"When are you going to get a real job?"
Larry Glick has always hated it when people asked him that. He's a musician, and he is hoping to encourage students to pursue a real job in music, if that's what they love.
Mr. Glick, 33, is a Westminster resident who brought the other eight members of his band, Baltimore-based Probable Cause, to West Middle School Thursday.
The musicians spent the day working with students individually and in groups, and preparing 10 of the youngsters to join the band for a performance at the end of the day.
"They get really no encouragement from this kind of county," said Mr. Glick, who grew up in Westminster. He lives in Winchester Park, but spends a lot of his time on the road now.
He said the music programs in Carroll County schools are excellent, but many parents might want to steer their children away from a career as a rock or jazz musician because of the stigma of drugs and depravity.
"They tend to see the MTV lifestyle and try to keep their kids away from that," Mr. Glick said.
"As long as you have good upbringing and friends, you will be able to make your own decisions," Mr. Glick said. "If it's a bad decision, it doesn't matter what job you have."
Although Mr. Glick is single and doesn't have children, half the band members are married, and some are parents. Their spouses also have careers.
West Middle band director Kay Tippett got the idea of bringing Mr. Glick and his band to speak to the the 460 students who take music classes at the school. She knew him through his work in Carroll schools.
"We thought it would be good to bring the band, as they're getting off the ground, to teach the kids about career opportunities in music," Mrs. Tippett said.
Mr. Glick is a professional drummer who also teaches percussion in area schools and at Western Maryland College. He has attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music and Towson State University, and has a degree in music education.
He used to be a musician and a prison guard. He quit the guard job two years ago and has never been happier, he said, even though his income isn't half what it was before.
All members of the band earn at least a modest living as full-time musicians, without unrelated "day jobs" such as Mr. Glick's prison work, said Jim Sniadach, president of New Dawn Records. New Dawn is a new company that has just released "Equal Justice," a compact disc and cassette by Probable Cause.
In addition to the musicians, Mr. Sniadach and the band's sound technician and audio engineer explained their jobs to the students.
Among the 10 students whom teachers selected to rehearse and play with the band Thursday, most wanted to pursue careers in music and said they haven't been discouraged yet.
"Most of us have family members that inspire us," said Linnea Pagulayan, an eighth-grader. Her older brother encouraged her.
"I don't know if I want to be a performer, but there are so many different things you can do," Linnea said.
Classmate Chris Sarangoulis said that in fourth grade he was "forced into" taking music by his father, but he enjoyed it and now wants to be a professional musician.
Jackie Cunningham, also in eighth grade, said she doubted a performer's schedule of traveling would allow her to have a family some day. "It's just not what I want to do. My dad wants me to be a doctor," she said.
Jon Hill, also an eighth-grader and trumpeter, said he would probably choose another career and play music on the side.
As a musician, "You don't know how much money you're going to bring in every week," he said.
Probable Cause trumpet player Wade Zagurski of Baltimore doesn't recommend having a career to fall back on.
"The other side of that is if you have something to fall back on, you'll never make it as a musician" for lack of drive, he said.