Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Finding oboe opportunities in rural Minnesota

Hey All!

I am desperately trying to not feel suffocated in my USA home while in my last few months in Montreal. We live in a very rural part of Minnesota. The people I have talked to have reinforced how difficult it is to find performance work there. The encouraging thing is, that I am the most professional musician for at least 50 square miles, but that is because there is no market for it.

I have a piano student all lined up for January. I will work on recruiting a studio when I'm home at Thanksgiving vacation. My website will be a huge help for creating a "get-to-know-me" feel without actually being there. My new student's mom said she liked reading about my performances and listening to my recordings. If I can spread the word via flyers and newspaper ads referring people to my website, that should be helpful!

I've also been e-mailing community colleges and Universities to let them know I am in the area for if anything ever comes up (like their oboe prof going on sabbatical or they need a interim musicology lecturer). I have had one response so far. When I graduate, I will e-mail them all again, attaching my CV and really pushing my website. I will also try, try, try to attend any performances they put on.

This brings me to the other problem with this arrangement: money for gas, money for concerts, money for professional clothes that aren't falling apart. I made our budget off of J's money to be very generous for gas, but none for clothes, none for concerts. I have some subbing lined up, but I hope it is enough to have savings and to cover these other things. I will basically work to support what I want to do and hope it is enough start-up capital for me to actually be able to do what I want.

And when will I be home for my husband? I am not the type to throw-out my career dreams. I hope it all works out. I want to homeschool our hypothetical children so I can spend time with them before running off to do my career stuff. If I don't homeschool, they won't have a mommy around very often. That wouldn't be good.

And I really, really want some adjunct positions. It would make getting a real University tenure-track job so much easier if I decide to go back for that DMA. If I find my niche in rural MN, I will probably not want to go back though. We will see.

I'm finding it hard to balance my hypothetical career with my real and present marriage in my mind. I've been reading a lot of Penelope Trunk to learn how to cope. Once-upon-a-time, I thought I would have my life together by this age: a career, a house, a husband, a dog, maybe a kid. Everybody would be perfect and happy. Why do so few people tell you that life actually gives us headaches?


  1. I was just telling my kids yesterday that *this* is what "happily ever after" looks like. (And I may or may not have said that right after the milk was spilled) I'm also starting to get a headache right this moment. Real life is hectic and hard and not-quite as advertised, and yet it's still very, very good. I'm pretty sure balance never actually happens. I will spend the rest of my life trying to enjoy/appreciate moments as they come instead of thinking about all the other things I'd like to be doing at the same time. It's a process.

  2. Thanks, Christine! I think hearing this from married women I admire, such as yourself, will really help me keep my chin up in this new adventure :)