The Merry-Go-Round of my Professional Life


I officially left full-time music education on December 31, 2007. I officially stopped my path to vocal performance in October 2009. Regardless of those dates, I never left music. In fact, I’ve become ever increasingly grateful that my roommate had a piano begging to be used in her house when I moved in this past August.

I told my parents multiple times in the past 5 years, “Thank you for the investment in my music lessons because it’s helping my income tremendously now.”

As I’m typing this, I’m on break in a recording studio surrounded by other full and part-time professional musicians. We’re recording demo tracks so choral directors across the nation can pick up a packet of single copies of music with a CD and hear all or bits of the songs before buying for their choir.

Even though I “never left music” in that, I still taught private lessons, sang in my church choir, started learning Byzantine chant and notation, I definitely tried to minimize my exposure to the professional-diva-types of musicians. Thankfully, those types are few and far between. Jumping back into this world, I got some new views from the sales side of the music industry:

A) Having listened to my fair share of these demo tracks in my teaching days, I thought the tracks were rather dry because they were recorded that way. Rather, they are dry because we are sight-reading and patching sections together. We’re not going for artistic excellence, form, and musicality; we’re going for correct notes, rhythms, and some diction.

B) I don’t miss some of the personalities in the music business. The Talkie Tammys who have to comment at every cut-off or pause. Or the singers who are really into recording and can’t control any impulse to dance around. Stereotypes exist for a reason.

C) Patterns. When you aren’t rehearsing the patterns on a daily basis (teaching, personal practice, performance, etc.) you forget that most composers follow similar patterns in their writing. The days I was in the studio, I felt I was “working harder” than others who were still actively singing, practicing, and sight-reading these styles of music.

I’m thankful for my musical side. It has been a gateway for me to meet fascinating people and enriched my life. I just find it funny that as I’m entering a new career and seeking out opportunities to improve in that field (student nursing job, yay!), my former career is still applicable and keeping the lights on. Who knows, later on nursing might be the way I can fund some awesome music project in the future.

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