The View from Your Recession

Category : Blog Archive Mar 22nd, 2009

Andrew Sullivan’s continuing series of blog posts about people’s experiences with the recession took a musical turn yesterday. An excerpt:

I have a parallel career as a professional musician and as a piano teacher, and the difference between the two couldn’t be more pronounced.

As a musician, I’ve gone from playing maybe five or six gigs a week, and frequently playing two or three gigs in one day — in restaurants, bars and at weddings, as well as the occasional jazz club and concert hall — to doing one or two a week at most. It seems to be getting worse too; not counting holidays, last week was the first time in 7 years that I haven’t played a single gig all week.

On the other hand, with my teaching, I’ve never been so busy. … I’ve had more inquiries from parents to teach their kids than I can deal with.

I wonder, has anybody else had the same experience as the writer of this letter? I’ve also had fewer paying gigs and many more inquiries from parents about cello lessons for their kids. However, I chalked this up to the fact that with the major cuts the Columbus Symphony has taken, local musicians higher up the food chain than I am are taking the run-of-the-mill gigs that I used to play. Also, several cellists who used to play in the orchestra have been forced either to move to different cities or to switch professions in order to maintain full-time work at a good salary. (Or else they are too busy playing more gigs?) As a result, many of their old private students are now seeking new teachers. I think there are fewer of us teaching now rather than more students. Which is probably not a good sign in general.