are equivalent to getting in a major symphony orchestra or being
    launched in a major concert soloist career,  does he realize 
    how many hours a week a new associate in a law firm has to work at
    mind-numbing tasks in a high pressure, “do or die” environment. 
    After 6-7 years of long hours, toil, and stress, how manyof those
    asssociates even are selected for a partnership?    Most
    of the jobs in the legal profession pay moderate (but liveable)
    salaries…just like the one he has now. 

    There are many ways to make your way in this world as a musician or
    artist without falling into the trap of expecting that there is only
    one path to success and fulfillment.  You can even be a lawyer, if
    you truly find the call  to be one, and you can still find a niche
    as a musician as well.  I have known several lawyers who were
    outstanding musicians.  One even had played in one of the big five
    symphony orchestra but changed direction because, after all his
    training, time and effort practising his horn, he found that the life
    of a full-time symphony musician really didn’t make him happy or meet
    all of his personal needs and interests.  He played in our local
    orchestra made up of  a mix of full-time musicians, college and
    public school music teachers, and advanced students.  Every fall
    he sounded a little rustly from not practising much over the summer,
    but by the first concert he was playing beautifully and
    musically.  By the last concert of the season he sounded as good,
    as accurate and as musical as any professional player.  His life
    was balanced nicely for his personal preferences.  He was not
    bitter about changing careers. He never “gave up” music.  He just
    found another way to reach his goals.  He didn’t “give up his
    dream”; he just found a life that worked for him and had time for
    family, job, and music.  He chose to live in a smaller city (with
    not a great climate and  plenty of social and economic problems)
    where he worked in a good law practice,  providing good service to
    his clients, being active in the civic life of his community, and
    still  having the satisfaction of making music.