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Topic: The question everybody faces sometime in their life

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  1. #1

    Question The question everybody faces sometime in their life

    What should I be when I grow up?

    I'm still trying to figure it out. I've started other threads elsewhere on the topic, but I'll start another one. I like the GPO community better anyway. Since y'all know so much more about the music industry than me I think y'all can be of invaluable help.

    So here's the situation: I was planning to be a pro cellist playing in a world-class orchestra (preferably the Dallas Symphony Orchestra). I could also be a music teacher, but I don't really want to teach what the difference between a half note and a quarter note is. I like to dig in deep. Maybe a music professor? I imagine that would require a HUGE education that I and my family probably can't afford. I would LOVE to be a sample library developer, but I have the impression that's a hit or miss market, and Gary pretty much took charge of it. I have some (secret) ideas for libraries, so maybe I could make it.... I also love composing. I'm not good at it, but beleive I have potential with some serious study and education. Maybe a film composer? I would say court composer, but those days are, sadly, over.

    My cello teachers have told me I have the potential and the drive to become a pro cellist, but I don't really know. I mean, it could be hit or miss, too, right? That where y'all come in. I don't know if cellists are in demand for orchestras or how that buisness works. How the film scoring buisness works. How the sampling buisness works...I just DON'T KNOW!!! I have no other passions than music. All summer long it's been music, music music! Music camp, writing, arranging, listening, studying. I'm serious. ALL I DO IS MUSIC!!! I DO NOT want to have to do anything else for a living if I don't have to. I probably will have to do something non-musical at some point, but I would like my carreer in music. I also think that a carreer designing software (probably music) would be fun and interesting too.

    HELP!!!!!

    -Chris

  2. #2

    Re: The question everybody faces sometime in their life

    Nobody but you can answer most of those questions but you can get valuable advice from close friends and family.

    Not knowing anymore about you than what you wrote above, I would suggest that you continue playing/learning the cello for two reasons. 1) You already have affirmation in that area from your teachers, and 2) all the other interests you listed will still be available if you pursue playing the cello.

    All the best,

    Brian

    p.s. everything in life is somewhat hit and miss, nothing is a sure thing so don't let that disuade you.

  3. #3

    Re: The question everybody faces sometime in their life

    If your cello teachers tell you that you have the makings of a pro, then by all means keep practicing and playing with orchestras, chamber music, whatever. If you are a superior player (and a nice person to work with), the word will get out and there will always be opportunities. I wish I had kept playing cello, it's my favorite instrument of the 3 dozen I've blown, pounded, plucked or scraped on over the years, but I started rather late.

    It's probably too early to tell if you have a composing gift, if you have not had a really good composition teacher. I never thought I was very good at it, but at age 60 I find that by learning on my own I can amaze myself how well my arrangements turn out: my teachers were simply no good and did not give me a proper foundation. So if the idea of composition appeals to you, take some lessons with multiple teachers over a period of a few years and you will by then have a very good idea of your aptitude and direction.

    I think there is a good case to be made for educating yourself broadly. Take a programming course or two (local junior college?) and you'll soon find out if working with software really appeals to you. Most of us are innately more versatile than we think. And in the course of your life, you will find use for all the skills you have developed. Now more than ever it's important to be flexible and well-rounded. Not many people do the same job their entire life anymore.

    I'd recommend not thinking in terms of a career in a specific job category, like professor or music software designer. Rather explore subjects that interest you and develop your knowledge and skill in them. Professors or cellists can be very useful as role models, but the world is changing so fast now that the career(s) you eventually end up in 10 years from now may not yet exist.

    Another thing: go to the best schools you can get into, not the ones where you are by far the best student. IN the better schools, conservatories, universities, you will learn almost as much from your fellow students as from the teachers, and long after you're out of school and your teachers have died, those classmate relationships you cultivate may continue to help your career.

  4. #4

    Re: The question everybody faces sometime in their life

    I'm a sophomore in college, and I still don't have a clue as to what I want to do . . . and I don't have long left before I have to decide! (I certainly do not have enough money to just stay in school ) My sig was once "There are no applications for the jobs I want" because the only jobs I think would enjoy are the dream jobs that everybody wants. For example, you can go to film scoring schools all you want, but it won't really increase your chances of being the next John Williams. Some jobs take more than skill, i.e. LUCK!

    So while you still have longer than I do to decide, don't let it keep you up all night! You get a job so you can make money to live, and unfortunately you might not make any money doing what you love. That's just the harsh truth some of us have to face. Of course, keep all the doors open for yourself, you never know if luck is on your side. Just don't start holding your breath.

    I agree that continuing playing and learning the cello is a good idea, no matter what you end up doing for a living. Even if you can't make money doing it, it is worth doing because of how it will help your brain, and how it will add joy to your life.

    I would guess when you get to college, you will be a music major, especially if music is your ultimate passion. Statistically music majors don't make as much money. You could try to be a teacher of music. Or you could audition for a major orchestra if you get really good on the cello. A film composer would be a sweet job, but that's like wanting to be a movie star, so don't be too surprised if it never happens.

    Good luck, and remember, you still have a while to decide. No reason to set your heart on one thing so early. At least, that's my opinion.
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  5. #5

    Re: The question everybody faces sometime in their life

    Yeah, those are pretty much my thoughts, too. Continue playing cello, and that way I can probably still compose and develop libraries on the side. I would at lest like to make a cello library, since I would know by then ALL the ins and outs of the instrument.

    The Garritan Personal Orchestra really inspired me in terms of the power of samples. I just think samples can do so much more! Then you end up with things like VSL that cost thousands of dollars. I would love to someday make an orchestral library that's much like GPO but more suited to my style and...I'm trying not to give away any of my ideas.

    First I'll sample the hammond at church and get to know gigastudio and go from there!

    -Chris

  6. #6

    Re: The question everybody faces sometime in their life

    I know it sounds cliche, but "follow your heart". I'm 48 and have had several careers but I keep gravitating back to the music business, even though that has been the toughest to sustain a living at. My mom always told be to have something to "fall back on". Well, I did that. I worked for many years as a computer programmer and enjoyed it quite a bit. But music is what is inside of me.

    Try everything. Don't limit yourself and say you can only be "this" or "that". Try it all. Unless you're like 75 years old, you probably have time to have a taste of life. I've been a band musician, a studio musician, a composer, an arranger, a transcriber, a copyist, a singer, a MIDI programmer, a recording engineer...etc, etc. I've loved all of it. And I don't think I'm done either.

    Good luck. Keep us posted.
    Steve
    Steve Barden
    www.SteveBarden.com
    "So....it's a profit deal!" - Navin R. Johnson

  7. #7

    Re: The question everybody faces sometime in their life

    Quote Originally Posted by cptexas
    What should I be when I grow up?

    So here's the situation: I was planning to be a pro cellist playing in a world-class orchestra (preferably the Dallas Symphony Orchestra). I could also be a music teacher, but I don't really want to teach what the difference between a half note and a quarter note is. I like to dig in deep. Maybe a music professor? I imagine that would require a HUGE education that I and my family probably can't afford.

    -Chris
    Well, I'll leave it to the other experts here to advise you regarding composing/film scoring. As for playing vs. teaching, I think you'll spend as much on schooling either way, but there is at least an outside chance of making a living playing without an advanced degree. Often times orchestral musicians are hired as adjunct faculty to teach private cello, so you could do both. Full time university jobs usually require a doctorate, at least to get tenured.

    One thing I always tell students is NOT to use teaching as a fallback job. If your heart is not in it, it can be a real grind, and it doesn't pay that well. Do something lucrative for a day job and gig on the side.

    I also second the advice of attending the best music schools you can. There is nothing that will replace being in that kind of environment. Since your heart seems to be in Texas, UT-Austin and Univ. of North Texas have good programs, but so also do Baylor and SMU.

    And happy birthday!

  8. #8
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: The question everybody faces sometime in their life

    Quote Originally Posted by cptexas
    What should I be when I grow up?


    HELP!!!!!

    -Chris

    Well, even from my vantage point of very nearly 5 times your age, I am not sure of what the best approach would be. I did more or less what I wanted, but I did not have a tight plan. You must eventually have a number of contingency plans, following whichever you determine to be most advantageous as each opportunity comes your way, and if the opportunities don't come, go find them. Music will be a difficult road to pursue. The problem lies in more things than talent and skill. Go for it, but have at least one other field in which you are qualified, and be prepared that you might find something that you never dreamed of becomes necessary for survival. Get as much education and training as you can, so you can be prepared to take advantage of opportunities open to you. I guess what I am saying is have a chosen field, pursue it, but be versatile and flexible in whatever path you choose. Final thought: When the time comes that marriage enters your mind, be very sure you and your intended have compatible ideas about the career each of you will be developing.



    Richard

  9. #9
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Talking Re: The question everybody faces sometime in their life

    Ice-Cream vender in one of those funny colorful little trucks that scream around street corners luring unsuspecting little children from the dinner table and causing more grief and financial aggravation to the parents! Just think, you can compose you own "ice-cream jingle" and spread it all over your neighborhood as well as others and get all the airtime and exposure you need!
    Or, you can take a course from Dog the Bounty Hunter? But, whatever you decide to do it is usually never exceptable within the "norm" of society so do what you like but do it right!
    Styxx

  10. #10

    Re: The question everybody faces sometime in their life

    HI Chris

    I will tell you that by the time that you are grown up, that you'll probably have changed your mind several times!! When I was your age, I wanted to be a Geologist. My dad was in oil and gas so I thought it would be great to work with him - and I loved pretty rocks!! Then I decided that I wanted to compose film scores...life didn't work out how I planned - turned down the scholarship to Montana State to take care of my dad, so I had to get a job...I found one at a title company. I didn't expect to be working in title insurance, especially for as long as I have been...So I guess what I'm saying is that keep as many options open as you can and just do the best that you can...study hard and hopefully everything will work out as you hope. Only God knows your plan.

    Steph

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