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#1026766 - 11/03/04 08:44 AM so frustrated
Pathbreaker Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 1232
Loc: Massachusetts
And so I find myself in this familiar position. I am extremely motivated to play piano but I have not even one day in the week available to play. I am a full time student and I also have 2 jobs(more like 1.5). The last time this happened I just gave up school to study piano and then I auditioned(at the same school) for acceptance into the piano performance department. I was accepted but not overly pleased with it. If i was going to go into this department it would take me 3-4 years to graduate. If i just stick with what i'm doing now(economics), I can graduate in 3 semsters(1.5 years). So it's just not really smart to do piano now. I never actually attended this school for piano even though I was accepted. What happened was that I withdrew from school(insufficient funds), and took 2 years off to work. Now I'm back and on a mission to finish my degree(any degree) as soon as possible. Everything was going great until I got the itch to play again. Now I can't stop(I won't stop). But life is just getting in the way of me playing the amount that I want to play. Oh well, i'm sure i'm not the only one in this position but I just neeeded to vent. arrrgh! I just want to drop everything and play...Some days this is what happens. But I can't do that today because I have two tests this week. grrrr.

i wish i had played piano when i was young...but i had no interest then because i was so into sports. my mom tried to get me to play but i just couldn't sit still that long.

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#1026767 - 11/03/04 08:54 AM Re: so frustrated
NeoDavinci Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/03/04
Posts: 201
Loc: Oklahoma
I don't think the question is how long it will take you to graduate. You have to decide what you are going to do for a living after you graduate. That is, after all, what your college degree will serve. If you're going to work in music, by all means, finish a music degree. If you're not, finish your economics degree. Then buy the biggest, baddest piano you can afford. \:\)

#1026768 - 11/03/04 09:09 AM Re: so frustrated
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
i guess it is the best for you to get a degree first so that you have a backup plan. you may still play piano or attend music school part time if you can find time, otherwise, wait till you graduate and get your economy degree and find a job and attend music school part time then. i feel your frustration, but you need to think that if you are not going to make a living on playing piano soon, you may have to do something else first before you could ever become a professional pianist. so, basically, you need a short term plan together with your long term goal of playing piano, and work towards your goal while working on your short term needs.

#1026769 - 11/03/04 09:17 AM Re: so frustrated
Kris10 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 21
Loc: Ohio
It sounds like you are very busy! I agree that you need to focus on what you will do for a living right now. That doesn't mean you need to quit the piano though. Set up a time when you could practice 30 minutes each day or something like that and let it be your hobby. My "day job" is as a speech therapist, but my first love is music, specifically flute. I have always taught lessons and it remains a huge part of my life. Now I'm trying to turn my focus to the piano.

I feel your time frustration! I work full time, teach flute lessons as much as I can and am a mother to two small boys! Finding time to practice is really hard!

#1026770 - 11/03/04 10:56 AM Re: so frustrated
markb Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 2593
Loc: Maryland
First of all, everyone needs to stop posting topics on which I feel compelled to answer!

My first semester in college was spent as an astronomy major. While I found it fascinating, I quickly realized that I wasn't smart enough to keep up with the real scientists. So, when choosing what to switch my major to, I was seriously considering going into music. Of course, my parents advised me to find something more traditional/practical in order to get a more stable/steady job, make money, etc., and keep music as a hobby. I took their advice.

Lo these many years later, I have a family, decent job, blah blah, but wish I had majored in music. Specifically, I should have majored in music education and gotten a job as a school instrumental music teacher. I wouldn't get rich (but I'm not rich now anyway) and wouldn't live the "cooler" lifestyle of a performing musician, but it would be steady income, fairly normal hours, summers off to spend with my kids or to work on some music projects, etc. And I'd be intimately involved with music every day. Instead, I'm now trying to smush in some practice time every day in the hopes that, when I finally retire, I'll be skilled enough to pursue music on a more serious basis.

If I had "it" to do all over again, that would be the biggest thing I'd change. And when it comes time for me to advise my kids on education/career issues, I will tell them to seriously consider pursuing their passions even if it's not the typical or safest route.

It boils down to making a deeply personal decision based on a lot of factors.

Mark (who's going to try really hard to keep his mouth/computer keyboard shut)
markb--The Count of Casio

#1026771 - 11/03/04 11:39 AM Re: so frustrated
Kris10 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 21
Loc: Ohio
Mark, that's very interesting to me! My husband DID follow his passion and taught music and absolutely hated it! The kids were not nearly as passionate about it as he was and it was quite frustrating. He finally took on a business career and is happily singing with the local opera, our church choir and a barbershop group, all for fun. I was discouraged from going into music by my band director step-father and like you, I regret it most every day and often wish I had made it a career and wonder what it would be like to be a band director and keep music an integral part of my daily life. Most musicians I know who have made music their career wish they had kept it a hobby.

It's a tough call!! Basically, don't have any regrets. You may not have liked be a full time musician either. To me it's like, if I lived in Florida, where would I vacation? ;\) I understand though. I feel exactly the same way!

#1026772 - 11/03/04 01:42 PM Re: so frustrated
markb Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 2593
Loc: Maryland
I suppose the grass is always greener...however, I would have preferred to have given music a try first and then, if I didn't like it, could have found something else. This would have been much easier when I was younger. Now, there's no realistic way of going from regular job to music.

Oh well. I guess music will just be a serious hobby.

If you lived in Florida, maybe you'd vacation in Ohio.
markb--The Count of Casio

#1026773 - 11/03/04 01:54 PM Re: so frustrated
divadeb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 677
Here's my Old Lady Retrospective Reflection:
Music school isn't always the best place for people who love music.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.


#1026774 - 11/03/04 02:40 PM Re: so frustrated
james_cc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 99
Loc: Chino Hills, CA
If I were you, definitely finish college and get a good degree first , economics degree is good, so you can start making a decent living. Then go back to piano when you have time. You still can play today but not much due to school work. We all must have discipline otherwise our lives can be ruined if we just follow our emotion or passion alone.

#1026775 - 11/03/04 06:14 PM Re: so frustrated
jdsher Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/04
Posts: 643
Loc: Plano, Texas
Pootie, what I would suggest is to sit down at the computer and open up Excel. On the top line type out the days of the week. On the vertical axis type out half hour increments equal to the amount of waking hours you have during a normal day. Next, type in what you are doing each day and when. See if there is a consistent spot that shows up every day or so and type in "play piano". As the Nike commercials says, "Just Do It."
As far as choosing a career, if I were a super talented musician who could easily get work playing or teaching, I think I would go for the music degree. I used to work with an manager who had a degree in music(opera singer), but worked in optics to pay the bills. Having a degree is a major point for most employers. It's obviously helpful to have a degree related to your field, but not always a prerequisite. Follow your heart, your young and have many years to decide to do something different if you want.
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein

#1026776 - 11/04/04 07:05 AM Re: so frustrated
Pathbreaker Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 1232
Loc: Massachusetts
thanks everyone for the great advice. yesterday was a bad day and it was like i was going in circles. a lot of you really were right on the money with your analysis. there's a lot of ways to look at this. but in general i think it's really just the discipline that i need. i already know that music school is not for me. it's one of the reasons i didn't go when i was accepted. i just wanted to see if i would get accepted. but it is always tempting as an easy solution to the problem.
But today is the opposite of yesterday. And so i'm feeling great today(plus i got to play this morning lol). but i'm dropping my second job(the bonus funds job) and i found a new place to practice in the mornings with a better piano and more privacy. and now that i don't have to work 2 days that i did before i can split the extra time with practice and studying. (yay!)

the reason i say that music school is not for me is related to the reason i stopped playing for a year. I really do enjoy music best when i'm playing just for myself and my own enjoyment. when there is a lot of pressure involved and it starts to feel like a job then it starts to turn me off. so i'm just going to refine my schedule so i can get my fix and i'll hopefully graduate from school soon(i've been here FOREVER).

#1026777 - 11/04/04 08:39 AM Re: so frustrated
james_cc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 99
Loc: Chino Hills, CA
Glad to hear you're feeling better now. This is just the way our lives go, some bad days some good days, we just have to understand our world and our minds to be free from outside factors.

We all have to balance between hard practice and fun play. For myself, I would stop if the practice or learning seem to be too much or over my head. I can always go back to the fun piece to rest and then slowing go back to seriuos practice. I apply the same principle to my kids also practice also. Otherwise they will end up hating it and stop playing. Afterall, we play piano for our own pleasure most of the time.


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