As Fabcebook so graciously reminded me, It has been a year since graduating from Youngstown State University. In some respects, it hasn’t felt like a very long time (and in the grand scheme of things, it’s really not), though in others, It has been a trying learning experience. This year was a bit of a unique challenge. In my last few semesters of undergrad, it became increasingly apparent that two main issues were standing in my way of progressing to where I feel I need and want to be; Lack of a drivers’ licence and car and lack of financial means to make it on my own.Though I could come up with a plethora of valid arguments and excuses as to why I never learned to drive before now, the bottom line was this: My lack of a drivers licence severely hindered my ability to get a job to fund my expeditions and through extension, limited opportunities and options I would have otherwise had to further my career. As such, this year I moved to Minnesota with my Dad and Step mom and worked to earn that licence, get a decent job, pay down student loans , and get a car. This year will be more of the same building of a foundation so that I may one day be able to devote my time fully to music.These are the main reasons why I can not afford return to school until at least the next year.
As far as the musical side of life is concerned, I have managed to keep a foot in music by joining the Centennial Community Band. Though I do not get to practice trombone to the extent that I would enjoy (as living with your parents and working a job where you wake up at 3am makes finding reasonable practice time difficult) this has helped keep my playing chops up and be around musicians at least a couple hours a week. Also, I have managed to complete a few pieces, Most notably, a Dance Tune for my former SCA shire (post about it coming soon) and The Mill Creek Trombone Concerto which will be premiered by my fellow colleague and friend Bo Violette this Spring. Musically, I plan on using 2016 to attend more music oriented events around the Twin Cities area, create and follow a more structured plan increase my productivity and focus when composing and studying theory and history (as I aim to return to school in 2017), and hopefully find ways to update this blog more often. I suppose you can consider these my New years Resolutions.
Now on to the list of things I’ve realized since Graduation:
- The NAWM is a lot more enjoyable to listen to when you’re not studying for a test.Seriously, take out your old Music History cds and give them a second chance. You just may hear something that may not have piqued your interest before as you were memorizing for the sole purpose of passing the class.
- Have your Elevator pitch Ready and fine tuned for the rest of the general population. The reality of it is that most people who are not in the arts do not understand it when you say ” I want to make music for the rest of my life” or ” I went to school for Music Theory and Composition “and will ask you what you can do with the degree. I can not tell you how many condescending “have fun being a secretary for the rest of your life.” comments I have received..grr………
- When it comes to getting things done , time management is your best friend. Also do yourself a favor and stay off Facebook to increase productivity
- Driving is both terrifying and freeing at the same time.
- All of this time in the “Real World” has made me want a full time life in Music that much more. Although I am generally happier than when I first started out being the meticulous person that I am (Too much freedom without direction is not a good thing for me), I have been starved from the daily musical interactions that I had in College. I have nothing against those who work a job much like the factory job I am working now and are genuinely happy doing it, but it does not satisfy me spiritually in the way music does. That being said, I am grateful to have a job in this economy that I don’t despise though I will be using my spare time to work towards my dream. Besides, A little time among people from a different background is a humbling experience and it is probably good for us to be reminded that there is more to the world that what we in the arts do. Despite It all, I still LOVE MUSIC!
- Perspective is a Funny thing- That professor that you were angry at or test that you were nervous about passing that you probably cried will not matter in the same emotional magnitude once you graduate and start out in the “real World”. You may remember the things that upset you once in awhile, but you will probably be more concerned with paying bills and taking care of life that they won’t phase you the same way.