Eugene, I feel there is something to be said for laying "formal" groundwork prior to venturing out into potentially unknown compositional territory in this day and age (in other words, I like to learn the rules before I break them!). I feel that, of all things, MATH plays an important part in composition: its structure, logic and symmetry for starters, are integral to bringing life to a simple tune. The only people I know of who get away with publishing aural cacophony all have the letters "PhD" after their names, and they all started with the basics. Additionally, one has to first learn to speak before one can speak eloquently, right?<P>Eric, I grew up singing, and only really started to take it seriously in high school. I then had one year of college as a vocal performance major, minoring in piano and bassoon. I had no guidance counseling in college, and as a result took a ton of music courses and almost no required subjects. Lucky for me since I didn't have the money to go back. I then did a stint in the US Navy (submarine nuclear mechanical operator!), no time to sing there. After getting out, I started singing again with a couple of civic choirs, then got hired as a tenor section leader/soloist at a church and started private voice study again. At that point I made it a goal to get hired by the opera within five years, and about three years later auditioned and was hired, and have been with them for seven years. I occasionally do solo gigs and other group stuff, but for me it's mainly my church job and the opera.
<P>Bottom line: I feel that whatever musical avenue you pursue, NEVER DENY YOURSELF!!! Musical expression is too beautiful and too fleeting to let opportunities pass by.<BR>
<p>[ 12-29-2002: Message edited by: operatenor ]