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 Re: How good do you have to be?
Author: JF Clarinet 
Date:   2018-01-16 07:46

I'm only 18, but I was in a similar place to you a few years ago. For as long as I've played, I've always told people that if I could make a living at it, I wanted to be a professional clarinetist. I didn't want to teach (at the time, I was only considering teaching daytime band classes as an option) and saw playing in an orchestra as my goal.

When the time came to apply to college, I was extremely torn. I wanted to be a musician, but was terrified I would never be good enough, no matter how hard I worked at it. I had other academic interests, but nothing I cared about as much as music.

For better or worse, I decided to avoid applying to conservatories. Though I knew that would be where I'd get the best music education, I was too scared to fully commit to music without knowing whether or not my best would be good enough. I decided that while studying with an amazing teacher at a conservatory would be helpful, my ability to get where I want to be will ultimately depend on how hard I can push myself (and if that's enough).

I'm currently at a top academic university with a relatively small music school as a clarinet performance major, on track to double major with psychology. I haven't been at this very long, but I'd highly recommend considering double majoring I'd you have other interests on top of music. It is A LOT of work, but I would say it's worth it. Having a clear backup plan in case I'm not good enough at clarinet takes a lot of the stress about my future off my shoulders. If the stress of committing to music is intimidating, try coming up with some reasonable backup plan you would be happy with, and that may help you. You don't have to end up being a professional at whatever you have an undergraduate degree in, so you could be a performance major and then go to graduate school for something else.

I'd also say you don't need to go to a conservatory to get a solid music education. If you can find schools you are interested in and meet with who would be your private instructor and other professors, you can get a good sense of what you'll get out of going there. I'm sure I'd have more time to focus on music and potentially get better instruction if I were at a conservatory, but I don't feel disadvantaged for having gone to a non-conservatory. I get instruction from high level professionals and get masterclasses from players in our local orchestras regularly. You don't have to go to a conservatory to learn from amazing teachers/players. It will be harder to find schools that aren't conservatories that you may want to study music at, but I assure you they exist.

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 Topics Author  Date
 How good do you have to be?  new
J-MB 2018-01-15 03:10 
 Re: How good do you have to be?  new
kdk 2018-01-15 03:39 
 Re: How good do you have to be?  new
J-MB 2018-01-15 03:48 
 Re: How good do you have to be?  new
Bob Bernardo 2018-01-15 06:46 
 Re: How good do you have to be?  new
dorjepismo 2018-01-15 18:18 
 Re: How good do you have to be?  new
JAS 2018-01-15 20:52 
 Re: How good do you have to be?  new
Hank Lehrer 2018-01-15 21:27 
 Re: How good do you have to be?  new
J-MB 2018-01-16 03:21 
 Re: How good do you have to be?  new
JF Clarinet 2018-01-16 07:46 
 Re: How good do you have to be?  new
dorjepismo 2018-01-16 20:26 
 Re: How good do you have to be?  new
Bob Bernardo 2018-01-17 07:39 
 Re: How good do you have to be?  new
rmk54 2018-01-17 18:23 
 Re: How good do you have to be?  new
Hank Lehrer 2018-01-17 18:58 
 Re: How good do you have to be?  new
J-MB 2018-01-18 03:56 
 Re: How good do you have to be?  new
Hank Lehrer 2018-01-18 16:34 
 Re: How good do you have to be?  new
Bennett 2018-01-20 09:35 
 Re: How good do you have to be?  new
Bob Bernardo 2018-01-20 10:28 


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