August 14, 2005

Choosing my instrument

Well, tommorrow's the first day of Senior Year. Its time to start looking at colleges.

There's is no other choice but for me to be a music student. Music is all that I know, its all that I am. But when you get to college you've got to choose your main instrument, and I have two of those right now. I am an acceptional euphonium and guitar player. Two very different instruments that play very different styles of music. Basically, the choice is between concert band music and Jazz.

BUT before I get into that, there's a few more choices to consider. There's more than one type of music degree. There's Performance, there's Education, there's Compsition, there's Music Theory, stuff like that. With a music degree in Education, I'd obviously get a job as a band director, but I wanna PLAY dammit! I really want a Performance degree in music. One of my band directors (Mr. Moore), naturally, has already told me that a degree in performance is useless and that a degree in music education is the way to go. But I'm a better player right now than he was when he was in high school, I think I have a better chance at becoming some kind of professional musician. I know, "professional musician" is pretty much an oxymoron, but its what I want.

So, the question is, do I want to be a professional euphonium player or a professional guitarist? You could also say, do I want to play Susa marches for a living or improvise for a living. If I could play jazz guitar for a living, I'd be in heaven. But thats not an easy thing to do at ALL. In some cities, there are professional concert bands (not to be confused with the much more well-known symphonies, which don't have euphoniums). You join, you rehearse every day, you play concerts, you get a paycheck. If I had a performance degree as a euphonium player, I could find a job in a professional concert band, getting paid to play.

I've looked at the audition information for the Moores School of Music at U of H. I could probably try out in two months and be accepted. I really really don't feel like going to Lee College for two years. My trumpeter friend Joe has already told me to skip Lee College, that I'd be wasting my time. I agree with him. I may be a good enough musician for UT also, but my academics may not be up to par for them. I'm about 90% sure that I could get into U of H, and I know my parents would be okay with me going there because thats where my sister went (she also had jobs, but still). U of H has a great music program. I'd ideally try to go to Citrus College or Cal Arts or something like that but we're just not that rich.

I've basically got until at least February to decide, the U of H audition for Fall 2007 is on March 3rd. My future! Is in my hands!!!

1 comment:

Ron said...

I totally understand your dilemma, seeing as how I've been dealing with it since I was only a couple of years older than you. I tried teaching and it didn't work out, so I'm studying performance in grad school now. Music is probably a different animal than theater, but you would have to deal with the depressing institutional reality of public school no matter what field you're in if you teach. A performance degree may end up being "useless" as far as paying the bill goes, but it's pretty easy to get certified if you've already got a degree if you decide to go for comfort and security. My advice: follow your heart for a while and see what happens. You never know.