If you are a studying music, this is a must read.

The Straight Dope – An Essay by Steve Trapani – Google Docs

Here’s a snippet:

The Straight Dope, by Steve Trapani

What follows are some thoughts for my students or any other young person thinking about becoming a professional musician which they will probably ignore – but they shouldn’t.

It’s a hard life and a difficult way to make a living. This was something I heard people say, but it didn’t really sink in. “Fine”, I thought, “it’s hard. So what? I’m a hard worker and I’m talented. It’ll be different for me.” This began a long period of bargaining with myself, I suppose, up until this day. A series of justifications and denials, without which, it just wouldn’t have been possible to move forward. I think if you know what actually lies ahead of you as an artist, that you would simply not be able to go on.

Let’s cut to the chase and say that, at least in some measurable ways, I have succeeded. I have been working professionally for 25 years and have been making my living exclusively as a musician for the last 12 years. I have worked with conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Ricardo Muti, Charles Dutoit and Gustavo Dudamel. I’ve played with orchestras including, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the San Francisco Ballet and Opera, and New York City Opera National Company. I can be heard on recordings with the LA Philharmonic, as well as several movie and TV soundtracks including Godzilla, Pacific Rim, The Simpsons, and Family Guy. I can play.

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