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Re: Life after Band
The ones I see going the most are the RANK AND FILE SOLID DIRECTORS. They like teaching band, are solid at it, but not necessarily going to keep putting up with the grief. They tend to have other interests, so leaving the profession is easy because they don't have identity in being a BAND DIRECTOR.
The die hards will always be there because they love it too much not to do it, and the ones that can't do anything else will always be there.
I took a pause after 4 years and came to graduate school. It's an unpopular opinion on this board, because many people believe that the MM/MME is useless/too expensive/whatever, however, it's given me a chance to reconnect with music and I really do feel as though I've learned a lot that I can easily transfer back out into the field.
If you're totally uninterested in that idea, I have seen a lot of people go into real estate--it's not horribly complicated to get your license in Texas. I have also seen many people go back to school for technology-based certifications.
Above all, try not to let those people who give you the side eye when you talk about leaving the profession get you down. Every year I see more people I know announce that they are leaving to do other things--and I'm sure it's not just in our field that this is happening. I just wish the right people would take notice and look at the reasons why people choose to leave in the first place.