What's your story? Discussions your reasons for going abroad.
9 posts • Page 1 of 1
In an effort to restore quality to this forum, I figured that I would contribute a thread as to why I am going abroad, and what my plans are. Mind you, things have changed since I first joined, along with my original intentions. But nonetheless, I have bona fide plans to leave. Here are my reasons:
1) As a professional freelancer in symphony orchestras, America is the wrong place for me to make a solid living as a french horn player. Respect and captivation for the performing arts is not as strong here as it is in Europe. Here in America, a solid majority and their idea of "culture" is NASCAR, Demolition Derby, sports, drinking, and sport spectatorship. "The arts" consist of thug crap rap, hip hop and the regurgitated pop artist mill. Just by cultural values alone here, a musicians pipeline of work is adversely affected by the the attitudes and tastes of its citizenry.
2) The current outlook for symphony orchestras in America is fiscally unstable due to the economic climate. Current event example being Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra recently filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Most players are staying beyond their original retirement to hold on to steady pay and have a better pension when they get out, so waiting around twiddling for your fingers for a chair in a major paying orchestra to open up is foolish. There are 30-40 other players scratching and clawing for the same position in a fiercely competitive audition when that chair does open up either by the person retiring, dying or getting fired. Those are shitty odds. There is no in-between with orchestral performance here. Either orchestras are a paid gig, and a fine collective of musicians which you have to audition for (or some cases know someone), or you go the non-pay route to "get experience". A majority of these non-pay orchestras here (not all) are crappy community groups that can be detrimental to a seasoned professional's musicality. And you are basically paying to play. Pass.
3) I've discussed things at great lengths with my horn colleagues and mentor/teacher and they all concur: as a young budding player eager to make a living as a horn player, I need to be in Europe. The performance opportunities there are greater because all across Europe in general, a major city is not without an endowed and fiscally secure symphony or philharmonic, and an opera or ballet hub as well. Quite a few players do double duty as symphony players and opera/ballet orchestra musicians so pay is supplemented quite well. Some cities & countries even have what are called "Radio Symphonies" where they broadcast live performances of Classical music. The most famous examples I can think of are the Czech Bratislava Radio Orchestra and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. Those are also handsomely salaried gigs as well.
I have enough banked away to make a move over, however a steady income stream while I embark on auditions and various freelance projects is key for me. I do have a job offer for an orchestra overseas which I took, but it is only for one year. I have considered a TEFL certification as a possible solution to remain there, so I have started looking into that. For those of you who have experience in this avenue, your input and knowledge is greatly appreciated!
Last edited by jcris7 on Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Women age like milk; Men age like wine." - Tom Leykis
I want to leave America myself one day, but I do not know where I want to live. I do know that I want to live in a place that is relatively inexpensive.
Wielding the blade of evil's bane, he sealed the dark one away and gave the land light. This man, who traveled through time to save the land, was known as the Hero of Men. The man's tale was passed down through generations until it became legend...
If your thinking about teaching English in Europe I recommend getting CELTA certification, its a 3 month course and is generally recognized as one of the better certifications and is well respected. If your teaching in Asia any 60 hour, TEFL course will do.
Also, you might want to consider a move to Asia, there's a large affluent and cultured population there that might be more receptive to your musical talents, both as a musician and as a french horn teacher. I'm sure, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore will have well respected orchestras of their own.
Nice concrete plans, Jcris. I'm also in the process of leaving the country; I've applied to several ESL teaching jobs in Asia and hoping to land a job over there soon. If not, then I plan on saving some money and paying down some of my debts before I leave the country, eventually. I would also like to get a CELTA or TEFL certificate one day, but I'm flat out broke--so, that will have to wait.
CELTA is only one month if you do it full time, which is the only option I'm aware of in most of the European schools. From what I could tell when I looked into it, the CELTA course in Kiev was decidedly the cheapest in Europe -- around $1,200. The scenery in Kiev, of course, is also supposed to be spectacular. Ukraine is very much into the arts -- might be a place to park for a while.
You summed up American culture my friend. Nicely done! J you definitely have the "eye" brother. You see through all the crap that makes up the UCA (United Circus of America).
J you have class, you're young, you're good looking, well spoken, write exceptionally well, you play the french horn, you're very intelligent, college educated, and you have a cool sense of humor. ESL I think is a good idea to have something to fall back on and keep you above water. You can go FAR man! Europe is definitely the place for you; Italy, France, Germany, etc. Check this out as a confirmation:
What country do you think appreciate classical music most?
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 520AAUelSP
Now, we relate in the same way when it comes to music and the arts. I appreciate good music (real music). For example, Flamenco and, this new cellist I found just before this post, Zoe Keating. So far I've listened to two of her songs and I have to say her music is mind-blowing. This is one of the reasons I desperately want to flee from this land of robots and clones. Our generation is clueless of what really constitutes real music and the arts. That's why I want to be in Mexico or Southern Spain. This country is completely void of true culture. I said all that J to say even though I'm here in NJ our mindsets are speaking the same things about this country.
I wish you the best J.
Good move J. I believe music has been not been appreciated in the US since the 1970s/1980s. I believe Europe is good in music. Especially in Vienna (I live here at the moment). I am not sure about music work in orchestras or groups as I work in IT. I believe the US is going down hill which will probably be a little before 2020.
I am currently trying to find work as I worked for a IT internship (I graduated with my Bachelor in 2008) However, I worked for 3 years and have been really depressed while living in America and wanted something new and different culture. So, I went to Europe through a program by an organization called Aiesec. You usually have to be 18-30 (30 at the time of applying) to get into the program. It is an expensive cost for the programs but they helped me get my visa (resident/work) and I am able to live on decent stipend (though less than my American IT job).
Glad you are doing something to leave America.
Some people thrive in America, some thrive in Europe and some combine several countries and thrive. Expecting only one country to give everybody all they need is myopic. That is my main philosophy. I am not anti-American or anything, I just think it does not have everything I need so I add a couple of countries to it and am happy on account of that.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
Wow, go for it!
I am also looking at getting a teaching qualification as a backup means of making money should I move abroad. Again, the CELTA is probably the best qualification to get, especially if you want to teach adults.
If you want to do a CELTA, book up in plenty of time as the better courses are quite popular (they have to maintain a certain teacher/pupil ratio on the courses).
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