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What advice would you have for a talented musician that wants to pursue a career in Music and law enforcement?

I am a really good drummer but I put my education over everything. I don't want waste my talent and potential to be special. I also want to work for a local police agency, the FBI or the Secret Service. What career options do I have?

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Mike’s Answer

You need to decide what you want to do. As a law enforcement officer I don't know of an area that music would assist you, however it is important to have hobbies. You also need to decide if want to go state, local, or Feds.

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Marilyn’s Answer

Great that you have talent as a drummer. As a mother of 3 boys, two of whom are musicians, I encourage both to get day careers and use their musical talent as an extra way to enjoy and hopefully make a bit more money. Law enforcement is a great career, and being proficient in this can lead to advancement if that is something you are interested in pursuing. You do have to be alert though...late night gigs can be hazardous to your health! Best of luck. I have one son who just finished college and is job searching now. The other musician is 46 years old and plays part time when he has opportunities. He has a full time day job but it is from home. I hope it all works out well for you!
Marilyn Balke-Lowry

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George’s Answer

Terran,
Many law enforcement agencies have groups like a pipe and drum corps that will preform for funerals and other official ceremonies. I would suggest if you are interested in working at the federal level for either the FBI or the Secret Service that you consider a degree in law, finance or computer science and be sure to take four years of a language as well. FBI investigates white collar crime among other things and finance will help you with that. Secret Service investigates counterfeiting and credit card fraud among other things and again finance will help. Both agencies investigate cyber crimes and computer science will help you there. Many of these crimes have links to foreign groups so languages are a big help there. Whatever you decide I wish you the best.


George Poole

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John H.’s Answer

Hi, Terran: it's great to hear that you have clearly identified two career interests. Both offer great personal satisfaction and great challenge. With that in mind, other questions come up having to do with your own goals. From your brief statement it sounds as if you know that music is a very competitive field and hard to make a living playing the drums. I think you are very wise to assume this. I would say that a good test of your interest is to ask yourself this one question: "Can you think of any career field other than music, that would make you happy?" If your answer is "yes," as I assume it is, then music might not be the best choice for you. It's just a terribly difficult career field. My son is a musician, got his BM and Masters degrees in music performance and, unfortunately, had very few career options where he could get paid to play his instruments. He is now working for a digital marketing company, unfortunately with no connection to music. He has not given up his interest in music, but it has become a part-time unpaid activity. My wife has the same two degrees and has been a piano teacher her whole life, making at most about $20,000 a year. She genuinely loves her work, but without a spouse who could help add to the income stream, it would have been a very hard life. Everyone in my family loves music, but we understand the sacrifices one must make to pursue a career in music. In other words, I'm sort of trying to discourage you from thinking about music as a career option, mainly because you have other options that interest you. Keep playing the drums, however, because that will give you lots of satisfaction whatever else you do in life. If this raises more questions for you please follow up. Best of luck!!

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