Patty Mitchell, the author of the great blog oboeinsight, usually features a quote of the day on her blog. These are usually interesting nuggets of wisdom from various musical figures. She recently posted a quote from a Sequenzia21/ (contemporary classical music blog) post titled The Conservatory by David Salvage.
Here’s the paragraph that this quote came from. This is extremely valuable food for thought for any young musicians planning on attending a conservatory in the next few years:
Barring extraordinary circumstances, I would urge any student not to attend a conservatory for their undergraduate years. The conflicts between musical and other duties sure to arise at a traditional college will help clarify a young person’s relationship to music: were all those hours practicing Chopin Etudes spent for the adoration of others, the satisfaction of myself, or a mixture of the two? Given appropriate self-discipline, no college workload will absolutely preclude one from practicing or composing adequately to develop one’s skills. Furthermore, colleges transmit more intensely than conservatories skills of broad importance – the ability to communicate well (writing and speaking) and to be communicated to (reading and listening) being the most salient among them.
I’d love to hear thoughts from readers on this topic. If you’d like to hear my views on this topic, read my post titled Rethinking Music Performance Degrees.