Do I even understand? Let me say it again… I … am… a… MUSICIAN. Yes, I play piano (fairly well), I play bassoon (also fairly well), I have attempted to play guitar (not fairly well) and I can get through scales on a few other wind instruments. So why am I working behind a desk?
That is a good question.
When I was just out of college, I knew I wanted to do one of three things with my life. Work in the performing arts (either right away or after getting a MA in Arts Admin), teach music history/appreciation at the college level and make it halfway interesting (something many professors fail miserably at) or become a Music Therapist. I still think I was incredibly lucky to land a job at Walton Arts Center in the programming department just a month or so out of college which allowed me a chance to try my hand in one of those three areas.
Okay, so it’s not really a desk job, or it wasn’t really a desk job. I used to get my hands dirty doing artist hospitality for oodles of famous types. I used to run artists around town in my little Honda Civic (ask me about the time Ira Glass sat in my front seat for a whole 20 minutes). I used to greet artist’s managers upon their arrival to the theater, find stuff they needed, made everything happy and great and then do it all again the next day. I used to do that stuff. Now I sit behind a desk. I do lots at my desk. I talk to a lot of people. I work with local non-profits and educational groups on concerts and events. I manage a very busy calendar for a very busy performing arts venue. In fact, I learn a lot, every day. I really do like my job. However, I miss the hands on.
Or at least I tell myself that. I have to stop and ask “Erin, do you really miss the hands on or is there something else, something way back there, that you miss more? Perhaps it’s the music? Erin, do you miss the music?”
Yes. I miss the music.
In fact, I miss the music so much that watching students learn music, watching someone perform music, just listening to music brings me to tears. My fingers ache to play a tune on the piano. I’m itching to pull out my bassoon and blow. I’m dyeing to lay pages upon pages of black and white sheet music in front of me and get lost in a forrest of musical notation.
Is it time to mark working in the administration arm of the arts off my list and look towards another area? That idea scares me. It scares me down to my core. I’m not sure why – I miss college and have been wanting to go back ever since I left it. So what scares me? Am I afraid I’ll find the Erin I lost years ago?
Perhaps. Hopefully she’s still there and hopefully she’s patient, because change like this takes time and I’m not quite sure this Erin is ready to go that direction.