[Dixielandjazz] Medical Doctor

Ron L'Herault lherault at bu.edu
Thu Nov 13 20:16:45 PST 2003

-----Original Message-----
From: dixielandjazz-bounces at ml.islandnet.com
[mailto:dixielandjazz-bounces at ml.islandnet.com] On Behalf Of
TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2003 2:30 PM
To: dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Medical Doctor 

In a message dated 11/13/03 10:44:55 AM Pacific Standard Time, 
lherault at bu.edu writes:

> The doctors I know who play OKOM do so in large part because in their 
> chosen
> profession there is a lot of stress on them and pain and suffering.

I suppose then that we are to interpret this that Musicians do not have 
Stress, Pain and Suffering trying to find gainful employment as
professionals.  :( 

>>>>No, I never said that.

.  However, when they play, they see happy faces, they know instantly
they are having positive effects on their listeners and they are
relieved of 
stress.   When a Musician needs stress reliefe they have to go to a
Shrink, or a 
Bartender who charges less for his services. :)

>>>>Perhaps if being a musician is that stressful, you are approaching
it the wrong way.  Is it just a job or is there some love of music
involved, the realization of which (playing) gives you pleasure?

Aha!  now I understand,  We professional Musicians are indeed Doctors
relieve Stress and make smiling happy faces appear on our patients.
Then we 
should be able to have our services billed to medical Insurance
afterall. :)   Even if they sent us a check for a percentage of what we
billed them it 
would be more than most musicians make, as attested with your own post.
>>>> The second sentence does not follow from the first, although you
are quite correct, I think, that musicians do relieve stress and bring
joy to our "patients".
My chosen profession in a dental research lab is rewarding because of
work I do with
students.  It does not pay well at all. 

Well it was a chosen profession, and you do have the option to move on
up the 
ladder to become a Dentist or Brain surgeon if you wish right?

>>>>The point is that I would not be as happy doing those things as I am
now.  I am not motivated merely by money.

What does a musician have to work upwards to?
>>>> Does one always have to "move up" to something if you are happy
with what you do?  That is not to say that one should not try to better
one's skills.
 Teaching music and how to make a living in music to students who do not
know the teacher can't make a reasonable living from playing music.

>>>> I would not want to go to a teacher who did not want to be there
teaching me.

  My question then is WHY bother to keep turning out millions of
musicians with no place to go and no career to pursue.

>>>>If you feel that way, you shouldn't be teaching.  Besides, these
students may or may not pursue a career in music.  Some people learn it
to give themselves enjoyment and have no desire to perform in public

If most musicians spent as much time promoting themselves and their
to the marketplace in a professional manner rather than just sitting
back and waiting for something to happen and a gig to come along, they
might actually be able to create their own marketplace and become and
stay gainfully employed. 
  If they did this they would not need to work at Burger King, or any
less rewarding job just to supplement thier musical income.

>>>> No argument from me here.

Music and the pursuit of a real career in it must be the priority of the

musician, but it does indeed require a lot of WORK which most musicians 
unfortunately do not relate to, but rather relate to the funn and happy
smiling faces part which is often the result of the treatment.  Sort of
like getting "The Old Cart before the Horse"

Folks I do not comment on this subject to pick on Doctors nor do I have
serious grudge against them playing music.  I am merely trying to
thinking amongst many so-called Professional Musicians to take a serious
look at our industry and try and understand what decades of (doing it
the way it's done) 
has been for the most part detrimental to our profession inthe areas of 
earning a living and respect.   The value of services rendered has been
erroded so 
far that it is very difficult for professional musicians to earn a
living in 
our present society.

I have been one of the fortunate ones, but it is the result of thirty
years of hard but reasonably smart WORK in this profession that has
allowed me 
the blessing of becoming reasonably successful from my efforts.

I could not begin to tell you how many good musical engagements I have
over the past thrity years by being undercut by a Doctor/Lawyer or some
other higher paid profession  Band leader making a little extra cash on
their evenings off.   Yet I dare say there has Never been a situation
where the policy was reveresed.

Just some things to think about, even though this list of professionals
semi professionals will never agree on this matter.   Because the ones
who play the music for the fun only, will always try to justify it as
stress relief, or relaxation, or what ever so they don't have to charge
professional musicians wages.   NO, they do not because they have a full
time five or six day a week income producing profession, while musicians
are now lucky to have a two day a week gig that usually pays the whole
band less than what most Doctors or Lawyers make in one or two hours a

On the other hand some Doctors and Lawyers Bands charge far more thant
average prices of other bands because they know that everyone expects
them to get paid more because they are Doctors and Lawyers, and everyone
knows they make lots of money so they must be good musicians too and
worth more than the regular band.

Nobody knows or care how good you are unless you MARKET YOURSELF know
your time talent and services are worth and go charge for it, and don't
accept anything less.

Try and get Brain surgery fees negotiated and get a cheaper price, or
any other medical service.   First of all Medical Services are regulated
can Legally only be performed by Certified Medical Professionals.  Not
so for Musicians, musical services can and are sold by anyone who buys
an istrument and can find someone to pay them to play it, with no
regards to quality control or professionalism.

>>>>This, in theory I think is part of what musicians unions are
supposed to do, uphold the professional level music.  Unfortunately, in
OKOM, the union musicians I have encountered are not interested in
learning and or rehearsing older styles of jazz or in forming permanent
and cohesive bands.  Often times they view it as a job rather than a
profession and appear bored or annoyed to be there.  There is a lot of
learning and training of skills to be come a doctor but added to that
the musician ought to have at least a modicum of artistic talent.  

Don't ignore or put down the amateur.  Their love of music is often what
keeps the genre alive so that the professionals have an audience who are
willing to listen to them.  The amateurs are often the ones who are
researching the bands, the music, the history that fleshes out
performance by amateur and professional alike. -- Ron L


Tom Wiggins

I have an opening at three for Free Breast Exams, on Friday, booked
solid on 
Thursday, but could squeez a couple more in, in an emergency, :)

>>>>and I offer anatomy classes taught using the Braille method. -- RL

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