I wrote this as an article in LinkedIn but this fits nicely as my own website post, talking about my journey to becoming a professional musician. I grew up in the Commonwealth of Dominica, and Music was not part of the school curriculum, and any private formal instruction was done miles away in the capital and it was as expensive as it was far.
So, my dad taught me as much as he could by introducing me to different instruments throughout the years. We played by ear and picked up some theory along the way. Moving to Canada I was a scavenger of information on all things Bass. Instructional videos, YouTube, private lessons where I could, and the first milestone, The Victor Wooten Bass and Nature Camp at Wooten Woods 2012.
I tried for years to pursue formal music education and life just kept happening. After some time I decided that my only option was Berklee College Of Music Online. It was the only option that allowed me to still work full time and learn at a pace i was comfortable with.
I put in over 400 hours of practice, submitted over 60 assignments and made over 200 recordings during this pursuit from January 2018 to December of that year. I ended up with repetitive motion strain that i had to address in physiotherapy and I spent so many afternoons with my dad as he listened to my assignments and gave me his own grade.
I’m happy to say that studying at Berklee was one of the best musical experiences of my life. I grew so much in such a short time, I got to learn and discuss music with world-renowned instructors and I finally had the structure that helped me to see the bigger picture and clear up some of the bad habits i was making.
- A Berklee College of Music Certified Professional Bass Player
- A Straight A Student with a 4.0 GPA
- A Beklee Celebrity Scholarship Award Winner.
Sadly the Certification arrived in the mail a few hours after my dad passed away, and while I was distraught with losing my dad so suddenly I can’t help but feel that this was his way of telling me that life goes on, and I’m sure that on some level he’s celebrating this success as well and is as excited as I am to see what the progress along the path that he put me on.
Thanks for reading.
Joe (4th Metric Music)