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How to be involved with music after High School

     How music fits in your life while in High School is typically a major factor in how it fits into your life after High School.  Whether you were a casual consumer of music, someone who joined band/orchestra to fill an open elective, or a serious band/orchestra participant, there are options out there, post-high school, to continue your participation in music-making.    

     If joining High School band/orchestra was something that you did for fun and to make new friends, most colleges and universities have pep & marching bands that you can join without having to be a declared music major. Sometimes there are even “open major” music courses you can take.  After graduation (high school or college), most cities/communities have community band/orchestra that are open to anyone. These are often sponsored by local rec centers, or non-profits as an opportunity for individuals to keep up their playing chops and continue the comradery of playing in a group.   In my experience, most individuals establish their career and pursue improving their instrument playing as a hobby, even going so far as taking private lessons.  

    Most people don’t realize that students can receive music scholarships, even if you are not a declared performance major.  If you were in county and state honor bands, took private lessons, were a member of a Youth Orchestra or Jazz band, and won the higher chairs in your section, you might have the option of receiving a scholarship for college. For example, I received a Merit scholarship to the University of the Pacific for Trumpet performance, even though I majored in Music Management.  I was very appreciative of the fact that I was able to continue playing in a 70-piece orchestra as principle, take lessons, and be a part of a brass quintet, all while attending classes that were related to my major, which was Music Management with a focus on media arts.  At the same time, I had friends and music fraternity brothers that were science majors, and minored in music who were in these same performing groups.  

     Playing an instrument can be very rewarding, but also requires a lot of time and dedication.  Many people sacrifice all their hard work learning an instrument after graduation because they simply aren’t aware of the many performing opportunities that are still available.  Life after high school is not easy, and sometimes sacrifices have to be made, but giving up all the hard work you put into your music shouldn’t be one of them! With the many local performing groups, you don’t have to look very far to find opportunities to play.

If you do decide to put away your instrument, bands and artists still need audience members.  By attending local music performances, you can appreciate music and support the group and individual artists, without the countless hours practicing, rehearsing, and promoting yourself.

     All of that being said, there is no rule that says you have to play in band/orchestra in High School in order to be involved with music after High School.  With the advent of affordable home recording and the internet, nowadays more people than ever can get involved with music in a more accessible and low-cost environment.  I think we all know someone who ‘became a DJ’ in college.  We have many customers who visit us say things like, “I used to play…” or “I wish I played…”, to which I reply: “It’s never too late.” With modern-day technology, music equipment and education is more accessible than ever.

     Wherever you are in your musical path, Nick Rail Music is here to help make your journey as enjoyable as possible.  Stop by today to chat about your goals, we’d love to hear from you!  


Peter Davis - Store Manager, San Diego Location