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Posted by: hotchi ( )
Date: November 20, 2013 01:01AM

I am so tired of my freaking father. I had enough of him. I left the church and he acts like a pompous asshole. He keeps using phrases such as "during the, so last days" during discussions of politics. I can not even have a normal conversation with him.

Today was his birthday, and my grandma has cancer and will die soon so I thought I could comfort and talk to him, but no. I get talking about my future to lighten his load but no, instead he hints that because I am not worthy I will not attain my dream of being a piano performer because about 400 kids as good as me will have to compete for one spot and that my chance of it is very slim. And then he lists all these pianists who seem like random people who had dreams too, but he says the chances of me doing it are never. Really, to crush a dream to a kid getting ready to major in performance. Really, to say my dream is worthless. All while I tried to comfort him because his mother is going to die in a few months,

Sorry for posting this, but my mother can't help me so she says, and it is really late at. the time of writing. I just needed to vent

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Posted by: zenjamin ( )
Date: November 20, 2013 05:30AM

At some point figured my own dad was toxic.
Stayed away, and I did fine. None of the downer predictions came to light.
Mom did lose her mind though - brilliant woman completely dominated by him - she became demented.

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Posted by: Garçon ( )
Date: November 20, 2013 06:13AM

My dad didn't try to dash my dreams, however, if what I accomplished wasn't in some way related to the church, he wasn't happy or pleased. On the same hand, my failures weren't important to him either, if they weren't church related.

In high school, I just didn't go to classes for about 2 weeks. I would leave the house, but didn't feel like going. When he found out, he went ballistic that I had missed 2 weeks of seminary--he didn't even mention even care that I had missed English, Chemistry and Math--those had nothing to do with the church. When I earned a college diploma, he wasn't happy for me because it was in psychology--most certainly not church related.

He continued this throughout my life. I was in my mid 40s when he died. I did get an apology from him before he died. It was after his diagnosis, but earlier than a deathbed apology. It was sincere, and it helped me out when he died.

As I got older I was able to try to control our relationship and just wouldn't put up with it much. Not always easy.

I'm sorry you're going through this with your father.

If it helps, I hope you get into the program you're looking at. You have a dream that takes a awful lot of talent as well as dedication--go for it.

Just do me a favor, even though you don't know me--just don't play Come, Come, Ye Saints as your performance piece at the interview.

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: November 20, 2013 06:22AM

I had a kid who kept wanting to be a famous artist. Seemed like a silly thing, and he didn't have many redeeming academic qualities, except that he was a kick-ass artist. He went way out on a limb one day, and yada-yada-yada, only a few years later was a famous artist.

Just keep pursuing it. Your enthusiasm to do it and putting yourself out there will be 90% of the result.

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Posted by: not saying this time ( )
Date: November 20, 2013 09:24AM

My father discouraged me from majoring in it, because it wasn't "practical". He wanted me to get a traditional job. At least he didn't bash my musical abilities. With time, he became more supportive, and I think he was even proud of my accomplishments.

A couple of thoughts. I'd bet money that your father isn't musically qualified to say whether or not you can achieve your dream. So consider getting an opinion from a professional musician who knows your abilities. And even then, it's pretty difficult to predict someone else's potential. I'm pretty sure my own teacher thought I would fail. But with the right training, I made huge progress (switched teachers). My old teacher was shocked when he heard me after my first semester at college.

I think a semester or two at music school will give you a good idea of whether to continue or not. Make sure you get a teacher that you connect with musically, and not one that squashes you. Some teachers can be brilliant, but if you don't "get" their way of explaining things or if you don't agree with their interpretation, it can be really discouraging and frustrating to work with them. Screen them for personality style and listen to them perform to see who inspires you. See if you can talk to their students. If you are a verbal learner, go for a teacher who has a way with words. If you are an imitator, go for the teacher who will demonstrate how it should sound. If you are a sensitive soul, don't study with a harsh teacher.

Thought #2: It IS hard to make it. Very few do. That doesn't mean you can't, because some people actually do. Work your butt off and see how things go. My advice to anyone would be NOT to major in it, unless you can't stand the thought of doing anything else. That said, I'm glad I did it.

Thought #3: Have a backup plan. I didn't become a famous pianist. I didn't even get a full time job in music (with a Masters Degree in Piano Performance). I will say that I kind of gave up pursuing it. Who is to say what would have happened if I had persisted? The truth is that I didn't want the constant pressure of performing, and I felt like a career would be incompatible with family life. But I've been teaching for over 2 decades, and I love it. I can't think of anything else I'd rather do.

Thought #4: The hours suck and there are no benefits. Except for the music, and being my own boss. I guess those ARE pretty big benefits.

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Posted by: not saying this time ( )
Date: November 20, 2013 12:18PM

Talent is overrated.

Hard work, persistence, creativity, and finding the right teacher to fill in your skill gaps are crucial. Big names don't mean they are good teachers. I've heard so many horror stories.

Do you know what state or school you want to go to? I know some excellent teachers in Pennsylvania, Colorado, New York, Washington, Oregon, California, Florida, and the Boston area.

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Posted by: vh65 ( )
Date: November 20, 2013 03:17PM

I have a daughter who is a very talented dancer, also in a similar situation. Go after your dreams with your full passion, but have a back up plan in case it doesn't work out. Double major! You'll get the best of two worlds, the arts and something practical, like business. If piano doesn't work out you may able to combine your interests to do something else you'll love.

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Posted by: fossilman ( )
Date: November 20, 2013 03:26PM

Good advice all around. I had a dream of becoming a great artist. I wasn't too bad, and my parents were very encouraging. I made it through the first semester, but this was YBU, so it sucked, but I thought it was because I sucked. Second semester, I just took all the classes I thought would be interesting and stumbled upon a childhood interest -- geology. Three degrees and 23 years in the profession later I'm still at it and enjoying it.

It may be trite, but most things just have a way of working out.

Best of luck hotchi in finding a place among the things you love.

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Posted by: Anon_Xanthippe ( )
Date: November 20, 2013 12:27PM

My mother was pretty discouraging to me... she said I better have a career since I was too unattractive, unfeminine, and stubborn (meaning not a coy, manipulative flirt like she had been) to find anyone who'd want to marry me. I wanted to get into commercial art but she said I wasn't good enough and I'd starve, and she pushed me into nursing... I was not assertive enough back then to break away.

Now I physically can't do nursing work any more, so here I am working for minimum wage.

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Posted by: vh65 ( )
Date: November 20, 2013 03:19PM

I don't know what your nursing training and experience might be, but Mighigan State has an 18-month program that will take RNs with 5 years experience and get them the full medical doctorate so they can become GPs in small towns. Might be better than minimum wage if you have a few years left before retirement...

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Posted by: not saying this time ( )
Date: November 20, 2013 02:27PM

is that eventually, he stopped trying to meddle in my life. He was overly involved with my siblings, their money, their career choices, the way they raised their kids and how they ran their households. Many of them were dependent on him, or didn't learn how to stand up for themselves or be decisive enough to run their own lives.

During one frustrating interchange about my schooling and career choices, where my dad suggested I get some training for a boring dead end job that he thought was appropriate for women, one of my adult siblings stood up for me. After I left she got verbally smacked down for not taking his side, because he had been apparently laying the groundwork to convince me for a while and she ruined it all. Phttt. Then he softened and basically admitted to her that he knew he couldn't push me around and I was always going to do what I wanted, anyway. Yep. It still makes me happy to think about that.

Live your life for you. Your dad got to make his own choices. He doesn't get to make yours, too. BTW, my dad used to crap on my other sibling's dreams about things they wanted to go into, as well. I lay the blame for many of their career struggles at his feet because they let him dissuade them from going for their dreams.

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Posted by: Tyler ( )
Date: November 20, 2013 10:58PM

Check out one of my favorite movie quotes of all time...and remember to protect your dreams from anyone.

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Posted by: Cipher ( )
Date: November 21, 2013 05:54AM

I think your dad is scared for you. It is true that for a lot of these really specialized fields, there are a lot of candidates and not very many positions. I'm not sure what the market is like for piano performance. I assume most would be teaching jobs, with some concert jobs.

My husband has a degree in organ performance. The people he went to get his master's with varied widely, from really good to competent. They all made it through. They're pretty much guaranteed a job, though it might not be the best paying. Organists at a church that's willing to pay out for someone with a MA probably make ~$40-60k, with the ritzier jobs heading up towards six figures. But those higher paid jobs are not common. So it's a BA plus an MA mostly for a payout of a median salary. You don't do it for the money, that's for sure.

When it comes to piano performance, I'd think the job openings more limited, because there's not that guaranteed niche of a church job. Some churches do hire pianists, but they don't seem to get paid as much, possibly because there are more of them.

It's hard to gauge how good you are at something prior to college because you can't see your real competition. In college you start to see more people who are very good at what you do. Yes, some of them will be better than you. In grad school, you see even more, and you're likely to see a lot of people better than you there. You don't have to be the best, of course, but it's good to have a realistic idea where you might measure up to the competition. See if you can talk to some people in the field and play for them. They can probably give you a better idea what the job market is like in their field and some good suggestions for success.

Come up with a backup plan too--one should always have a backup plan.

I'm saying all this as someone who got an advanced degree in a field I like and now find it pretty useless. I have a decent job but I'm over-qualified for it. I had been planning on getting a teaching job, but holy hell, those are few and far between in the sciences now. Everyone's all adjunct faculty and horribly underpaid, and there are hardly any tenure-track jobs.

If my kids come to me and say, "Mom, I want to be a doctor!" or "Mom, I want to be a scientist!" I would tell them the same type of stuff I told you. It's a lot of work, a lot of money, and a lot of time, and the payoff may not be worth it. Keep your eyes open.

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: November 22, 2013 06:37AM

A friend of mine has a master's degree in euphonium. Euphonium. If one can survive with higher education in euphonium, one can survive in any education whatsoever.

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Posted by: excatholic ( )
Date: November 21, 2013 09:46AM

I'll be honest. I have a daughter who is a junior in high school and is a very talented violinist. She's in a prestigious regional youth orchestra. We are at the point where she's going to be making college choices.

I'm hoping like hell she doesn't end up at a school of music or as a music major. I know she would love the experience, but then what?

Making a living as a musician is terribly hard. She's had two brilliant private instructors, both of whom play in our local city orchestra and who have had many impressive positions. They scrape by. They kludge together a bunch of little things, they have teaching studios, and most of all, they are married to people who have steady jobs with benefits.

Orchestras are struggling mightily. Every concert we go to, we are one of a handful of people without white hair. She doesn't want to be a music teacher in the public school system and those jobs are being cut left and right.

I've got a nephew who recently graduated from a prestigious music school who is working retail and waiting tables, and it's not pretty.

So no, I'm not really doing much to encourage her down that path or "supporting her dream," because I don't want her living a life of poverty with no medical insurance.

It might just be that your father wants you to know where your next meal is coming from.

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Posted by: breedumyung ( )
Date: November 21, 2013 09:48AM

Take the next step and cut the strings that attach you to him...

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Posted by: dejavue ( )
Date: November 21, 2013 11:10PM

Your choice! Your Dreams! Your Reality! Do not give any attention to the 'nay' sayers. They are toxic and giving them any attention or energy simply will take you down in life. Ignore the peanut gallery.

Focus on what it is that YOU want. Feel, see, smell and taste it happening. Feel the good energy that your dreams give you.

Regrets usually follow listening to others who supposedly know whats best for you and want to "help" you by controlling, advising, pushing or pulling you. Accept their encouragement only in following what you are drawn to. If they try to make you fearful of your future, stay away from then.

Only you know what brings you satisfaction, happiness and joy. Create your life as you go. NO REGRETS!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/21/2013 11:12PM by dejavue.

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Posted by: hotchi ( )
Date: November 22, 2013 12:07AM

Thank you all for the support, and yes I do have a teacher that is brilliant for my area. He also convinced me not to go on a mission. How ironic. Thanks again folks.

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Posted by: enoughenoch19 ( )
Date: November 22, 2013 04:51AM

I MAJORED in music, BA, BM, MA, MM ABD for the PhD, years of music school and loved every minute of it. I have NO regrets, never have. Music is my life, it is what makes me happy. Screw what he thinks. Go for it. Tickle those ivories forever. Be sure to play something nice at your grandma's funeral on the piano even if it is a Mormon hymn. Just play something she liked for her. Do it for your grandma and forget everyone else in the room. I did at my mom's funeral and I have felt good about it forever. It was hard, but it is so worth it.........a last beaufitul thing you can do for that person and it is between you and them. I played In the Garden and it was really beautiful.
There is a reason why music is the best way to cross from life to death. It is because it works.
And yes, don't go on a mission. THe music degree is a lot of work, but worth it...You will make it and we can say we knew you when.....
One thing I want to add. I do serious chamber music now for a living. We are always needing an excellent pianist to go with our strings. Don't onlu learn the concert repertoire. There are some breathtakingly beautiful chamber pieces with piano. On Dec. 18th we get to play Dvorak's Op. 81 quintet and Schumann's Op. 44 quintet in a fancy hotel for a lavish Christmas party. I assure you we will have more fun than the stiff stanchy guests. We always do at these affairs.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/22/2013 05:01AM by enoughenoch19.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: November 22, 2013 08:34AM

Hold up your hand and say, "Stop, Dad. This conversation isn't working. Can we change the topic to something with both like or do I need to leave?"

Then walk out or hang up the phone if necessary.

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