One thing I've noticed lately in my interactions with college music students is the complacency that plagues a lot of them. Their main goal seems to be just getting out of college and as quickly as possible. I get it, school is expensive and the longer you stay in, the more debt you pile up. But hindsight is certainly 20/20 in my experience with leaving college. You really don't know how good you have it until you've left. The amount of resources available to you that can help you in succeeding in the real world are abundant. I mean that's the goal right? To get a good job after you graduate. I was fortunate enough to be at a good music school with mostly good teachers who were willing and able to help students succeed at the next level. Unfortunately there are bad music schools and bad teachers, so there is that. If you're in that boat….well…I don't have much advice for you other than get out as quickly as possible. You're wasting your money. Find a good school with good teachers who care about your future and not just the status quo.
But on the other hand, are music schools asking this question enough or are they just trying to get students in and out in the most efficient way possible? Maybe music schools need to rethink the way they structure their programs. People with music degrees consistently have some of the worst job rates after graduation not to mention some of the lowest salaries as well.
All that to say, is it the students fault for the lack of motivation to succeed or is it the school's fault for having out of date approaches to training students for the next level? The music world is ever changing yet the music school world hasn't for decades. For me, I think it's both. I think there needs to be an overhaul of the collegiate music school system to prepare students for the new world of music. We compartmentalize ourselves way too much. We need to become master networkers and entrepreneurs, not just performers and educators. On the other hand, students need to break free of this wave of complacency and lack of motivation. If you truly have love and passion for music, you have to put everything into it in order to have a career in it. You have to make that decision early on. There is no going in halfway and seeing what happens. Have goals for yourself and meet them. Going through the motions will always fail. And finally, be good at lots of things, not just one. Learn about audio technology/acoustics, take some business classes, etc. Become multifaceted because that's what the music world is moving towards.
What do you think? Leave your comments below. I'm very interested in what some of you think about this polarizing subject!