Double bassist Brandon Mitchell just left a great comment about my Advice for Aspiring Music Performance Majors post:
This a really amazing article. It definitely scared the crap out of me, though! You know what they say (paraphrased) “the best music teachers are the ones who try to convince you to get out of the business.” I actually read this article a while ago on Jason’s Facebook blog, which didn’t include the major audition winners list. After I saw that list, I immediately decided to give up classical bass and I clicked on the link for the Starbucks application. The fact that the application was real gave me a good laugh. Still, after that laugh, I realized that our parents are right in thinking that we’re crazy for chasing this dream. I know that sounds dark, but think about this logically for a moment. With as many career choices as there are out there, who in their right mind would focus all their time and energy on the one with less than 50 FULL TIME job openings a year in the whole country and tens of thousands of people competing for those positions. It’s really silly when you take the art and compassion (obsession) out of it and put it in simple terms. Who would do this?
I understand there is a lot of steady teaching and gigging work out there for those who are really determined. Luckily for me, I don’t have all my eggs in that basket. I also have decent jazz and electric chops. I guess I’m just freakin’ out. If Jason hasn’t had to fill out that Starbucks application yet than I might be able to survive despite my costly obsession with the bass. I’m kind of a younger guy, who is only a few months from getting his performance degree at DePaul. Thanks for providing me a place to vent, J.
Brandon is an excellent bassist currently studying with Rob Kassinger from the Chicago Symphony. Look forward to hearing more from Brandon on the blog in the future–we’ve been talking about putting his upcoming recital on the blog in video form. Also, I just recorded a great interview with Rob Kassinger for Contrabass Conversations, so look forward to hearing that interview in the next few weeks.
- Why I teach
- Double bass orchestral audition lists
- Rabbath versus Simandl
- Rabbath versus Simandl follow-up
- Intelligent practicing