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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Lynn Considering a career change (14) Considering a career change 20 Apr 02

Dear Mudcatters:

I'm giving serious thought to a major career change and I'd like your input.

I've been a professional folk musician since 1983. I've also taught music in the public schools since 1982. I'm considering dropping the public school gig and playing full time. The focus of my performances would be schools, libraries, nursing homes, as well as festivals and coffeehouses.

Before you respond, consider the following:

I've done a lot of curriculum work writing and implementing throughout my school career. I know the sort of stuff that's covered in Language arts and History classes in elementary and high school curricula. I have fed into that sort of thing with many of my in-house programs. Offerings for school programs would focus on curricular correlation.

I have experiences playing for pre-schoolers, elementary and high school age kids, the elderly, and some in-between. I'm especially fond of playing for the extremes.

I specialize in traditional material for kids, songs of New York State, old songs, and contemporary stuff that sounds traditional.

I have skills on guitar, tenor banjo, Appalachian dulcimer, flutes, whistles and keyboards. I have strong arranging skills and do some composing. As a performer, I prefer the traditional stuff.

Other concerns:

I'm 48 years old.

I can retire from teaching at a fraction of my salary if I work another fourteen years.

Teaching is not getting any easier. Long hours. Major frustrations. High levels of stress. Changing levels of support for the arts in schools. And the current administration does not look kindly on my doing Arts in Education programs in other schools.

I also have a weekly church gig (as organist/choir director) which provides performance satisfaction and a small salary. Much of my composing is for my choir or for organ (service music preludes, postludes, etc.). I intend to continue in this capacity. (Read that as: this is a weekly commitment I intend to keep up with.)

I LOVE living where I am (rural central NY), and I DON'T want to move.

Am I crazy to even consider this?

I appreciate your candid responses. If you wish to respond privately, try


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