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Okay, now I don't want to end up living in my parents basement or something so I'm seriously considering how to go about paving a career in music now. I have different plans but I dunno, I need advice. Plan #1: I am a performance major now as freshman. I want to work towards getting as good as possible on my instrument now. I plan on becoming principal trumpet player at my college within 2 years (I'm already the only freshman trumpet in Wind Ensemble), I plan on getting into a local orchestra asap, and being a private instructor of my instrument with a few students starting next year, playing in numerous of my college music ensembles like jazz band, brass quintet, etc. And play in churches on occasion. I want my major focus of performance in classical music. Then I want to teach lessons in a studio or music store. I want to get accepted into a good conservatory for grad school. Eventually I want to aim to get to the position of qualification of being a trumpet instructor at the university level. I want to also get a degree in music history in grad school and be a Music History Professor. (Right now I'm doing really well in music history class and find it so frickin interesting cause I've always loved history. Scored 104% on my final exam woot!) I plan on working towards being a music history tutor by my junior or senior year of college. If possible I want to do internship as well or study abroad, and learn another language. What else should I do though to get this position? Would the pay be good if I was only a Music History Professor as well? I would love this job a ton I'm sure! So I want to be a Trumpet Instructor and Music History Professor. How difficult is doing all of this? Is the job market bad to do it? Is the pay good? Any advice peeps? Should I start off as a high school band director instead and make my way up eventually after years of experience? How do I go about doing that instead though? Plan #2: I switch to Music Education Major and aim on becoming a high school band director. Should I go to grad school to do this though? I will be a private trumpet instructor as a side job, and play in the local orchestra. Only problem is sometimes dealing with kids can suck to be honest lol. Like in some classes they are ridiculous and disrespectful towards teachers and you feel bad for the teacher and wonder if they hate their job. Some kids are just disgusting (believe me, some messed up people I knew of in high school). I would HATE to work in an inner-city school and never wanna end up there. I wanna work in a good upper middle class suburb or private school. (Trust me, my Dad is an assistant principal in an inner-city school.) I have great patience, deal with stress by laughing a lot and joking, and people think I'm great with kids. Only problem is I just am not so sure. My high school band director sucked and some bad memories too. I think I would enjoy working with college aged peoples most but dont want to end up struggling financially with meager pay for my passion, or unemployed. I like plan #1 the most. Any advice people?
How am I supposed to pick a best answer? Haha, these are all great answers! I know what I wanna do now. I wanna be a teacher. Lots of people have always told me I should be a teacher or something cause I used to take people aside and teach them things I know and help with auditions. Thanks everyone! I hope it's a ton of fun. I wanna be a teacher in public schools, teach private lessons on the side, and be a local musician as well. I can have it all that way. I'll still do grad school maybe if it will qualify me for better job positions and higher pay in public schools.
You are choosing the LESS stony path - both are hard. However, there are still band director jobs in many schools - even with cutbacks. Any teacher who can teach 100 kids an HOUR, and then their lesson groups (now they are larger - sometimes the entire section of that band instrument) still is cheaper for a district that putting kids into General Music classes, where contract class rules apply - do the math. I taught over 100 kids in each chorus I taught - they would have had to been split into THREE classes - more teachers needed, more $$ spent by district, etc. Do not confuse your LIFE with your CAREER. Nobody says that having ANY day job makes you a weaker musician. And I know plenty of performance majors who live from gig to gig, are always broke, no insurance, etc, - and are not even as GOOD players as a lot of other musicians I know who have day jobs. Heck - if you are a music teacher, and required to get a Masters degree - or do it for the pay raise - then you can take your summers and get it in performance from a top school - and pay for it, or - this is a shocker - some states PAY FOR your grad school! My son and DIL just got their MM degrees in music (hers in Voice, his in Digital Music) - just about free. Pay for teachers? Here in NYS, they start at over $40K, and with your MM and experience, by 20 years of teaching, you are making $100,000. That is today's figures - yours may vary. Teach all the outsides lessons you want, play gigs whenever. Our son teaches in new-jersey - BM/MM, 9 years of experience -makes $80K - and they PAID for his grad school, remember - he just picked up the fees, etc. Certified, tenured - the whole thing. He will continue to take grad credits, maybe get certified as an administrator, altho he does not want to DO that - is just adds to his paycheck. He can retire at 55 if he wants - we did. No state income tax on teacher pensions - when our SS kicks in in 2 years our NET (the gross does not matter - it is what you KEEP that counts) will be *far* more than it ever was when we were both full-time teachers, and Uncle Sam was dipping deep into our salaries. Teaching college stinks unless you are a big professor at Harvard, etc. Lousy Union protection, poorer salaries - we were ALL SET to make the jump many years ago, and then saw what a better deal public school is. Your HS probably had people with doctorates, or ABD (all but dissertation) who then stayed in public school, because it was a far better deal. Find a state/town that has decent schools and decent pay. Live someplace where your own musical brain does not turn to Jello. And NOT all inner-city schools are awful - everything depend upon the administration, how they handle discipline (including suspension and expulsion), how supportive they are of your program, space, and TIME with your kids. Many suburbs have their OWN set of looniness, too - it is really a site-by-site situation - sometimes within the same district. Retire at 55. Take a part-time gig as an instructor at a college - the money matter less when you draw another pension, and you can work part-time - no worries about benefits which only full-time employees get). Do then what you LOVE, with the people you love. When it is no longer fun, quit - and go to Florida, play golf, and play in the circus band camp -with some of the best KILLER players on the planet played picc in a reunion circus band for a while - CRAZY CRAZY great players, and HARD - AND FUN!!!) You do not have to decide YET. As long as you have a plan to get something done, keep working - and take all the opportunities that you can earn. I am 60 now, and love every day. I do whatever I want, for as along as I want, whenever I want. I accept chamber music concert gigs for short money (their budgets got hit, too) because I can afford to - and can play WHAT I want with WHO I want. Just the fact that you ASKED shows that you are a serious and focused person. That is wonderful - look at all the flaming IDIOTS who write in here - not talent, no clue, no plan. I wish you much luck - but you will not need it - you sound like you have it TOGETHER. BTW - where are you going to college?
High School Band Director Jobs
I would say get the ed degree and go for a elementary music job. I did both band and general music in elementary. General was much more fun, had no real pressure and everyone was happy. As soon as you get that public job start applying for a college position, they are hard to come by and don't pay that much. Colleges have fine art teachers over a barrel about this. Each college may only need 1 brass player per 25 students and many, many people want the job... so low pay for very high requirements. Orchestras as a full time job are even worse. Indy had a opening for 4th chair horn, one job..low paying, and 300 people tried out! For the other gentleman: Republicans gutted the fine arts?? When did this happen? Dems have been in control of the house and Senate for several years. I am not saying the Democrats did this, I think it is just the times, but don't blame the Republicans... they have had no power for years now. GOOD LUCK on your endeavors and may you have a good life.
High School Band Director Salary
Some pretty ill informed answers here. (except for Kab) Most performance majors I know end up falling back on an ed degree (its very hard out there to get gigs to pay the bills) There will always be band directors. (you don't need a masters, but it is getting very competitive, and a masters will at least get you a higher pay grade) The last guy to get a job with a music history degree was you music history professor. (it is one of the easiest music degrees to get and there are not a lot of jobs for it) If you go with plan #1 be prepared to be poor for a while. Most college "trumpet" instructors have to supplement their income with a TON of performance gigs and lessons outside the school. (I taught over 50 private trumpet lessons a week for many years and still struggled to pay the bills, not to mention you are on a fast track to burn out. I eventually quit the trumpet for a 3 year sabbatical. No fun) Inner city schools? I hear you. They suck. The situation sucks and it is always a giant cluster F$$@ and you usually dont get paid well or paid at all (private lesson wise) You will alsio get 0% help from parents/administration if you teach. You got to really love your job. That being said, some of my best students (who achieved full rides) were inner city kids. The thing to remember is it really isn't their fault being in the situation they have been handed. Most are good kids with lousy parents or they are just plain broke. You would be amazed at their work ethic. Yes its a bad scene sometimes but the intrinsic rewards are great. Sum of it all Teaching- you are going to be broke or pay check to pay check for many years.(but stable) Performing- probably going to be more broke than a teacher but you have a little more control over you artistic life. Tough call my friend. Good luck
The answer would be much longer than the question. Talk to the professors at your school. They know you and they know the profession. None of us know you and only a few know the profession. I was a High School Orchestra teacher for 27 years and loved almost every moment. I played in the local Symphony as well as for weddings etc. I retired with a good retirement system. Raised 2 kids, own a house and couple of cars. I have been offered teaching positions at the college level, but they would have been a cut in pay. In retirement I continue to direct a local community symphony and receive a small paycheck allowing me to spurge on vacations now and then.
The best advice I ever got from a High School teacher was "GET A TRADE FIRST AND THEN GET A PROFESSION".. The logic being you can always fall back on your "TRADE" when something happens to the profession. This simple bit of advice has served me well.. and I hope you listen to it too. Apparently you don't know that the REPUBLICANS have stopped the funding for the ARTS and cut off much of the funding for the SCHOOLS.. and when the FUNDING STOPS.. the FIRST things to go are the "ARTS".. the MUSIC DEPT. is usually the FIRST TO GO. If you want a career in Music.. then don't think in terms of being a Band Director because in another 10 years, THERE WON'T BE ANY except at some colleges with great ATHLETIC DEPARTMENTS because FOOTBALL TEAMS need BANDS. My advice to you is the same advice I was given.. GET A TRADE FIRST.. then get a profession.. that way you can put a roof over your head and food on the table..
Talk to your professors and ask them to honestly evaluate your chances of making it as a performer and what the job market is like for music history professors. Don't aim to be a high school band director if you would hate it. Worst case scenario, you get a job that requires a degree but it doesn't matter what the degree is in.
This Site Might Help You. RE: Music Professor vs High School Band Director? Okay, now I don't want to end up living in my parents basement or something so I'm seriously considering how to go about paving a career in music now. I have different plans but I dunno, I need advice. Plan #1: I am a performance major now as freshman. I want to work towards getting as...