Do the best of the best have a life?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Di B, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. Di B

    Di B Member

    For those in one of the top brass bands the commitment level is incredibly high. Most of us are aware of that.

    Do you think that people who play at this level over a long period of time (say 5+ years) have a good work/life/band balance?
    Do you think playing at a high level for a long period affects your perception of the world of banding and even life in general?!

    How do you think their personal lives are affected by the level of commitment required by their band - which at the end of the day is still an amateur organisation no matter how good they are?

    I know some who will do this level of commitment for a short time to be able to say 'been there, done it' but then move on. Speaking to some of them they admit that their life was primarily band and not much else.

    Of course, this will vary from band to band - but it would be interesting to hear about the different experiences out there on the 'top ten' or even better, 'top five' - if you are one of these players, please share your thoughts :)
  2. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    Don't know about "life" but I don't think I'd have a "wife"...
  3. Di B

    Di B Member

    A lot I know are single or dating other players at the same level so you could be onto something :)
  4. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    I know that when our band were doing really well a couple of years ago, the level of committment required to get there and stay there was prohibitive to doing pretty much ANYTHING else in life. I was lucky as I was a stay at home mum...if I'd been working I wouldn't have seen my kids for up to 4 weeks before contests/big concerts...due to the amount of extra rehearsals, all day rehearsals, the fact that our conductor at the time expected full rehearsals every night....

    The results were fantastic...the amount of time spent thinking about band, being at band, coming home from band, practising for band...was rubbish.
  5. Di B

    Di B Member

    Scotchgirl, this usually happens in most champ section bands when they are doing well. In fact, any level of band when they are doing well! I agree the level of commitment can get too much dependant upon the MD and attitude of the band. (It has done for me due to work and personal commitments before)

    But, put that up another notch. I am on about those that do tours abroad every year, sell out concert halls across the UK and travel long distances on a regular basis as well as doing the open, bic, finals, masters, recordings etc all as amateurs!
    Not forgetting the demands as guest soloists and tutors for some of them.
    How do people cope at this level? surely their values/personality must change slightly?
  6. 4thmandown

    4thmandown Member

    Precisely the reasons I choose not to try to play at Championship level. Plus the added factors of a) not being good enough, b) too lazy to practice to get myself to that level.
  7. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    A lot depends on what you consider a 'life', their's may well be more fullfilling than others. Each to their own.
  8. steve butler

    steve butler Active Member

    Maybe to look at the other side of the coin, you could ask - do people who have so much free time on their hands, they are able to spend hours typing dribble on tmp, need to get a life? ;)

    Oh' and yes I did get the saddo award last year!
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2009
  9. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    when you talk about work/band balance, don't forget that quite a few in these bands are music students or teachers/peris, with lots more practise time available compared to those outside the profession.
  10. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    That's the thing, there are some people in bands who don't have other added pressures, they have flexible jobs, no kids, no partner...just work and must be so much easier to cope with loads of rehearsals/concerts/contests/tours etc when you don't have much else going on in your life.

    This can cause some level of conflict in bands too..when half the band is pushing for more more more, while the other half are struggling with current committments....its tricky.
  11. Tubamutha

    Tubamutha Member

    I am only quite a recent addition to banding but my husband has been a member for 40 years. During our relationship there have been times when I have really missed him as every weekend for a couple of months he has been at some band function or concert. Having said that he is also a music teacher so he is also busy with school jobs. He has played for bands from fourth section all the way up to championship and has been equally committed to each of them, and he usually practise for 1-2 hours a day.

    I am very lucky that I have now been able to join him at band together with our son who is thirteen and playing percussion (and also attends junior band on the Eb Bass).

    I do think that the life/play balance is more in favour of playing though, though I'm not complaining at the moment as I really enjoy it and it is quite new to me. Let's see how I feel in another few years time (I hope I am still as committed).

    It helps that the people at band and a lovely bunch - it's like a second family..... :D
  12. Tubamutha

    Tubamutha Member

    in fact I sometimes wonder what I used to do on Mon/Thurs evenings! Apart from clean the bathroom, but I have to fit that when I can now............ I feel lost on a bank holiday when practise is cancelled.......
  13. Super Ph

    Super Ph Member

    no. but...

    they are achieving something in their chosen field.

    those who criticise should ask themselves what they have done recently that is so worthwhile.
  14. steve butler

    steve butler Active Member

    Oh, there must be the odd thing outside of banding that's worthwhile, hang on a mo while I go and ask myself.
  15. jrshimmon

    jrshimmon Member

    It's a tough old game at the top of any field. I have had friends that have played at the top and work/life/band balance goes out the window. Work and Band seem to take over from what I've seen. I could not put my family through that even if I was good enough.

    Respect to those people who choose to to go to the top but I wish them all the best in balancing their many responsibilities.
  16. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    ... & I've got my nomination ready for you for this year too! ;)

    Remember, that even the most talented of players have a choice to play with bands at that level.
  17. steve butler

    steve butler Active Member

    C'mon Tom, I've worked hard to avoid that award this year. :(
  18. Super Ph

    Super Ph Member

    a common route for making that 'choice' is getting carried away with the whole thing until banding has become your whole life.
  19. steve butler

    steve butler Active Member

    It's amazing how different it all looks when you take a different direction and look at banding from the outside.
  20. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    ... until you get sucked in and personal ambitions start to take over again.

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