The Pursuit of a Life in Music

Welcome to Long Tones. Glad you’re here!

This blog is primarily intended for people like me—either “young professional” musicians, or those of you who are still in college. Maybe you graduated not long ago, or you soon will. You want to “make it,” to live the dream of being a professional musician.

There’s just one problem: everywhere we turn it looks like the dream is dying. Orchestras across the country are fading. Attendance at all types of musical concerts are dwindling. When we meet those lucky few (in the grand scheme of things) who do have professional orchestra positions, many of them seem to be jaded and embittered toward the profession. And, it seems, it’s all been done before. Every time you have a great idea for a recital, or ensemble, or general concept, there is already someone doing it, better than you would do it.

Or so you think.

The truth is, the dream is only dead if you let it die. I mean, the benefits of music education are well known, and scientists at Northwestern have shown it actually changes the brain. Musicians can have careers not only in education or the traditional paths like composing, arranging, performing, conducting in the classical world, but in everything from composing for movies and video games, music therapy, military bands, church gigs, and much more. And there’s always “rock star” up for grabs.

The thing is, to have a life in music you have to live a life in music. And that’s what I want to discuss here. I’m pursuing that life. Let’s see where the path leads.

From fairly early on in my training in college, I began to feel that chamber music was where my passion lay. I’d formed a quartet in high school, I played in one in college, and toured in a quintet after college. Now I’m teaching (and teaching) and working on building a traditional brass quintet with four other fine musicians.

In this blog, I want to explore my musical life—and yours. Some days we’ll discuss trends and how-tos, some days we’ll study, some days we’ll have music appreciation. I value your input, so please comment—and come back. In the meantime, I’ll see you in the practice room!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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