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Thread: Back to School

  1. #1
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    Back to School

    I would love to hear from anyone out there in the ibreathmusic community that returned to music school later in life (like say in your late 20's or older). I'm 33 years old. I've been playing for 20 years. I attended GIT when I was 18, but, being young, stupid and ignorant, didn't get everything I could have out of the experience. By age 25 my band had fallen apart and I had started making some decent money with my day job in advertising. Fast forward a few years and I'm making really decent money in advertising but find myself creatively and spiritually unfulfilled as this career path has taken me away from my musical ambitions.

    I'm now looking at my life and realizing that I want my career to be in music. Playing music and/or teaching music. I truly feel that I was put on this earth for that purpose. It's my passion. It's my calling and I can't ignore it any longer. I feel pretty strongly that my best path to that career will be returning to school for a degree in music. Alas, life presents many obstacles for me. I'm married and have a young daughter and second child on the way. So, obviously money is a big hurdle. I have to find a way to meet my family responsibilites while also being true to my heart and soul and pursuing a career in music.

    I know I will find a way to pull it off. It won't be easy, but I know it can be done. I've been looking at Berklee as a possibility since they are one of the few schools on the East Coast that has a contemporary music program where you can study rock as well as jazz and classical. That's very important to me. Heading out West again isn't really an option for me at this point in my life so I'm focused on East Coast schools.

    If any of you have some "back to school" war and/or success stories to share or can offer advice on financing schooling or what schools offer great programs, please post away.

    Thanks!
    Jareth Grealish
    www.fintanstudios.com

  2. #2
    Registered User Shaun's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I'm not a school returner and have no success stories to share. But I would like to express my congratulations to you RAWKERDUDE!! You really rock! By reading through your story, I can see that you are INDEED a musician at heart and I admire that.

    I myself is a student that is studying a degree program majoring in accounting and finance and I hope that in the near future I can obtain a degree in music.

    Keep up the spirit and never give up!

    Sorry I cant help out much..heheehehee

  3. #3
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    Shaun - every ounce of support helps, man. Thanks for the kind words. I truly appreciate them.
    Jareth Grealish
    www.fintanstudios.com

  4. #4
    i Breathe ... Admin Guni's Avatar
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    Hi rawkerdude,

    I think it's really hard to give set advice. Reading the above I believe you know exactly what you want to achieve and honestly, I am not sure if I would wanna go back to Berklee neither whether it will provide what you are looking for.

    Personally, I would try to take advantage of the infrastructure and potential Berklee has. Get in contact with Berklee teachers - talk to them about your goals. Check out all books in the Berklee Bookstore and decide what you wanna study and which teachers might be the ones for you. Contact these teachers - ask for private lessons - doesn't matter if it's guitar, composition or whatever.

    They all teach privately and there is no doubt that private lessons will speed up your learning experience.

    Ok, you won't get a degree or diploma but how much is paper really worth? A resumee saying you studied 1 year with Mick Goodrick or/and Hal Crook will be worth more in the long run I reckon ...

    Just my humble opinion,

    Guni

  5. #5
    Senior Citizen Cuno's Avatar
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    Hi

    I'm in a similar situation as you. I'm 33, work rather succesfully as a programmer, but would really like to spend more time with music, possibly full time. I never went to a guitar school (thinking of going to GIT next year though), and I don't have kids on my own (my girlfriend has a daughter), but still... What I miss is a place where I can practise undisturbed, and most of all - time! There never seems to be enough of it. Some days I don't even touch the guitar. Since you have kid(s) of your own, I can only guess that you are in a situation even more frustrating, time-wise (I like kids, don't get me wrong). So my first thought was that if you'll get more time off for practise studying full than if you go for the private tutoring, going to Berklee would be the obvious choice - if your relationship can take it, that is.

    One of the nice things about playing guitar is that you don't get worse by age, only more personal, often tone is better the older the player too. I try to tell myself such things to keep my spirits up on those rainy days when full-time music studies seems eons away.

    I hope you see it through though, keep working!
    Last edited by Cuno; 07-14-2003 at 11:27 PM.

  6. #6
    Groovemastah DanF's Avatar
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    It's funny I don't really HAVE the responsibilitys that you guys have but I'm 20, have a serious girlfriend and am pretty set in my course as far as occupation goes. I would throw a lot of stuff away to attend Berklee (which was my wish).

    What I've done is just to look into my local options, my university may not be Berklee or GIT or U of Miami but it's got a good jazz program here with good faculty and equipment. So I've pretty much decided to finish up my career stuff and then just slowly start working on my BM at UNR. You'd be surprised at the talent you can find in your own community. Actually depending on where you are in Penn state you might live near University of the Arts , Pat Martino & Jimmy Bruno teach there (!!).

    Anyway look around and good luck.

    -Dan

  7. #7
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    Cuno - man, I can totally relate to the time crunch issue. There really is never enough of it. But, I do what I can. A lot of it is discipline and getting your partner to understand how important that practice time is to you. I also tend to stay up late a lot, which gets me some practice time but I think it's becoming detrimental to my health (always a catch-22).

    Dan - thanks for the tip on the local schools angle. I am indeed poking around. Right now my plan is to just start taking some of the liberal arts courses that I need to get out of the way via distance learning. I'm hoping that somewhere down the road, I can leave the ad biz (my day job) and go full time. Have to save up some pennies first and maybe have a few things fall into place.

    I'm not giving up though. Like I said, I'll find a way.

    Good luck to both of you. Don't give up...ever.
    Jareth Grealish
    www.fintanstudios.com

  8. #8
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    Regrets

    Rakerdude....I work in an entertainment company that cators to the recording, and advertising industries, and I am also missing the wild years. I thought I had done everything correctly. I went through 8 years of Classical, got into a fine Post Secondary Music School, was in several near signed bands, and then realized that I was broke. The guys in the last band said...."ok we're moving to LA to get signed. You'll have to quit school, or the band". I guess you can see what's coming. I quit the band.

    Years later, I'm 34, a Marketing Manager for a large entertainment distributor, and the guys are still trying to make it (and still not making any money). They tell me that they envy me, and I tell them the same. Now I got a fiancee, cottage, soon-to-be house, and yet all I can think about is how I want to practice, grow my hair again, and be a great musician. The guys are writing some of the best stuff I've heard in years, and I think I want to start writing again too. The girlfriend is not supportive of any of this. My problem is getting back to the theory. It's just too tough to balance the house, car, girlfriend, and practicing. I really need someone to motivate me again.

    Maybe "the guys" got it right. The point....go for it Rawkerdude. Nothing is expensive as regrets. It will eat you up, so go apply to Berklee. Do it for the rest of us that chose a safe, steady paycheck over playing fulltime.

  9. #9
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    snobleo - While my situation is a bit different I can completely empathize with you. For me, I've watched all of my former band members allow themselves to be assimilated into "normal" lifestyles. Only one of my former bandmates is active in music at all and he just plays in a local bar duo one night a week. It's sad.

    I allowed it to happen to myself also. And because I've been playing it safe for so long...and my wife has gotten so used to that "safe" version of me and the "safe" lifestyle we've grown accustomed to it has created somewhat of a rift between us. Nothing that can't be healed. I just think it's going to take her some time to see/remember just how much music means to me.

    Rather than focus on that negative situation though, I've persisted in investigating the possibilities of returning to school. I've sent out my financial aid forms, received Berklee's application and course information, explored the courses that I can take locally, etc. I'm concentrating on being proactive and believing that, if this is what I truly want to do, I will find a way or one will present itself.

    I read a great deal of motivation and inspirational books and every single one of them basically come down to one thing: being true to yourself and believing that truth is attainable. If you feel in your heart that you are a writer, then you MUST be a writer. If you feel in your heart you are a musician, then you MUST be one. To deny it, to avoid that truth, will only bring you misery. No person or possession or high paying job will ever fill that void.

    It's not easy to face the truth. To face the fears. I'm only beginning to learn how. If you still feel that fire, don't let it die. LIke you said, it will haunt you for the rest of your days.
    Last edited by rawkerdude; 07-30-2003 at 08:03 PM.
    Jareth Grealish
    www.fintanstudios.com

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