Author Topic: Playing music professionally?  (Read 240 times)

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Offline Accompanist

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Playing music professionally?
« on: September 01, 2020, 11:18:28 AM »
Hi all,
I'm a Canadian undergrad music student and I'd love to try accompaniment/collaborative piano as a career, and other musicians tell me they think I'll make a killing but non-musicians condescendingly tell me I'd be better off flipping burgers, and I'm having a really hard time finding any real information on the subject (chance of success, income, how to go about finding work beyond pre-existing connections etc). I know this kind of work would mostly be self-employment and highly variable based on circumstances but is there anywhere said data might exist?
Thanks very much! 

Offline relm1

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Re: Playing music professionally?
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2020, 05:29:44 PM »
Hi all,
I'm a Canadian undergrad music student and I'd love to try accompaniment/collaborative piano as a career, and other musicians tell me they think I'll make a killing but non-musicians condescendingly tell me I'd be better off flipping burgers, and I'm having a really hard time finding any real information on the subject (chance of success, income, how to go about finding work beyond pre-existing connections etc). I know this kind of work would mostly be self-employment and highly variable based on circumstances but is there anywhere said data might exist?
Thanks very much!

I'm so sorry I never saw this post.  It seems to be your only post so the odds of you reading this are zero.  I know the performance route is very challenging.  I perform orchestrally but have seen you become irrelevant as soon as someone is 1% better.  It's also very physically taxing.  In a masterclass by the orchestras on staff doctor (that indicates how bad it is), the number of performance based injuries was staggering.  I'm going off memory so don't quote me on this but percussionists almost universally had repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel in their career.  Brass players had lots of neck, muscle, and blown lip injuries, etc.  It's a profession fraught with injuries.  The other issue is it favors experience so the younger people might not have the injury because they haven't lived the years.  I knew a pianist who was suffering through tremendous physical issues in his 60's but since I'm not a medic, I don't know what those injuries were but they were related to constant and repetitive performance.  It's a tough road.  I also believe there is a lot of focus on ergonomics and posture and such now that might not have existed in the past too.  I am friends with the doctor on staff of two major professional orchestras so if you have any specific questions, I'll ask them.