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Topic: TEACHING MUSIC: I have to share it with you....

  1. #1

    Unhappy TEACHING MUSIC: I have to share it with you....


    18, I say 18 years ago, I won a state contest for teaching music in public schools.

    I was rated 16th ( in 300 competitors was not so bad...;-) but....

    we had no free places at all (even the Nr. 1 winner had not the job...).
    The following years they were hiring less than 1 teacher per year.

    I totally forgot about the episode, and never know that the list was still valid.

    Actually they call my mom's house asking for me...you may imagine the surpirse...my mother telling "well, you know in 18 years things are changing..."

    Now I'm a marketing manager in a big company and my salary is 3 time theacher's salary. My job has nothing to do with music, and it was always a pain for me. But I know that even if started dreaming of it, I'll never seriously afford reducing my incomes to 1/3 waiting for some slow and lucky events to recover money (e.g. composing and teaching private students).

    But I know that the day I will be forced to say "No thanks" and I miss forever the option, it will be like burying a piece of my heart, a young man dream, the last chance to make my young planning become true...

    Yes it's everything about money, and about feelings. But i know somebody here will understand me, and will be close to me when I'll be in front to the grave of my youth dreams.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Re: TEACHING MUSIC: I have to share it with you....

    Hi Fabio,

    I hear you! I wrote a lot of music when 18-25, working towards a PhD in Chemistry so that I could pay bills. Hard to keep writing while working-it has slowly trailed off over the years. Now I am pushed out after 25 years into a too early retirement scrambling to make ends meet until my pension starts in 7 and a half years. I get even less time to write, and of course have less money for tools to help me. Still I relish those moments working even more now. I daydream continuing pieces started but never finished (a violin sonata, violin concerto and symphony among others), writing down scraps to assemble laer when there is more time. Don't give it up as a dream, just think of work as the means for achieving all of your other joys (you have daughters I seem to remember). The passion we have for music will never go away. I still teach one student piano for free even though I am injured and can no longer play myself. I found your work on the strad very inspiring (it got me back to work on the concerto). You are teaching even when you do not know it. Best wishes for your happiness and dreams,


  3. #3

    Re: TEACHING MUSIC: I have to share it with you....

    Greetings Fabio,

    I never won any awards, but 21 years ago when I graduated from high school I made the difficult decision to quit my successful rock band and go to college. (We were successful enough to be a regular opening act for Hootie and the Blowfish in South Carolina before they got famous.) The rest of my band went to Los Angeles and never got famous, but they all have fruitful and interesting careers in the music industry (and OH, the stories they tell me of the famous people they meet!).

    But I am quite happy now as an Engineering Manager at a large semiconductor company. I even met my loving and beautiful wife when I was in graduate school, so I am double happy with my choice.

    Unfortunately, as with you, my musical aspirations have fallen by the wayside. In the last year, I have started to learn more about composing, knowing full well that I have no time nor real aptitude for it. However, I am looking forward to the joy I will get from sharing my love of music with my daughter. She is 3 years old now (much older than in my avatar picture), and she loves to bang on our 140 year old piano with wild abandon (poor piano!).

    I may not have the chance to live my musical dreams, but perhaps I will get the chance to live them through her.

    Good luck to you in life!
    Best Regards,

  4. #4

    Re: TEACHING MUSIC: I have to share it with you....


    I feel for you my Italian friend! We are close at heart, as well as place (I moved to Greece a couple of weeks ago).

    At least now you have the 'comodity' of money, which is a huge issue in my life right now, and an uncertainty in the near future...

    Teaching has always been my side dream. I think that I qualify as a good teacher and all my students have always been extra happy (private or in universities, where I had the opportunity to teach some 2nd year undergrads). Still I know that I'm too creative, too a concepionalist to be locked only in a teaching position. Same as I'm too much an educator, to be locked only in a composing position. I couldn't stand doing one thing at a time.

    Here are Greece my chances have slimmed dramatically, even if I'm not ready to give up however, my dreams of a grand(er) composing career.

    If your 3/3rds job (the job you have now) allows you to work part time somewhere else, why not go for this? After all music is a passion one cannot get away from (evidence is... yourself and your being here in this great community!). Why not teach and keep the current job? Why not do what... composers do in the evenings, or in the middle of the night? (I actually follow that late inthe night idea, since I keep my kids most of the time... Maybe I'm missing lots of sleep, but it is rewarding and I love it, as much as I love them).

    Either way, hope that my rumblings helped a little bit. Take care, all the best and good luck with whatever you choose to do (I know that you are not really thinking of droping out of the current job, just wanted to say the above )


  5. #5
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    West Seneca, NY

    Re: TEACHING MUSIC: I have to share it with you....

    Teaching music. I make twice as much as when I taught for five years grades K though 8. Money, it sometimes diverts you away from the passions of your heart and it is not your fault. I know I regret leaving teaching every day now and would love a chance to finish.

    I do not want to tell you what to do. But what is in your heart? Music ... or Money? But, you are one of our gifted musicians on this forum. There are many you can touch and give light to with your talent. And to teach music?

    I wish you all the luck and pray God guides you in your decision. Music is a gift not everyone has the privilege to use like you do and teaching has many rewards that surpass the amount any job can offer.
    Good luck my friend.

  6. #6

    Smile Re: TEACHING MUSIC: I have to share it with you....

    Thanks my friends for the kind words and for sharing with me some of your own experiences and feelings.

    Finally it's being part of a community, in the best sense of the word.

  7. #7

    Re: TEACHING MUSIC: I have to share it with you....


    Just watched an old movie called "Lonesome Dove". In it was a quote (from memory) that said, "Never let money enter the equation of one's worth".

    You chose to keep your priorities straight. That is, to care for your family with the less than fulfilling job, rather than do what you want to do for less. To me, that shows character--something the most wealthy cannot buy with all their riches.

    Now, go rent the movie "Bucket List".

    Garritan on GarageBand '08 using Intel iMac with 1.5G RAM
    Listen to my collection here

  8. #8
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Shelton, Washington State

    Re: TEACHING MUSIC: I have to share it with you....

    I know a woman who gave up a well paying job that she didn't like and now makes much less money doing something she enjoys. She lives in the country on five acres in a yurt with only a land phone for outside utilities. She has learned to live on little partly because she took a sabbatical and volunteered for the peace core. While working in Africa and saw people with much less living happier lives. But that was her choice. She is also in her early sixties.

    Life is all about choices.


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