F INANCIAL F O R U M
If I Wasn’t a Financial Advisor, I’d Be Living My Musical Dreams ROCKING THROUGH LIFE
Every day I work with clients helping them strive toward their financial dreams and goals, with an ounce of protection to boot. It’s certainly a talent I’ve had to acquire over my years of training, education, and experience, but I was recently thinking about what I would be doing if I hadn’t spent my career helping others find financial security.
I certainly couldn’t be a solo artist. According to my wife Becky, I don’t have the chops for
that! I also think I would enjoy an opportunity to play in a pit orchestra on Broadway in New York City. I have to imagine it gets pretty mundane for those musicians to play the same chords and music over and over again, but what a thrill it must be to play on opening night or for some of the biggest shows.
And, honestly, I think I’d be playing the keyboard in a rock band!
Don’t get me wrong. I love the job I have today, but I’ve always been interested in music. I got my start in fourth grade doing what most kids do: piano lessons. I started on this old piano my family owned and was taught by an elderly neighbor. She was a maestro when it came to classical music, and that’s what I was expected to master.
I quit after a few years.
But my musical interests didn’t stop there. I was a band geek all throughout high school and played the trumpet. I really enjoyed the time I spent playing for the school band, and ultimately, this kept my music skills up to speed. This proved to be helpful in the 1990s when I decided to pick up the piano again. I found a teacher who supported playing classical tunes and more modern fare, and soon I became proficient at the keyboard. At one point, I was asked to play piano in a cocktail-lounge style at Drew University for a series of lectures the school was hosting. I’m proud to say I was able to play as an opener for speakers such as Barbara Bush and Henry Kissinger. I was so affordable that I played for free, but the compensation didn’t matter to me. It was the experience that counted! I often wonder what it would be like to take my musical hobby to the big stage and become a professional. I always thought it would be fun to be in a band and play for others as I did during the lecture series at Drew University, though
Unfortunately, for as much as I love playing music, I haven’t been able to tickle the keys as much as I would like to. I’ve been listening to a lot of great music, and as I’ve gotten older, my tastes have refined a bit. I currently enjoy listening to jazz music. One of my favorite bands is the English contemporary jazz band, Acoustic Alchemy. Becky and I have seen them perform many times, and their keyboardist is phenomenal. I’m proud to be a fellow keyboardist. I’m hoping to someday pick up the guitar, and I know the lifelong commitment I made to playing music will help. Even if I don’t ever grace the stage for an audience again, music is just a hobby I can’t quit, and frankly, I’m glad I didn’t give up on it after quitting piano as a kid. It’s given me more than I could have imagined — even if it’s just a few pipe dreams. —Brian Irving
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