This week, we interviewed Jeff Tyzik, a world-renowned composer, conductor and arranger. He is currently the conductor for the Dallas, Detroit, Florida, and Oregon symphony orchestras and is invited to conduct/play at events all around the globe. We wanted his professional perspective on the music industry so that we can share it with our readers.
He started with music like many others. He saw a parade with trumpet players. That simple event got him interested in music, sparking his interest in music as a career.
From the beginning, he worked very hard and attributes this to his success rather than natural talent. He started private lessons in 4th grade. By high school, he was composing music and putting on concerts. He practiced for hours each day and played in professional groups outside of school to attain real-world experiential practice which he states is different than individual practice. Before even heading off for college he was already a professional musician with experience under his belt. He said that it definitely helped him get in and do well.
He said his experience in music school was amazing. There were many great mentors who helped him develop his skills. The performance testing and dedicated community surrounding him helped him push forward.
In the music industry especially, it is hard to get a stable income because the industry is starting to suffer. The audiences are diminishing and modern people don’t have as much of an appreciation for orchestral music. Even for Mr. Tyzik, it took over 15 years out of college to get a stable income as a successful conductor with consistent audiences.
His main tip was to find every opportunity to demonstrate your talents and not let down any opportunity. Every opportunity that you miss, the harder it will be for you to become successful. He had to record CDs and sell them, work as a music librarian for other bigger musicians and play smaller gigs before he broke away from the crowd and distinguished himself with his awarding winning compositions for the trumpet.
Another big takeaway he mentioned was the biggest misconception about music. People think it is easy to be successful in music. It is quite the opposite- it takes years of hard work, dedication, and practice to get a good job in the music industry. For a single prestigious orchestra spot, hundreds of musicians fly in from all over the country to audition. It is narrowed down from hundreds to 75 to 10 to finally the 1 or 2 that the orchestra has positions for. Just like athletes, whom our generation adore, musicians spend their lives practicing under pressure for the relatively short time they play on stage to convey a message to the listener.
Though the future seems negative for the music industry Jeff said that as long as you love music and you are one hundred percent that is what you want to do and you put the work in that is needed, you will be successful. Even for him, after all his accolades, he is most happy when he puts on a good concert and works with high-quality musicians. It is all in the love of the craft.