I’m a big fan of the show Jeopardy. So, for today’s exercise I’ll begin with the answer in the hopes that it will answer an age-old question.
Answer: Well, you ask to take up an instrument and your folks shell out the bucks for it. Maybe you take private lessons, maybe you don’t. Sometimes you depend on what your band or orchestra director teaches you for a few years and if they’re good, someone will give you a scholarship to study. Then, you hope to go to a high school where you stay interested and excel. You join a youth orchestra. By now, you’re spending a fair amount of your parents’ paycheck on lessons unless you got a scholarship.
Then it hits you: wow, you really, really like this. So, you decide to audition against hundreds of other kids to get into a conservatory or music school that will give you the privilege of shelling out thousands upon thousands of dollars to learn from somebody famous who knows the ropes and tricks it takes to play with other great players. Oh, and that instrument your folks got you earlier? Long gone. You’ve replaced it with something better but more expensive (naturally).
Now, it’s time to audition. Well, the auditioning never really stops. You have to audition to get ANYWHERE, it seems. To get into the school, to place for orchestra, to get into somebody’s studio… competing constantly just becomes part of your life. So, you practice this, that, and the other… anything to give you the edge to win the prize, the place, the position that you want. You repeat this process until you have finally spent enough in plane fare to get to the audition that gets you the gig you want so you can finally pay off that loan for your instrument and the college loans you had to take out.
Finally you’re there.
Question: How do you get to Carnegie Hall?