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Berklee/mi Students, The Party's Over, Get Day Jobs Now!!!

Baminated

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6,494

Career in music is damaging to mental health, new study finds

Music Schools / Depts need to stop the facade & be more honest about the dwindling opportunities and perhaps develop a system to where the music degree is a minor so that the student can pursue a sustainable career.

Unless one is a music ed major, and also has gigs all year round , majoring in the Fine Arts is almost on the level of studying basket weaving.

I wasted most of my life making a grave career choice error by hedging on a profession since 1988 that is now a scorched earth, and now am happy in my 3rd year in an unrelated field while gigging part time as Im honing my skills in the other trade to be worth more.

Alot of people make the argument that one has to adapt and overcome, which is definitely true in a very very general sense. However, the article link above points out the more specific concrete real life stuff which indicates that there are a lot of things to beat one's head against the wall on to where the time investment to overcome those hurdles towards a barely sustainable career greatly outweighs the time towards pursuing other professions that are more sustainable.

Otherwise its just self imposed torture pursuing a music career these days to where its alot easier to be suicidal and question one's existence if attempted.

To go further, heres a very sobering message from John McLaughlin, one of music history's innovators , who pretty much sums up why musicians these days need other careers.

When he cant even get a récord deal and has to pay for his own tour support out of pocket and barely break even on record sales, what chances does anyone have?
When he says to get the government involved, you know the whole thing is royally f-d without the Astro Glide
 
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While I am a failed musician myself and am as depressed as anyone over the state of music and the way of making it one's life as anyone, I did come to an emotional conclusion that gave me a sort of blind faith this past summer. It was when I saw Tom Petty play at what was unfortunately one of his last shows. Petty is a man who has defied rock conventions his entire life and pursued art for art's sake for forty years. He talked two of his band members (including one whose father was a judge) into quitting school to join his band. When the band released their first record, their brand of music stood in direct contrast to what was popular and marketable at the time. A few years later, he took on his own record company. In the early '90s when grunge was hot, somehow their rootsy song "Mary Jane's Last Dance" became a hit. Cut to just three years ago in a time when rock made by guys like Petty was long dead and the record industry itself was heading in the same direction. Guess what? Mr. Dad Rock had the first number 1 album of his career.

And seeing his show at the Arroyo Seco...there was something powerful about hearing thousands of people singing along to the hits, but even deeper cuts like "I Should Have Known It". People his age, older, younger and even much younger. College kids. Little kids. And in that moment, I realized that nothing is going to kill the deep and innate power that music has over us. Nobody and nothing will take THAT away from us. Mike Campbell himself said as much in one of his smaller shows.

So where am I going with this? I think that music will always be an incredibly important part of humanity and therefore, life will find a way (as others have pointed out) to make sure people bring it to us. I know you didn't say any of this in your post. Actually, you're probably right about the Berklee / MI kids. Maybe music will become culturally distinguished as a hobby. Maybe it will be purely made on a GoFundMe basis. But there will always be a demand for music, people will always be making it and I have a feeling that somehow, people will be able to make music as a living again. The system is in a state of decline nearing death, but the model will be reborn in another way. I have no idea how.

I personally see a future that began with YouTube and now seems to be shifting toward Instagram. I also see the power and managerial responsibilities shifting ever more to the artist, which is both good and bad. I may have personally missed the boat, but I see a future.
 

Baminated

Member
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6,494
Good for you, I'm having my best year, well in years...

Same as it ever was...

Life finds a way.
interesting. the last 2 years have been the best years of my life financially
very good stuff, out of curiosity alone, are you able to buy a house &/or live in an area not in the hood, save for retirement, health insurancr, etc without the help from wife/gf working, etc on your income alone?
 
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toomanyamps

Member
Messages
1,786

Music Schools / Depts need to stop the facade & be more honest about the dwindling opporrunities and perhaps develop a system to where the music degree is a minor so that the student can pursue a sustainable careee.

Unless one is a music ed major, and also has gigs all year round , majoring in the Fine Arts is almost on the level of studying basket weaving.

I wasted most of my life making a grave career choice error by hedging on a profession that is a scorched earth, and now am happy in my 3rd year in an unrelatwd field while gigging part time as Im honing my skills in the other trade to be worth more.

Alot of people make the argument that one has to adapt and overcome, which is definitely true in a very very general sense. However, the article link above points out the more specific concrete real life stuff which indicates that there are a lot of things to beat one's head against the wall on to where the time investment to overcome those hurdles towards a barely sustainable career greatly outweighs the time towards pursuing other professions that are more sustainable.

Otherwise its just self imposed torture pursuing a music career these days to where its alot easier to be suicidal and question one's existence if attempted.

To go further, heres a very sobering message from John McLaughlin, one of music history's innovators , who pretty much sums up why musicians these days need other careers.

When he cant even get a récord deal and has to pay for his own tour support out of pocket and barely break even on record sales, what chances does anyone have?
When he says to get the government involved, you know the whole thing is royally f-d without the Astro Glide
I am certainly not going to say it is easy or a good career choice to be a professional musician. But lamenting a jazz musician can't make a living would be like an accordian player complaining he couldn't make money in the 80s.

Music is bought by young people, that has always been the case, the Beatles got rich and famous appealing to young girls.

But , yes the system is broken, ASCAP and BMI licensing agreements only benefit famous established musicians preventing many small venues from having live music.
 

Baminated

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6,494
almost all of my friends from my graduating class are supporting themselves. pro engineers, makers of commercial music, high end private teachers, hit nashville songwriters, hot bands touring the jam scene, list goes on and on
look at the bubble, though. the amount of jobs available to the amount of students in music school. It's more of a lotto than a job market.
Def not even close whwn you look at software engineering jobs, accounting, etc
 
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Baminated

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Messages
6,494
I am certainly not going to say it is easy or a good career choice to be a professional musician. But lamenting a jazz musician can't make a living would be like an accordian player complaining he couldn't make money in the 80s.

Music is bought by young people, that has always been the case, the Beatles got rich and famous appealing to young girls.

But , yes the system is broken, ASCAP and BMI licensing agreements only benefit famous established musicians preventing many small venues from having live music.
the first article wasnt on lamenting a jazz player.
The video just highlights another angle.
After the baby boomers die off i will be vwry surprised if there is a demand for live music other than the pop icons touring with their karaoke tracks
 

Baminated

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6,494
Its not the music schools fault. Anyone with common sense should realize that supporting yourself as a musician is difficult.
Absolutely personal responsibility is number one. That said don't you think a university or any kind of school system would look at the potential job market and total to the amount of students attending and at least stress the importance of a dual career path when studying music?
I had never seen it, but I really think high schools should have tests to see what people are really good at matched up with careers reflecting those skills.
 
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Jonathan31

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1,384
Absolutely personal responsibility is number one. That said don't you think a university or any kind of school system would look at the potential job market and total to the amount of students attending and at least have some type of dual career path?
I had never seen it, but I really think high schools should have tests to see what people are really good at matched up with careers reflecting those skills. I have never been offered one of those tests ever
I think the universities are primarily concerned with how much money they can make and not so much what happens to a student after they leave.
 

Bluzeboy

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7,854
Absolutely personal responsibility is number one. That said don't you think a university or any kind of school system would look at the potential job market and total to the amount of students attending and at least stress the importance of a dual career path when studying music?
I had never seen it, but I really think high schools should have tests to see what people are really good at matched up with careers reflecting those skills.
You already said it.. personal responsibility.. how is a university even remotely responsible for your personal choices?
By the time you enter a “higher learning” institution you should at least have a clue.
 




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