I haven't posted in a while...this week has been CRAZY!!
But that has nothing to do with the help I need. I believe I have spread myself too thin. As many of y'all know, I play cello, piano, organ, bassoon, and flute. Flute and bassoon take up almost none of my time because they all take place at school. I am counting piano and organ as one because I get lessons on both at the same time and the piano and organ lessons parallel.
So I have to do something. I'm at the point now where I can't do cello and piano/organ. I play piano/organ at my church actually making money, but cello is pretty static. I'm not advancing because I don't have time to practice, and we can't afford the lessons anyway. I knew it wouldn't be long untill this happened. My cello teacher says I have tremendous potential and would hate to see me give it up. My organ teacher says the same and my bassoon teacher that I had for two weeks at a summer camp also said the same, but like I said bassoon is one of those things I'll probably forget about once I graduate HS.
Here's some background information. I've played piano since I was six, and stopped taking lessons when I moved up here to NJ (when I was 13). I started cello when I was 11 and continued lessons when I moved and played cello in the local youth orchestra. When I saw the classified ad the church I now play for and called, auditioned, and made it, (when I was 14) I decided I had to start piano lessons again. The position was for piano and/or organ and I was the only response to the ad, so I just happened to find an organ teacher when I found a piano teacher, so I now learn them both together. When the church saw my improvement they decided to start paying me a VERY generous $50/week.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Hey - I was in the same predicament as you - playing a million instruments and having to pair it down. I did a little research and found that none of the colleges that I wanted to attend had any French Horns. So, I decided to make it my major focus and was able to receive a scholarship to attend college. The horn was not my first choice, but after all was said and done, it was the best. I would not have been able to attend college without the scholarship. This may not be the answer your looking for, but it helped my situation.
I'm not sure how much help I can offer since I still can't seriously play any instrument, I mostly just fool around on them. Although I do share the predicament that I have not the time or the money to pursue all the goals I'd like . . . I guess we probably all have that predicament
I feeling is that no matter what you choose you will be great at it, especially when it becomes your only focus. The only way I could choose if I were in the exact same predicament would be to ask myself what instrument I had the most passion for. Between cello and piano/organ is obviously a tough choice, both instruments are great. Which do you feel you are already better at that would give you driving force to continue with it?
It's of course not like you're closing the door completely on the other instruments, you're just temporarily dedicating time to one particular area.
I agree with Sean that whichever you have the most passion for should probably be your first choice.
A couple of other things to consider: With which do you think you have the most potential for future growth? It would be ideal if your primary instrument allowed you to reach your ultimate musical possibilities, where technique becomes transparent and the process is all about creating music.
Also, do you prefer making music with others or alone? Piano and organ can certainly be played in ensembles, but more often they are played as a solo instrument or in an accompanying capacity. Cello, on the other hand, is rarely performed solo. For me, I love making music with others so this would be a deciding factor, but of course your mileage may vary.
Good luck. I'm sure you will succeed at whatever you choose.
Thank you all very much, that advice was helpful.
Right now, I'm liking piano/organ most, but that may (and probably) be because it's new. I just started piano/organ lessons back up again this September (piano wasn't new but organ was). When I first started cello I was really into it. I'm afraid I'll loose interest.
I really love the sound and versitility of the piano, and the potential for so many different noises with the organ and playing with your feet. So I would say right now piano/organ to be main focus, after all, my organ teacher seems to be very happy as an organ teacher, piano teacher, HS band director, church organist, and theater organist. I would love to do that when I 'grow up'. Either that or become a professor, but I don't think I have the patience to get a PHD.
Plus, I know for a fact that if I took two weeks off of both instruments I'll first sit down at the good ole piano and play the Mozart sonata III.
I'll still have to think about this for a while but thank you all very much for the advice!
If you want to logic your way through it, there are two considerations here. First, music is about creativity and passion, and we do it because we love it. Along those lines, Fred had great advice. Find out what instruments you just can't live without and feel compelled to pursue.
The second consideration is goal oriented. Music doesn't have to have a goal beyond the joy of doing it. However, if you are in fact looking to make a living with your music after you get out of school, then there are practical matters to include in your ruminations. How much work is there for a (whichever instrument) teacher or performer? How much competition? How much does it pay? How hard is it to get this kind of work? If you loved all instruments equally, which would offer you the best opportunities to make a living with them? Of course, much of what I've said about careers applies as as well to the scholarship example above.
And here's a little extra to help you make decisions. If it's all about the love of the music for a given instrument, you have some extra options. Lessons are great, and I wish I had more training after high school. Lessons are not, however, required to play an instrument. Although I'm no virtuoso, I sing and play guitar well enough to have made a living for years, and also (more importantly) to enjoy doing so today. No lessons. Would they have helped? Heavens, yes! But I play guitar (and bass) nonetheless.
In other words, if you have a talent for an instrument, you can learn a great deal on your own. This means that if time constraints dictate that you curtail lessons on a paritcular instrument for now, there's no reason that it can't still sit in the corner of your bedroom for you to pick up & play when the urge hits you. Years from now, when you've taken care of business with your primary choices, this instrument will still be among the ones you play and enjoy. Best of all, you can start taking lessons on it again later in life when time allows, and you'll only get better.
So, use your head if you have a goal in mind, but follow your heart if you love an instrument that doesn't currently fit into the plan. Making music is a love affair between a person and an instrument. A teacher is much like a marraige counselor. They can help make things much, much better, but you can still have a good relationship without them.