Is music school irrelevant now? – Sliding discSliding disc

Norman Lebrecht

April 02, 2021

From an anonymous insider’s blog:

The highest caliber of arts education would teach us to connect with people from all walks of life. The highest caliber of arts education would give us clear and usable tools to help us navigate the paperwork-strewn networking maze that is the life of an independent artist. The highest caliber of arts education would teach us why we should matter. Instead, we are taught Gregorian chant, examined for our knowledge of scale degrees and the soprano key, and applauded for our interpretation of complex polyrhythms. So-called “entrepreneurship” courses are often little more than an allegorical platform on which the instructor can become poetic about his life and disparage the ideas of his eager students, even when those ideas are often far more relevant to the times. modern than anything the teacher could even dream of.

In other words, music school is irrelevant. And it has been since the mid-twentieth century: a massive, gargantuan conglomerate, resistant to change, dependent on old money to endlessly push its outdated narrative and produce herds of orchestral musicians and even a soloist or two… .

A typical college semester lasts fifteen weeks. One academic year – thirty weeks. Let’s say you paid that same private instructor $300 per lesson for thirty weeks, away from school.

Your final bill? $9000. Add weekly bedroom coaching – $18,000. Per year.

So how can we justify paying $60,000 one year for conservatory training? Simply put, we can’t. Unless drastic changes are made to the program.

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