Playing After Graduation

You love playing your instrument, but you don't think you want to make a career out of it.  So, you'll play until graduation, then sell your instrument or put it away as a souvenir, right?  Wrong!  

Just because you aren't making a career out of playing music doesn't mean you have to give it up when you go off to college.  If you major in accounting, you can still make music a lifelong study.  Look at local community bands or small orchestras, and their boards of directors: you'll find lawyers in the flute section, nurses in the clarinet section, teachers in the low brass, business owners in the strings, software programmers on the board.  (All true stories, set right here in Indianapolis, by the way.)  

There are lots of outlets for this part of your life that don't require you to commit to practicing for hours and hours day in and day out.  For example: community bands, church ensembles, local jazz combos, and volunteer orchestras all rehearse once a week, usually only for four or five weeks before a concert.  In some ensembles, you can specify which concerts you can play so that during busy months of the year, you have time to do your work and manage your home.  Some ensembles are seasonal, meeting only during the summer months or over the winter holidays.  If you don't want to play in a large ensemble, get together with a few people and do trios or quartets.  In all of these cases, you'll need to practice, but in such a way that you can fit it into your schedule.  You've invested so much time and effort to learn the skills needed to play your instrument - don't throw it away!

Playing an instrument can be something you do without being the only thing you do.  The love of music-making that you develop now can continue through your adult life, and can be something you pass on to your own children some day.