Hey friends, Nathan here 🙂
Writing a blog is something I’ve always been intimated by — but it’s also something that has always scratched my interest. I’m no trained writer, but I do have my own loud, slang-filled voice to write through.
So here it is, a blog. Wow.
Why start one in the middle of the summer?
LET ME TELL YOU.
Over the entire past week, I’ve spent my time as a counselor with 32 high schoolers at the Wheaton College music camp. I’ve been running on five and half hours of sleep, two or three coffees a day, and sometime pure adrenaline… Needless to say, it has been a total blast. These kids are hilarious, talented, headstrong, and so ready to soak up everything they can with their time here. But as the other counselors and I have spent time with these teens, I’ve found that it isn’t the classes, auditions, college, or performances that scare them the most about their future; it’s what happens AFTER college graduation (seven years down the road for some), that scares them most.
Going to college for music — What can you even do with that? What is that even good for? Are you going to have to find a day job? Will I make money? These are all common questions that every prospective and current music major get asked. And, honestly, they are fair questions.
And this is where I lay my knowledge of how I know exactly what I’m going to do with my life because God has a clear plan for me and blah blah this and I’m so successful and so put together.
I have no answer to any of those questions. I’m going into my senior year as a percussion performance student with 14 credit hours and a senior recital. I have a part time job off campus, I teach lessons on the side, I love to rock climb and play music. I will apply to graduate schools.
After those applications are done?
Choosing the life of a music major means you are choosing a life of a lot of questions and very few answers. Music is not a degree, such as engineering, where you know you have a 90% chance of landing a solid part to full time job straight out of your undergrad. Most music majors I’ve met have no solid plan of action for post graduate work when they walk the podium.
That’s frightening. No plans.
My ‘plans,’ which are small, tiny, insignificant, sinful, fallible human plans, could change in a single day by the will of God. I just told you my plans for up until December — I can almost 100% guarantee that they will some how change over the course of the rest of the summer and first semester.
And when Joel, one of my roommates, and I were talking about the vague futures of both being performance majors, we decided to start this blog. It’s not meant to be a highlight of all of our successes, but a raw, honest story of our lives as musicians and all the ups and downs that come with trying to ‘make it’ in the real world.
From those I’ve asked who are currently employed as musicians and are living comfortably, there seems to be a fairly consistent 2-3 year ‘period of tribulation’ for each person. Jobs come and go, apartments and roommates change, money is tight, cheap beer starts to taste really good, and you are OVERWHELMED. Then suddenly, BOOM, that one job, audition, or opportunity which you’ve been praying about suddenly falls into place, often out of the blue. Suddenly, you have your own apartment, you’re self sustaining, cheap beer still tastes good (you just have more of it), but you’re comfortable, your name is out there, you’re ‘making it’.
But how does everyone get there? And what happens if you don’t?
For Joel and I, we don’t know. We don’t know where we’ll even be in 3 weeks. So as we pursue what we love, we are giving you a part of our struggles, victories, hardships, laughs, and life to share in, and hopefully, learn something from.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever, Amen.