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Has anyone here quit their job and gone back to music school - later in life?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Jeeves, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. Jeeves

    Jeeves Member

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    Just curious if you've done it, at what age, and what your experiences were. Where did you go? Did you find work in the industry or go back to your previous line of work after graduating?
     
  2. gennation

    gennation Member

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    I quit my music career to go back to school and now have serious high paying job run a network at an ISP.

    I still play, practice, write, and record constantly. I just don't have to drop everything and go "play in the band" anymore. I like it much better this way.
     
  3. BarneyFife

    BarneyFife Supporting Member

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    I wish I could afford to. Anyone who could pull this off would be my hero.
     
  4. Jan Folkson

    Jan Folkson Member

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    Being that my day job is in the music industry, I didn't need to quit, but I went to Juilliard as an adult. I was 34 at the time and didn't plan on graduating, just taking classes. It was well worth it.
     
  5. rgsss14

    rgsss14 Gold Supporting Member

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    This brings up an interesting phenomenon. I would have loved to have gone to music school before I started training for my current job....

    The thing I've thought about through the years is that one can have a steady "day" job, and have music on the side; then it's up to to the individual to take the music as far as it can go. In a way, one can "have their cake and eat it too"... to a degree....

    I don't think one can have it the other way around - you can't be a full time musician (just being frank here - no offense) and have the time to devote to the stability of that "real life" job.

    That having been said, in a dream world, most of us part-timers would love to do this (music) for a living... we just don't have the guts, I guess....
     
  6. tfunster

    tfunster Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm 24. I graduated high school when I was 17 with the intention of never going to college. I basically fooled around for about four years and then decided I need to start doing something. So I worked my ass off at a community college and then got accepted into UC Berkeley where I am now a music major.

    I don't know what the hell I'm going to do after I get out. I write my own songs and sing and play guitar/piano, but I do that more for my own enjoyment and I don't really care about record deals and playing gigs.
     
  7. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    There was a guy on this board who asked me some questions about GIT. He was either retired or soon to retire and he was going to GIT to fulfill a lifelong dream to study music. It was pretty inspiring. Hope he finds this thread and chimes in. I was lucky enough to go to GIT when I was 18. I was so young and inexperienced (and had very little music training at the time). So much of it went over my head that I only feel reasonably ready for it now. Alas I am starting a family and live on the east coast. I don't think I could talk my wife into moving to Boston for me to go to Berklee either. I'd love to go somewhere and immerse myself in music for a couple years.
     
  8. gregc

    gregc Member

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    No, but I'm thinking about it. I'm 49 now. In a few years I can probably afford to work part-time and spend more time on the things I love. I will either go back to formal school and study music or just study privately. I have to really mull 'that' over.

    gregc
     
  9. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    I've had several students at GIT who took off from their day jobs to study music well past their 30's. They tend to be very good, very serious, students. More pragmatically concerned than artistically concerned, usually, but they ask lots of questions, and chances are if I tell them they should do something they usually have a higher rate of actually doing it.
     
  10. TS808

    TS808 Member

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    I went back to graduate school at the age of 37 and it was the best thing I ever did. I didn't go for music though but I did learn a valuable lesson: it's NEVER too late to go back to school. The average age in my class was about 36-37 and there were people there who were well into their 50's going back.

    I worked full-time and went to school part-time. Any chance of going through a music program part-time, whether at a local university or wherever? That way, you don't have to give up your full time job. It takes longer, is difficult sometimes trying to find enough time in a day for work, studying, and recreation, but in the end, well worth it.
     
  11. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    I have often fantasized about going back to GIT for a 3 month stint, it would be a blast.

    A good friend of mine dropped his current career and went back to school. He is finishing his masters in music and is playing his ass off, great bass player. I admire him for that, he made up his mind and never looked back.
    Soon I'll have to call his sorry ass professor.
     
  12. e-z

    e-z Member

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    I took time off from work in the fall of 2004 to go to GIT for a quarter. From the beginning it was only meant as a sabbatical but it was one of the best things I've ever done. I learned some theory and reading and got back into the guitar in a big way. I highly recommend it if it is at all feasible. I'll do it again if I get another chance.
     
  13. MGT

    MGT Member

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    I actually stopped playing when I was only 21 or 22 (college & female "friends" just left no time to play & I had lost that drive after a couple of crappy band experiences). It wasn't until 2 years ago (I'm 41 now) that I finally got another guitar & went back at it. It now consumes me like it did when I was 16!! I've learned a LOT of theory, have better guitars than I used to as a kid and love learning new things. My oldest daughter is very involved in musical theatre, voice training, etc and seeing her with her passion and talent made me realize that I really missed that part of my life.

    I would LOVE to go to school again but will probably have to settle for summer week-long camps like the one at Berklee or National Guitar Workshop (there's no where locally where I can study music). Even though I'm single again, I still have two teenaged children to support so unless I marry someone wealthy, it will have to remain a dream. It's refreshing to know what there a lot of "older" people like me who also want to go back to school.
     
  14. johnny q

    johnny q Member

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    Whatever you do, follow your heart, to this day I kick myself for not pursuing my dream and going to Berklee right out of High School. I make a decent living in my current line of work, but its not where my heart is at.

    JQ
     
  15. Dana

    Dana Guest

    I pretty much did the same thing. Graduated from high school and played in bands for a few years while working a day job. At 25 I went back to school (Berklee) full time while working for a newspaper in the evenings. It was a lot of work, but looking back it was extremely rewarding. I think the key is learning to live with being broke for a few years, and having a low overhead (rent, food, etc).

    If it's something you really want to do I say go for it!
     
  16. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    No, but I'm trying to figure out how to do it.
     
  17. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    I am 51, and have just been sort of forced into it. My job of 10 years was outsourced to India, and I am looking at gigging as a way to make some extra cash. With the TAA program, I can also go back to school. But it has been so long... still, I might do some sort of graphics/web design thing, since that is pretty much what I have been doing. A little eBay sales, some freelance graphic work, and giging, and maybe I can swing it without having to go find another damn job.
     
  18. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    If you want to make money, I think you'd need too:

    1. Give Lessons (You will need to know your stuff)
    2. Gig
    3. Session Work

    or

    Become a Rock Star!
     
  19. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Supporting Member

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    I quit my construction job to go to machinist school for a year with the intention of applying those skills into my guitar building. It had been a dream of mine for years. Never did go back to building houses.

    It was the best year of my life. If you have the right attitude being a starving student can be alot of fun, sort of like enjoying the pain from sport or exercize!
     
  20. MichaelX

    MichaelX Member

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    I did!

    I used to work as a network engineer making good money. I left my job and moved to Japan of all places to study Japanese. I didn't really have much idea what I would do exactly. I hadn't totally made up my mind that I was done with the IT field.

    I started getting more and more serious about music until I came to the conclusion that I wasn't going to be happy doing anything else. I started teaching a bit and took classes online from Berklee college of Music's extension program Berkleemusic.com (I highly recommend).

    I earned a Master cert in Theory/Harmony and took some midi and production classes.

    After my Japanese was good enough (which is just barely) I tried to get into music school here. I just finished my first term at Kunitachi Music Academy where I am studying Jazz.

    I don't know how this will turn out but the future looks pretty good from here. I teach guitar as much as I can. I love to teach and hope I can make a good portion of my income that way. I also love gear! I am hoping to go into retail as well. Particularly online retailing.

    I left my job when I was 32. I'm 34 now. I don't regret leaving my career at all. We'll see how it all turns out :)

    Mike Breen
    http://go.berkleemusic.com/mbreen
     

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