When I grow up… Erny’s Story
Erny Papay, a former chemist, made a career change after working in a lab for 23 years. He turned an unfortunate circumstance into an opportunity to be a full-time, professional musician. Here is his story…
Early on, I’ve always been interested in science and music. I used to read books about chemistry, geology and physics while still in grade school. Musically, piano lessons started at age 6, in a world of Mozart, Chopin and Lawrence Welk. But the Beatles changed everything in 1964, and I got my first guitar that year. I lived the changes in music in the 60s: from the Beatles to Hendrix to Zeppelin, and much more in between. And I still spin my vinyl….
I studied chemistry (BS: Ashland College; MS: University of Kansas) and worked in a chemical lab (PGG Industries) for 23 years. A job elimination at PPG shifted my focus entirely back to music.
I teach piano, guitar and bass to 60 students; I play and sing 20s/30s/40s tunes in the retirement/assisted living circuit. Two weekly church gigs and a weekly preschool gig round out what’s left of my time. I’ve recorded five CDs of original tunes.
Your parallel plan: latch on to a couple really different things and push on. You never know which one will take over when…..
This post is part of the “When I grow up… Series.” To contribute to this project, start here.