D is for Doctor, as in Dr. Courtney. Let me take a minute to explain. It is possible for one to get a Doctoral Degree in Music. It's most often called a D.M.A. (Doctor of Musical Arts), but many performing musicians jokingly say that the acronym really stands for "Doesn't Mean Anything." I do not have a D.M.A. When I finished my Master of Music and still had no job, I came precariously close to enrolling in the D.M.A. program at U.C.L.A., but as luck would have it, I got an orchestra job just in the nick of time and the D.M.A. wasn't meant to be. I don't mean to suggest that everyone who gets a D.M.A. is simply biding time until they can get a job performing. This just would have been the case had I attempted to get a Doctorate. There are folks out there who really want to teach at the college level and even in music, it really helps if you have a D.M.A. That being said, some of the very best (and highest paid) classical musicians out there never finished their undergraduate degrees, and many of those people are also held in the highest regard as teachers.
I recently took a position at Texas Lutheran University teaching violin in their Community Music Academy. My good friend, Dr. Stephanie, is the director of this program. The woman who ran the program before Dr. Stephanie and the previous teacher of almost all of my students was also a Doctor. Since several of my new students are only 6 or 7 years old, they don't know that a person can be a violin teacher without being a Doctor. In Big Texas, most children do not address adults by their first names without some sort of prefix, so a couple of them have started calling me Dr. Courtney. While I told their parents that I don't really have a D.M.A. and I'm not actually a Doctor, I don't see any harm in letting a little kid call me Dr. Courtney. In fact, I kind of like it.