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sventvkg

What Do Musicians do When they Get Older?

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On 12/10/2019 at 8:51 AM, Voltan said:

why do you do it?   svent... this poast puts all your other poasts into perspective for me...  i felt precisely the same way about dentistry so i changed majors my freshman year snd never looked back...  life is short, you said it yourself...  find a bit of something that does make you smile and do that for a spell, you might find your mind...

Why do I do it? Because this is my vocation and this is what I do and this is what I’ve spent tens of thousands of hours becoming proficient at. I can’t simply stop. This is what I make 60 grand a year doing this is all I have. I am segue into being able to do it less however.

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4 hours ago, sventvkg said:

Why do I do it? Because this is my vocation and this is what I do and this is what I’ve spent tens of thousands of hours becoming proficient at. I can’t simply stop. This is what I make 60 grand a year doing this is all I have. I am segue into being able to do it less however.

i guess you didn’t understand the question...  oh well, either way, my condolences...

Edited by Voltan

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9 hours ago, Voltan said:

i guess you didn’t understand the question...  oh well, either way, my condolences...

No I get it. I’m actually in a much better position than I was back when I originally posed this question. These days I have more gigs that I can physically do I’m starting to have some hand related issues playing so much as a result of age and overuse. So plans are in place to reduce the workload over the next couple years. Starting this year in which I will have three months off over the summer traveling. Thanks!

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On 3/4/2011 at 12:55 AM, sventvkg said:

All of us know some all in musicians who went at it but never had the success they had hoped for. Somewhere around the late 50's to about 60 is where I have seen musicians who had previously toured and gigged a lot, start losing opportunities and begin to have less gigs available to them. Most of them have also never saved, had no retirement, etc. In fact the only ones that I know who are doing well either had some success when they were younger and invested but i'm not talking about them. In the group I'm referring to, the only older musicians that I know that have a pot to piss in really have wives that had careers that allowed them to have a pension, insurance, buy and pay off a house etc.

 

This topic is very timely here as there have been various references here to it in other threads so I thought I would start one. I'm interested in a discussion of ideas for musicians that come to this point, as to where they go from there? I mean what the hell do these guys do? Start businesses, reinvent themselves? Gig part time and move to mexico where it's cheap? I'm sure we all have stories of people we know and our own ideas.

 

I will say that the really talented and skilled guys I know that are around that age started to lose gigs and since they were always full time, they didn't really have other careers and when things dried up for these guys they basically stopped working. Their wives either still worked or if they were single..well there were a couple sad cases where guys i know had to move in with kids, friends or relatives. This is some scary {censored}!!! So what do ya do if you hit that point? My sense is that we should all try to plan for that by saving, living lean, no debt. Thats really all I have. What do you say?

 

 

Eidt: Let me add that I read an interview with Francis Ford Coppolla where he said his wine business totally finances his artistic work. He is doing everything independently these days so the wine business takes care of funding it, not studios. he goes on to say that maybe in the future artists will have to have some other form of income to subsidize their art, and now the last 40 years or so in Music and 100 or so in Film were an anomaly. Before that artists didn't make much money and had to do other things to support their art. He thinks we are going back to that and smart artists will do what he has done. I think he's on to something.

i think the universe laughs loudly at human plans...  you see, it really doesnt matter what you think or what you say...  each situation is unique and different...  this poast is nothing more than ageism disguised as information seeking...  or possibly seeing the future? lol...  c’mon sven...  based on the info youve given, youre doing little better than minimum wage, if that...  and beating yourself to death doing it?   im 62 human earth years in existence in this incarnation and my perception is that years and age dont always equal out... theres one trick on drums that i cant physically do now that i could at 20...  its off by a fraction of a second, you wouldnt notice it, but i do... however since ive been 20, ive learned thousands more that i can...   your line of reasoning doesnt even equate here...  just not valid logic, sir... sorry, not sorry...   i asked you a simple question and youve talked down to me, dismissed the question, or you still dont understand what im asking so im making this simpler...

you sound like you hate what you do for a living, why dont you do something you like? life is short, too short to do anything you dont like doing... no matter...  yeah, yeah, money, gear... not the point.

the difference between what you do and what i do is the difference between love and money...     youre looking to make your dollar and get out...  im looking to stay in as long as i can...making it, means something different to you than it does to me... for me, the first time i stepped up on stage and stood behind the mic, i had arrived...  youre still looking for the path and trying to tell me how to do things?    now, before you get your flame throwers charged up, i made 7 grand in bookings on my calendar this month, three gigs... they all called me...  all as im sitting on my tractor, on my animal sanctuary loving life... now, fire away, im too old to give a flying {censored} about how someone else decides to chase their own tail...  just know im laughing mine off while youre espousing “The Way” things are done...  c’mon...   check yerself, bro...

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12 hours ago, Voltan said:

i think the universe laughs loudly at human plans...  you see, it really doesnt matter what you think or what you say...  each situation is unique and different...  this poast is nothing more than ageism disguised as information seeking...  or possibly seeing the future? lol...  c’mon sven...  based on the info youve given, youre doing little better than minimum wage, if that...  and beating yourself to death doing it?   im 62 human earth years in existence in this incarnation and my perception is that years and age dont always equal out... theres one trick on drums that i cant physically do now that i could at 20...  its off by a fraction of a second, you wouldnt notice it, but i do... however since ive been 20, ive learned thousands more that i can...   your line of reasoning doesnt even equate here...  just not valid logic, sir... sorry, not sorry...   i asked you a simple question and youve talked down to me, dismissed the question, or you still dont understand what im asking so im making this simpler...

you sound like you hate what you do for a living, why dont you do something you like? life is short, too short to do anything you dont like doing... no matter...  yeah, yeah, money, gear... not the point.

the difference between what you do and what i do is the difference between love and money...     youre looking to make your dollar and get out...  im looking to stay in as long as i can...making it, means something different to you than it does to me... for me, the first time i stepped up on stage and stood behind the mic, i had arrived...  youre still looking for the path and trying to tell me how to do things?    now, before you get your flame throwers charged up, i made 7 grand in bookings on my calendar this month, three gigs... they all called me...  all as im sitting on my tractor, on my animal sanctuary loving life... now, fire away, im too old to give a flying {censored} about how someone else decides to chase their own tail...  just know im laughing mine off while youre espousing “The Way” things are done...  c’mon...   check yerself, bro...

This is an old thread that somehow got dredged back up. I don’t give a {censored} what anybody else does. This is all I’ve done for a living since I was a teenager for the vast majority of my life. So naturally I’ll be coming from a different place than you. The shine of being on stage wore off 4 thousand gigs ago for me. I think if you love what you do and you made seven grand for three bookings was sitting on your tractor that’s awesome that’s what I wish for everyone. I made about $8000 in the last month killing myself so I’m trying to get to the point that you’re!!!

 

no I absolutely don’t love what I do anymore but I also don’t really hate it I’m indifferent to it it’s my job but when I’m up on stage I guarantee you’ll believe that I do love it because I’m a performer and professional. It is what it is I’ve got about two more years left of playing solo and then I’ll just be doing tribute band stuff less than 100 gigs a year and that will be fine. I too will be sitting on my land looking out at my Mountain sanctuary!! Good luck.

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21 hours ago, sventvkg said:

This is an old thread that somehow got dredged back up. I don’t give a {censored} what anybody else does. This is all I’ve done for a living since I was a teenager for the vast majority of my life. So naturally I’ll be coming from a different place than you. The shine of being on stage wore off 4 thousand gigs ago for me. I think if you love what you do and you made seven grand for three bookings was sitting on your tractor that’s awesome that’s what I wish for everyone. I made about $8000 in the last month killing myself so I’m trying to get to the point that you’re!!!

 

no I absolutely don’t love what I do anymore but I also don’t really hate it I’m indifferent to it it’s my job but when I’m up on stage I guarantee you’ll believe that I do love it because I’m a performer and professional. It is what it is I’ve got about two more years left of playing solo and then I’ll just be doing tribute band stuff less than 100 gigs a year and that will be fine. I too will be sitting on my land looking out at my Mountain sanctuary!! Good luck.

lol... so naturally youll be coming from a different place than me...   because ive only been doing this since i was about three years old...   ive lived in motels, motorhomes, cars, vans and the occasional bus... everyone in the family plays something except for my dad... he played tennis for the navy...      you just sounded like you flat hated what you were doing...  lifes too short...   thats all i was looking at...  that and you run too hard to make that nickel...   

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Yea. Then you know burnout is a thing. I’m working my plan. 2019 was the last Year doing 240 dates. In 5 years we should be at about 50-60 making 2X the $$ between corporate, Tributes and weddings. That’s all I wanna do. We could easily get more. Life is short believe me I know man!!

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I'd like some advice. I'm not a musician but I work at an assisted living facility with a world renowned pianist. She's having a difficult time with her memory and is often confused. What could I offer for her to do? She won't play the piano because she's afraid she's forgotten, so I need some other ideas. Please and thank you. 

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52 minutes ago, MCampbell said:

I'd like some advice. I'm not a musician but I work at an assisted living facility with a world renowned pianist. She's having a difficult time with her memory and is often confused. What could I offer for her to do? She won't play the piano because she's afraid she's forgotten, so I need some other ideas. Please and thank you. 

Are you familiar with what her repertoire was when she was actively playing? Was she ever recorded? If so, I'd recommend getting her some music to listen to - either her own playing (if she was recorded and you can track that down) or at least recordings of some of the songs she used to play. If she has any family that might know what some of her favorite pieces of music were, I'd reach out to them and ask. Those familiar pieces may bring back memories for her, or give her some enjoyment and comfort. Most musicians love listening to music as much as we love to play it. 

I wouldn't try to force her to play if she isn't comfortable with the idea, but encouragement probably won't hurt if it's done gently. Maybe a young student who plays a little could ask her for some "help and advice" - that might help her remember, or take the focus off of herself in her own mind since she might consider it more about the "student" who is seeking her help rather than the focus being on her own playing.

Someone who achieved that level of musical capabilities tends to have exceptionally high expectations and standards for themselves, and  she may be feeling that she can't measure up to them anymore, and therefore would rather not play at all since she can no longer live up to her prior standards. Being that good and losing the ability to do what you're most passionate about can be exceptionally hard. I know of a very famous musician who started having issues that started to hinder him from playing to his own exceptionally high standards. He was afraid he would disappoint his fans and he eventually couldn't bear the burden anymore and he committed suicide - that's a real concern with some people, so I'd advise you to consult with her doctors about the possibility of her suffering from depression too. I'm not trying to make a diagnosis here because I can't - I'm not a doctor... I'm just trying to give you some things to think about from a musician's perspective. 

Good luck - I hope you're able to bring some comfort to her, and I commend you for your efforts and concern! 

 

 

 

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On 4/4/2020 at 7:19 PM, Phil O'Keefe said:

Are you familiar with what her repertoire was when she was actively playing? Was she ever recorded? If so, I'd recommend getting her some music to listen to - either her own playing (if she was recorded and you can track that down) or at least recordings of some of the songs she used to play. If she has any family that might know what some of her favorite pieces of music were, I'd reach out to them and ask. Those familiar pieces may bring back memories for her, or give her some enjoyment and comfort. Most musicians love listening to music as much as we love to play it. 

I wouldn't try to force her to play if she isn't comfortable with the idea, but encouragement probably won't hurt if it's done gently. Maybe a young student who plays a little could ask her for some "help and advice" - that might help her remember, or take the focus off of herself in her own mind since she might consider it more about the "student" who is seeking her help rather than the focus being on her own playing.

Someone who achieved that level of musical capabilities tends to have exceptionally high expectations and standards for themselves, and  she may be feeling that she can't measure up to them anymore, and therefore would rather not play at all since she can no longer live up to her prior standards. Being that good and losing the ability to do what you're most passionate about can be exceptionally hard. I know of a very famous musician who started having issues that started to hinder him from playing to his own exceptionally high standards. He was afraid he would disappoint his fans and he eventually couldn't bear the burden anymore and he committed suicide - that's a real concern with some people, so I'd advise you to consult with her doctors about the possibility of her suffering from depression too. I'm not trying to make a diagnosis here because I can't - I'm not a doctor... I'm just trying to give you some things to think about from a musician's perspective. 

Good luck - I hope you're able to bring some comfort to her, and I commend you for your efforts and concern! 

 

 

 

My mom (now deceased) was an excellent vocalist (classical) and pianist (classical and commercial) in our area.  The last four years of her life she went into dementia really bad with the last 3 yrs spent in a nursing home as non-verbal.  I would visit her several times per week.  There was a poorly-tuned piano in the dining room and I'd wheel her wheelchair in there and try to get her to play.  She always refused....but she was willing to help:

We'd be at the piano and I would start to play "Night and Day" in C.  With my limited piano chops I'd comp the wrong changes with the melody....it sounded awful..  I would say to her: "I can't figure out how the beginning goes......do you think you can help me?".   I'd put her at the keyboard and she'd start playing D-7(b5), G7, Cmaj7, Cmaj7 with a walking bass line'n all and I would hum the melody...she'd play the tune in its entirety (bridge and all) with the right changes.....

I would ask her to play another tune but she would refuse....she'd only play "to help me figure something out".

 

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10 hours ago, Mike M said:

I would ask her to play another tune but she would refuse....she'd only play "to help me figure something out".

Thank you for sharing the story of how your mother responded to requests for help - maybe MCampbell's patient will respond similarly. 

 

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On 4/4/2020 at 5:05 PM, MCampbell said:

I'd like some advice. I'm not a musician but I work at an assisted living facility with a world renowned pianist. She's having a difficult time with her memory and is often confused. What could I offer for her to do? She won't play the piano because she's afraid she's forgotten, so I need some other ideas. Please and thank you. 

sir, if you would, private message me?   i worked as a music therapist in institutions and hospitals for almost 20 years... if i could be of the least assistance it would be my pleasure.   traumatic brain injuries were my primary focus as was alzheimers and other forms of dementia...  

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On 4/14/2020 at 7:58 AM, Mike M said:

My mom (now deceased) was an excellent vocalist (classical) and pianist (classical and commercial) in our area.  The last four years of her life she went into dementia really bad with the last 3 yrs spent in a nursing home as non-verbal.  I would visit her several times per week.  There was a poorly-tuned piano in the dining room and I'd wheel her wheelchair in there and try to get her to play.  She always refused....but she was willing to help:

We'd be at the piano and I would start to play "Night and Day" in C.  With my limited piano chops I'd comp the wrong changes with the melody....it sounded awful..  I would say to her: "I can't figure out how the beginning goes......do you think you can help me?".   I'd put her at the keyboard and she'd start playing D-7(b5), G7, Cmaj7, Cmaj7 with a walking bass line'n all and I would hum the melody...she'd play the tune in its entirety (bridge and all) with the right changes.....

I would ask her to play another tune but she would refuse....she'd only play "to help me figure something out".

 

the genius of this approach!   so beautiful!   indirect instead of frontal assault!   and then revitalization!  we help ourselves when we help others.  now, change places with your friend/mother ...  you did just that!  by giving up “being in charge”, you allowed her to become the one helping...  which gave her power to help herself.  the challenge was always finding the persons passion...  key motivator...  find the major motivators and trade places...see that life as accurately as you can feel it from those personal perceptions...  forget the reams of paperwork, briggs/meyers, admins pet ideas...  yeah, know it,  but know your human more...   when you truly figure out what makes life colorful for another, then you can begin to work together making both of your worlds a far better place...  

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