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Life: Quite Falling Apart at the Moment...

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Ugggghhhhh, I just need to take a moment to rant.

So, last week, my wonderful teacher who has been wonderfuly supportive and I were talking about the studio position I've taken over. Basically, to make a long story short, she dropped the bomb on my that of the 44 students I'm inheriting, I can count on about 15 to stick with me.

Right. So.

Why didn't anyone tell me this? Why does everyone keep assuming that I know these things and then looking at me like an idiot when I don't? I had conservatively estimated that I'd have 25 of them sticking with me, and set up my life so that that number would pay the bills. Their teacher told me she thought more like 80% would stick with me, but apparently, that's BS. I've asked around and everyone has agreed with my teacher and been like "What? You expected something else?" Hello! If I had expected just 15 students, I would have done some additional promotion! Or something! I wouldn't have just sat here and rested on my laurels, that's for sure! A coworker told me this is why she goes on tour in the summer...it's a bit like being an elementary school teacher..not much goes on in music in the summer.

I've contacted of them...I have 10 on the schedule, 4-5 that I'm keeping but am playing phone-tag with to get on the schedule, 3 who don't want the summer and normally take it off but will be back, 7 who have dropped lessons entirely (some of these dropped even before I technically took over), and 1 who wants to keep playing but might be facing rhumatoid arthritis and be forced to take a break. And the rest I still need to call.

Ugh. So, I need more work.

Well, today I get into my other job and am informed that since it's summer and our subscription series isn't happening, I'll only need to work 12 hours, rather than my normal 20 (which ends up being 25-28 with events and concerts). Again, something I would have liked to have known from the get-go. Changing my income is not something I want to have thrown at me 2 weeks before the fact. Unless you're giving me a raise.

Double ugh.

I'm just glad I have 3 months of rent left in my college fund. Otherwise I'd be up a creek. Yeah, you know which creek. And no, I would not have a paddle.

So, now what seemed so seamless and easy has turned into a total crisis...now, I have work, sure, and I'll have more in the fall, but...I was so set on having it NOW! Now, I'm out those months of savings and I get to spend another 3 months of my life living like a college student...not to mention the gas prices and the fact that I'll need to drive an hour round trip once a week now.

I guess I just need some encouragement. I've had a string of 14-16 hour days, very little sleep, no exercise, a lot of fast food and an absolute derth in baths. I use baths as a coping mechanism, so I''m getting punchy without them. Not that I'll be able to afford Lush in a month or so!

I had a little bit of a nervous breakdown this morning. I feel slightly better, but I'm just so darn uncomfortable now, when last week, I was all ready to go and begin my life.

I know it's only a matter of time before things are "ok"...but that's an eventuality. What do I do between now and "ok"?
post #2 of 16
trying to make it a music teacher or in my case, flight, is hard.
you may have to take some odd jobs or such until you can bulid up your students. Moving from being a student to full time real world stuff is even harder. BUt you you can do it.
post #3 of 16
Can you find some "piddly" job like cat sitting to make a little extra $$$?
post #4 of 16
I don't have much advice for you, but I wanted to offer some and vibes that everything works out for the best!!
post #5 of 16
I agree with the suggestions everyone has made, and I cant offer any more but I did also want to give you many many

Could you maybe give private lessons to people and such to make some extra cash
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Can you find some "piddly" job like cat sitting to make a little extra $$$?
I was actually thinking about that, or working for my dad, or seeing if maybe my beloved Lush needed someone to cover or be "on call".

I think, though, since I have enough $$ to make it to October, I might just take a momentary breather (I AM going on a 10 day vacation and then getting my wisdom teeth taken out and I have a few weddings to attend and my own to plan) and try and do a ton of self-promotion and hop on the 3rd job bandwagon if I need to in September. But by then, the chamber group will start its season and I'll have much less time, and likely more students.

Getting students isn't really HARD, per say, at least not like trying to hack it as a performer is. It just takes time. My teacher, who is brilliant, told me that within 18-24 months I'd have about 40-50 kids, but that it would be slow-going picking them up. That's fine and all, I just need to make ends meet in the meantime.
post #7 of 16
How about taking something part time like retail? Working in a clothing store will get your discounts! How about bartending? I used to bartend and to be honest, that was the best job I ever had. I absolutely loved it. I had a blast and got to meet so many new people. It's also a great way to network.

What about setting up weekend workshops with a Community Centre? Where I live the Community Centres are owned and operated by the City and they even put out a catalogue once or twice a year listing all of the workshops and things that are going to be happening: everything from cooking classes to swimming lessons.
post #8 of 16
I don't have much to offer in the way of work advice, but I hope you feel better soon.

Choosing to follow your passion for music as a career can be stressful, I'm sure. It certainly isn't the easiest way to make money. But if you're smart and surround yourself with people who can help you, I'm sure you'll make it just fine. I know it doesn't solve any of your immediate problems, but just remember that nobody ever looks back on their lives and tell themselves "gee, I wish I had been a chartered accountant"*

But in the mean time, I hope things work out. Even if you can find another job, try to slow down a bit for the summer and take more baths.

Good luck!

*Disclaimer: any resemblance between my general opinion and actual living chartered accountants would be pure coincidence. This opinion is based purely on way too much time spent watching old Monty Python sketches. I hope no chartered accountants take offense. I'm sure chartered accountants are really great people living exciting lives.**

** really, I mean that.
post #9 of 16
That stinks

Even though you're not making a ton of money right, 15 may be good as you're getting started. With everything that you described as going on the 25 or more students may have really overwhelmed you.

Take the time though to focus on the 15 and hopefully they'll do some side promos for you (i.e. "You would like flute lessons? Here's Allie's number...she's great!").
post #10 of 16
No brilliant advice here, just want to say good luck
post #11 of 16
That must be very disillusioning. But I would think that, at least, you know it's not forever? If you can be pretty certain that you will pick up students as time goes by and as your name becomes more well-known, then perhaps you could try part time retail or something until then.

I grew up playing the piano and oboe, and I went to my lessons, every week, rain, hail, snow - whatever. When I was at the WA Conservatorium you had to be dead and mangled to get away with missing a lesson. I was stunned when you said that people tend to `take the summer off'. Huh?? How's that? That just seems so bizarre. I think it's indicative of the kind of want-it-now, throw-away society we are living in. Nobody wants to stick to anything.

I know you've probably mentioned it on here a hundred times but I've forgotten - sorry! - what do you play, again?
post #12 of 16
She's a flautist! And an outstanding one -- a couple of months ago, she posted links to some recordings, and this is world-class flute-playing. I'm sure you can find the links if you run a search on her posts... look for the word "recital."
post #13 of 16
Allie sweetie- i'm only a pm away if you need a friend I am praying for you!
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys! I'm up to 14 on the schedule...about 5 more (I have 11 left to speak with) and I can make ends meet. My flute teacher told me, and this made me feel better, that I have done literally everything I can. Hopefully it will pay off at some point. I also asked my boss if I could work 16 hours...she said yes, as long as I was working!

I'm a flutist, by the way. And if you'd like to listen to my more recent recital, I will re-post the link. They're downloadable M4P files...you can listen with WinAmp or iTunes/Quicktime (and I think others, but not Windows Media Player. Not sure about RealPlayer)
post #15 of 16

Allie, don't forget to breathe!

What I've found in life is that things have a way of working out, eventually. It can take a lot of sleepless nights, hand wringing, and major stress, but as they say - whatever doesn't kill you will only make you stronger. that there's at least 5 more waiting in the wings that you can get scheduled for lessons.
post #16 of 16
Well, good luck with everything. I seem to recall that you played the flute. Lovely! Especially with the oboe....
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