by Sammy Johnson
Each year, the world receives a brand new class of highly skilled and trained musicians. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the world said, “Hey, music college graduates! Let me hand you 27 different musical job opportunities and let you choose!”? Yes. That would be lovely. Reality usually hits sometime during the middle of your senior year of college and you realize, “I haven’t won any auditions, and I have no idea how I am going to make money.” Well, there is always the fast food option, but there are plenty of other mentally challenging jobs that musicians tend to overlook because they simply aren’t musical jobs. Musicians think a non-musical job is a step down or somewhat less. However, musicians can learn quite a bit from being employees in these types of positions. I had a wonderful opportunity to work at a biopharmaceutical company for two years in their Operational Excellence department prior to beginning my doctorate at Indiana University. Here is a sample of some of the skills I was able to develop and how they have helped me as a musician and benefited The Novacane Quartet.