Friday, April 18, 2008

Why didn't I finish my Music Degree?

I have lived a double-life :) My education and career are as an engineer, but my passion is the piano. Few of those who know me through my career even know I play the piano; and those who know me through my music are typically surprised that I did not finish my music degree.

So why didn't I ever make piano performance my career? Well, that was my original plan. While getting my undergraduate degree at BYU I was pursuing a double-major in engineering and piano performance. I worked hard at both, but eventually I had to choose. My heart yearned to be at the piano but my mind and in-most spirit knew I needed to pursue my degree in engineering. This was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make.

So at that point, I stopped taking any classes towards the music major, and instead finished all of the classes for the music minor. I continued to perform and study the piano as much as time would permit, but it had to take a backseat to my engineering degree and my career.

And now... I work hard to provide for my family in my industry while spending a little time each week studying music to share my passion for classical piano with the public. I've been doing this for several years now and I've found that it is a happy middle-ground. I'm never fully fulfilled as a musician, but I am ecstatic knowing that I have done the right thing for my family. My family is the most important thing to me and so I don't ever look back with regret when I know that I did what I felt was the best choice for my wonderful wife and beautiful children.


Anonymous said...

Proud of you son, for all the many aspects of your life and website.

Anonymous said...

I so much can understand you. Same here. But still ... my heart is yearning for all the music I should have done - but in the end it's the familiy that matters. Perhaps, someday I will get back to it (though we know, that is the hardest part: to catch up with your dreams.)

Jeremiah Jones said...

I agree that family is what matters most. The sacrifice of personal hobbies and passions is worth the happiness and fulfillment that comes from family.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your post. It was very heartfelt and I am touched by your honesty and courage.

I am faced with such a dilemma myself right now and I agree that it is a very tough decision. The weight of the uncertainty of a future is very heavy and honestly I don't know how far I can go as a pianist. Yet nobody knows. I cannot bear the thought of "what if" - what if I could have made it, but I did not go through with it? On the other hand, what if I am merely being delusional and while doing so, give up a perfectly happy and stable lifestyle? I am so afraid that I would live my life in vain.

I have currently chosen to stick with music after trying to tear myself away from it for a few years now. I just couldn't do it. And as one reader commented, the hardest part is indeed to catch up with your dreams.

I am so happy you were able to make a decision and it is a good one! :) I hope I have not made the wrong choice too. I am truly happy for you but please do not forget music!

P.S.: I really enjoy your podcasts.


Jeremiah Jones said...


I apologize for taking so long to reply - I've been traveling and have not had much time to be at the computer.

Thank you for your very kind comments! I completely understand your feelings and the dilemma you are confronting. Once you have made your choice, stick with it! Stay committed and make the best out of your situation, and you can find joy in whatever you choose to do. Life is not about the destination, it is about the journey :)

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