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Re: Two jobs
coaster #2998180 07/03/20 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by coaster
Originally Posted by computerpro3
The upside is that you can have a normal career and be financially successful (most concert pianists are not), and also still enjoy a (lesser) amount of performance opportunities and music making. The best part about this is that you can play what you want, whenever you want, and only participate in things you want to do - which is a freedom that professional pianists do not have.

This post about remaining an amateur pianist reminded me of a man I know. We met at our teacher's studio in 1981. He was extremely gifted at the piano and easily could have made it his life's work. However, he was also very interested in computers. He said something like this... "If I major in piano, I'll never be able to afford the computer I want. If I major in electrical engineering, someday I'll be able to afford the piano I want." He wound up working for <a major computer company>, retiring from that in his late 40s, now has his own media company and owns a Steinway D. (He hasn't done any amateur competitions, but you never know.)

Literally none of my friends I went to conservatory with can afford even a top-tier digital hybrid, let alone a decent acoustic grand. The concept of financing several hundred dollars a month on an instrument is simply out of reach for them when they can barely pay for a car.

Even the ones that got faculty positions at universities are only making $20,000-35k a year.

Last edited by computerpro3; 07/03/20 09:18 AM.
Re: Two jobs
samwitdangol #2998222 07/03/20 10:57 AM
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A pianist i know of - but whom I don't know personally - is a graduate of one of the most prestigious music schools in the U.S., worked there for a time after obtaining his performance degree, and has a fairly impressive profile including concert performances world-wide. He has name recognition and enthusiastic fan support in certain parts of the U.S where he currently teaches and works in a music-related job.

Some curious (nosy?) individual wanted to know this pianist's net worth* and, for reasons that escape me, it was duly posted on a link to the pianist's Facebook page; his net worth is somewhere in the area of $9.03K - yes, that's just a shade over $9000.00 for a working musician in his early 50's.

*Net worth is a person's assets minus liabilities. Whatever assets this person may have in property and possessions, this is not much of a cushion to fall back on in uncertain and difficult times.

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Re: Two jobs
samwitdangol #2998228 07/03/20 11:06 AM
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So, ... is waiting tables not an option? :-)

Re: Two jobs
newport #2998230 07/03/20 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by newport
So, ... is waiting tables not an option? :-)

If I make stupid decisions I may end up having no other option.

Last edited by samwitdangol; 07/03/20 11:11 AM.
Re: Two jobs
johnstaf #2998242 07/03/20 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
You won't be able to attend university and also attend a conservatory's full-time course, but you can have the same level of piano teaching if the conservatory accepts outside students for piano lessons.
There have been a number of people who earned their Bachelors in music and then went on to get masters or doctorates in other fields, including yourself I believe. smile


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Re: Two jobs
samwitdangol #2998422 07/03/20 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by samwitdangol
Hello,

I have a question. Do you think that it is possible to hold a job (perhaps in the medical field), while also being a professional pianist? By "professional pianist," I mean someone who gives solo recitals, does chamber music engagements, does concerto engagements, accompanies soloists, and also teaches if everything else does not provide sufficient income.

Related question:
Can one go to a conservatory and also go to another college at the same time?
It's very difficult even as a serious amateur. I was in the middle of taking gross human anatomy and biomechanics in an accelerated medical program. I was at the same time at a conservatory in Harvard Square in and adult program. My music teacher had high expectations for me but I couldn't balance school and the piano lessons so I had to give up the piano lessons and I stopped taking lessons for nearly 20 years because life got in the way. Work, moving from state to state, getting married, building a house, and then finally building a company. They all seemed to put music- my passion, in the back seat. Do I regret the route I took? No. I don't think I was gifted to be a world class pianist nor even have the knowledge of skills just to be a good music teacher or anything to do with music. I love learning and playing the piano just as much as a professional I believe, just without their skills and truthfully their dedication. But I admire those who do follow their passion. Sometimes its just not possible and so you make it a hobby. Nothing wrong with that but I am taking lessons today and I appreciate more everyday how much dedication and devotion it took those who went all the way in music. They are gurus, wizards, and holy people in my eyes perfecting their craft and passing on what they know to others. A respectable and worthwhile career if you ask me.


Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Preludio: Bach/Rachmaninoff E Major Sonata for Violin
Chopin: G Minor Ballade


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Re: Two jobs
samwitdangol #2998698 07/04/20 01:01 PM
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>Can one go to a conservatory and also go to another college at the same time?


I studied musicology and computer science simultaneously.
I know several people that studied conservatory and some other study and still are active in music. Not music but their other job is their main source of income. Several collegues are playing very high level piano but at working in IT like me

So yes definitely possible

>perhaps in the medical field

Probably depends on the field. My dentist also plays pretty high level, but as dentist I think you have a pretty regular schedule. Other jobs may be less regular and may be harder to combine


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Re: Two jobs
trigalg693 #2999136 07/05/20 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by trigalg693
Even if you work a chilled out job (e.g. Google, which is notorious for having lots of lazy employees), it eats into your "mental bandwidth" and you have less energy for practicing piano after work. For me, this was a good thing for realizing I needed to improve the efficiency of my practice, but the actual amount of time I spend practicing has gone down, my fingers have gotten weaker, I forget my pieces faster, etc.

Google employee here - while it is true there are more demanding jobs, I wouldn't necessarily classify it as a place for lazy employees. And yes, I agree that at the end of a work day I have far less energy to practice than I do on a weekend.

A bit about me - I started studying piano at age 16 and went to a conservatory and studied piano performance a few years later. I realized pretty quickly in school that I wasn't the next Kissin and I would need to be more practical with a music career regardless of how much I practiced. I taught some privately and also worked as an accompanist at a music school after I graduated. Long story short - I didn't really enjoy it. I found at the end of the day I didn't really want to play piano since I had already spent all day in front of a piano either teaching beginners or accompanying music that wasn't really interesting to me. It was pretty draining. It paid most of the bills at the time, but I wasn't saving for retirement nor did I have a family to provide for.

I decided to go back to school for a second degree in Computer Science and have worked at various tech companies for the past 8 years. I've always enjoyed working with technology so this worked out pretty naturally. I find that going to practice the piano at the end of the day is much easier than when I was working in the music field directly. I also have more regular work hours which helps me carve out time for piano. Working in tech has enabled me to comfortably raise a family, purchase a house and piano and still pay for the occasional lesson.

Re: Two jobs
samwitdangol #3004069 07/18/20 05:11 PM
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I'd start by saying that it's great that you have the choice, to be able to envisage a professional musical career as well as something else. Congratulations!

I'm not clear, from your posts, if your heart is in musical career, but need income to finance that (e.g., by a full time job); or if you actually want both careers or can't decide now.

If the former, there are many ways to finance music studies. If you dont' want loans, you could choose between musical jobs (e.g., private lessons, accompanists, chamber musicians) and/or non-musical jobs (in that case, find the least demanding and best paying, as it's merely means to an end). There are pros and cons to each scenario - synergy vs. music fatigue. This certainly is possible and many get through their music studies thus.

If the latter, and you want to pursue studies in both medical and musical fields to an advanced level, there are possibilities, too. I completed my BA in Sociology at a university at the same time as my master's in performance at the Convservatoire, mainly because the Conservatoire degree was performance-oriented, with not as much theoretical and academic requirements. The arrangement allowed me to get excellent education in both fields and to delay the final decision on my primary career until age 22 (rather than 18; four years is a long time at that stage). By age 22, I was starting to have some arm musicle tension issues and, more importantly, had opportunities to observe the life of real concert pianists (constant travels in different time zones - and that's "IF" I made it to become a decent one!). I decided that I preferred a sociology career to a musical one to earn a living. Just note, though, that doing both was very demanding and you may not have time for much else (e.g., socializing, volunteering, chilling, etc.).

As a result, piano performance took the back seat in my life for little while, as I completed my graduate degrees in sociology, built a career, and raised kids, etc., but I am now very happily getting back to it. Throughout it all, while I dind't get to practice much, I remained very close to the classical music scene, by attending concerts, appreciating music and musicians in general, singing, and choir conducting (which all demanded much less rigorous practice schedule than piano performance). Right now, I find being able to perform for pure pleasure, rather than financial gain, such a privilege. I pick my own repertoire, performance venues, the people I want to "bestow" my free accompaniments or chamber music (e.g., underprivileged students auditioning for universities seems to be the perfect level for me now). As I get back in shape, I am hoping to get into the semi / professional scene (hopefully withoug displacing the professional musicians' place, though) and maybe found an NGO of sort, where I get to play, connect people, and help others.

So, there. Hope this lived experience helps you, as you embark onto important life decisions. Good luck and enjoy the ride!

Last edited by Soojin; 07/18/20 05:17 PM.

Public servant by day, pianist and choir conductor by night
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Re: Two jobs
samwitdangol #3011228 08/07/20 02:24 PM
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I think that all musicians (almost all,may be except pop and hip-hop stars in USA) are employed somehow.
UK got second biggest music scene in the world now, and EVERYONE (even stars) got their work. That is about safety for the future.
I also want to be a musician, but I want to make my nearest future safe as possible. About me - I am good at learning languages, by the way, here you can find a nice guidance - https://translatehub.org/how-to-become-a-freelance-translator/ how to become a freelancer. That is not about a full time (usual 8 hour working day), but you will train your brain and GET money for extra cases in your life.

Last edited by RichKiddey; 08/07/20 02:26 PM.
Re: Two jobs
samwitdangol #3017039 08/23/20 01:39 PM
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There are many opinions, but it's great that more and more people are doing several things instead of one.
In general, having studied music makes you so much more educated.
Just enjoy it.
Enjoy whatever you choose.
It's worth considering both majors, if that's what you want.
I know one girl who didn't know if she wanted to become a pianist, but she kept that small dream of hers inside, but she entered a university with something like economics, and she studied music as well at the same time. I don't know which academy. So she was really demanding of herself.
Finally, she became the musician. She gives concerts (even though that is not a must. You can be a music teacher or do smth else which is worthwhile).
I would say, if you feel like your vocation is music, don't ever quit it for no stupid reason.
Life will sort itself out. Especially if you don't feel like you are ready to make the decision yet whether or not to quit music.

Last edited by Kvar; 08/23/20 01:40 PM.

Lover of Bach, romantics and a lot of other music.
Re: Two jobs
samwitdangol #3017064 08/23/20 02:55 PM
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Pianist Conrad Tao and cellist Nathan Chan studied in the joint Juilliard-Columbia program. Pianist George Li studied at the New England Conservatory and Harvard. I think dual programs like this are extremely difficult to do successfully in terms of one's time and energy. I am not sure it's done in the usual four year period which seems almost impossible unless the student doesn't have to complete all the usual requirements at both places.

Re: Two jobs
samwitdangol #3017228 08/24/20 02:33 AM
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I know that in Germany dual bachelors are very popular.
For example, one can study both music and history.
It's normal.
Then in Masters you can choose the one you like.


Lover of Bach, romantics and a lot of other music.
Re: Two jobs
samwitdangol #3017708 08/25/20 02:36 PM
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Playing for churches and weddings. You can do solos. They pay for this.


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Re: Two jobs
samwitdangol #3017720 08/25/20 03:27 PM
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I'm a bit of a realist. Whenever I talk to high school and college students about college major choices, I always say pick a major that can get you a enjoyable enough job that is easy to find and pays well rather than the pure "follow your dreams" kind of thing that society likes to preach. For one, there's of course the financial aspect, but also, something that you love as a hobby with no real pressure may not be something you love as a career where your survival depends on it.

Now when it comes to pursuing two separate fields, certainly it's possible to attempt, but I don't think it's possible to excel in both, at least not by my standards. It's simply a matter of time and mental bandwidth. It doesn't really matter if it's music or not, if you are pursuing multiple careers in parallel, they will be competing with each other (and with family and hobbies) for resources. Which means you're never going to be able devote as much to any single path, but you are definitely competing with others who are more singularly focused.

So as a result, people end up either being forced to or choose to focus on a single career path.

Re: Two jobs
rkzhao #3024200 09/12/20 07:50 AM
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I disagree.
My life experience proves differently.
For example, check this pianist:
https://www.google.lt/search?biw=1200&bih=600&ei=y8NcX8XVMI-RsAfq-b6gBA&q=ieva+d%C5%ABdait%C4%97&oq=ieva+d%C5%ABdait%C4%97&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQAzIGCAAQFhAeMgYIABAWEB4yBggAEBYQHjIGCAAQFhAeMgYIABAWEB4yBggAEBYQHjIGCAAQFhAeMgYIABAWEB4yBggAEBYQHjIGCAAQFhAeOgcIIRAKEKABULQpWLw3YOg5aABwAHgBgAGQA4gBxBOSAQUzLTMuNJgBAKABAaoBB2d3cy13aXrAAQE&sclient=psy-ab&ved=0ahUKEwiF5_HU0-PrAhWPCOwKHeq8D0Q4ChDh1QMIDA&uact=5


Lover of Bach, romantics and a lot of other music.
Re: Two jobs
Kvar #3024202 09/12/20 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Kvar
I disagree.
My life experience proves differently.
For example, check this pianist:
https://www.google.lt/search?biw=1200&bih=600&ei=y8NcX8XVMI-RsAfq-b6gBA&q=ieva+d%C5%ABdait%C4%97&oq=ieva+d%C5%ABdait%C4%97&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQAzIGCAAQFhAeMgYIABAWEB4yBggAEBYQHjIGCAAQFhAeMgYIABAWEB4yBggAEBYQHjIGCAAQFhAeMgYIABAWEB4yBggAEBYQHjIGCAAQFhAeOgcIIRAKEKABULQpWLw3YOg5aABwAHgBgAGQA4gBxBOSAQUzLTMuNJgBAKABAaoBB2d3cy13aXrAAQE&sclient=psy-ab&ved=0ahUKEwiF5_HU0-PrAhWPCOwKHeq8D0Q4ChDh1QMIDA&uact=5


I’m not finding info about how she has pursued two simultaneous careers at the link you provided nor on her home page


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Re: Two jobs
samwitdangol #3024272 09/12/20 10:39 AM
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