I write songs, record songs, travel, tell stories and perform music for folks all over the world.
It really depends on the day.. Some of my days are very exciting and amazing; I'm recording or writing or performing or traveling to a wonderful place. Some of my days are more focused on the business aspect of my job, which isn't always particularly artistic. I could be promoting a show or returning emails or giving my manager info on my shows. I rarely have days off and I probably work over 12 hours a day. I work that hard to experience the rush of creating and connecting to an audience.
I loved music school but you can't replicate real world experience. You learn about relationships and how important those are in any business. You learn about persistence, passion and sacrifice. You learn about what you NEED in life to be happy. You learn how to make a living. You learn how to read a map and adjust. You learn how to connect to an audience and you learn that folks want to have fun. Generally if you have fun, they have fun. Most of all, you learn that you can ALWAYS get better.
Here's the first step for middle school students
Find your own voice and speak your own unique truth - But also, study the masters and respect the great art that came before you. A great painter doesn't pick up a brush before studying Van Gogh. We all emulate our heroes to a certain degree and I think that's important.
"Jesse, you either get the picket fence and the family or the successful career in music. You can't have both."