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What Classical Musicians Give Up For Their Careers


When I was 13 or 14 I used to play for
the school football team which was a very important thing. It was also the time
when I was becoming pretty keen on music and again like a lot of kids I had a
conflict between doing both and I was very lucky to get in to the junior
Guildhall and this meant going up to London every Saturday for lessons and
orchestras and brass bands, choirs, that type of thing and suddenly at 15 I was
faced with the prospect of retirement from football. Although it was not a
serious career option I remember being devastated at the thought of not playing
football again. After leaving school all I wanted to be was a doctor so I went on
to medical school and throughout my early years at University the oboe would
never leave my mind and sitting in anatomy classes I would have this little
voice talking to me saying, “play me, study me, study Bach and you will have a
wonderful life,” and needless to say here I am and I still have got my little pact
with the oboe going. When I was a kid my greatest passion was skateboarding. Way before I learned anything about
music I was doing this in New York City. I hurt
myself, broke my wrist, dislocated my jaw and then one day I started playing
double bass. I kind of realized they were incompatible. I fell so hard that I
couldn’t play double bass for like three months so I had to give it up. When I was at my junior school between the age of five and ten we started
pottery lessons and I was absolutely thrilled about this but to my dismay the
pottery lessons coincided with my piano lessons and just as it got to the stage
where the clay was ready for me to do something with it the teacher would say
“Isserlis, you’ve got to go to your piano lesson now!” and it was really,
really annoying. I sacrificed my first camping experience because I was
involved in my first music competition when I was 12 or 13 years old and I
think it might be too late to be doing that for the first time now. What have you sacrificed for your music Katie? If you only knew…

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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