This excellent comment came in a couple of days ago on our post (anonymous commenter) from September about balancing music performance and music education. Since things move quickly here (lots of new posts and comments every day), I like to highlight these types of responses–it’s easy for them to get lost in the shuffle. You can check out the original post here.
I feel very fortunate to run across this blog for the first time. I just restarted my music education as a performance major at a university, and going into my second semester in January, I decided to double major in both performance and music education.
I took a look at several students who are graduating, or have graduated with performance degrees and they just don’t seem to have any kind of future mapped out, or, in one case, they have an unrealistic goal of practicing a few extra years so they can get into one specific orchestra. I keep wondering… what are they going to do now to pay the rent?
I also took a look at the level of performance of a variety of students in various performance organizations. I really did not see any strong pattern suggesting that performance (classical and jazz studies) majors here perform at a higher level than education majors, or even better than a few students who are not music majors at all!! I have also taken a look at a number of working pros, and they all are teaching on some level and are really out there doing some kind of marketing for themselves. Even if I end up not going for the teaching credential itself, I will have a solid base of knowledge in teaching that I can apply to many situations.
I think its time to bury to maxim that those who can’t teach. Its silly and outmoded and certainly does not reflect that quality and level of professionalism that has existed in playing and teaching abilities of my music teachers.
Another plus I have going for me… I once received formal training in marketing in the securities field. I learned that this is a skill that I can apply to music. My suggestion.. take a course or two in marketing and get your hands on books that have been written on how to be a professional musician. There are some books that have some very good information that can be applied to building a career. I am no monster player yet, and I am older than many of my student peers, but I understand the music business enough to know how to get out there playing gigs in a variety of genres. Now I think I am also going to take a look at some kind of part-time teaching job I could get as an education major. even if its only a few hours a week, to get going in teaching activities.
Finally, it surprises me how unwilling many of my peers are to make efforts to market themselves and get out there. These are the folks who will end up in another field or just end their musical activities. What a loss.
- Bass Strings for School Initiative
- performer/educator divide – great comments
- No Child Left Behind leaves music education behind
- Stan Haskins highlights bass teacher Virginia Dixon
- Greg Sarchet’s recommended reading for musicians