We are all full of great expectations as we enter college. We are young, ambitious, ready to move mountains for the love we have for what we do. We hope we'll be taught how to build a career and get to perform in the most gorgeous concert halls of the planet so we can share our art with the world.
But as we join a university, it turns out, we need to become "good musicians" before we can even think about all this stuff. In the university's understanding, "becoming good musicians" usually means learning all Russian and foreign operas and knowing music theory and counterpoint both inside and out. In a nutshell – we need a bundle of knowledge.
So here we are, overloaded with books, rules and required repertoire, trying to drag it around and telling ourselves: "Just hang in there till the graduation, buddy, and then a new life will begin! Your degree will give you the right to move mountains!"
But the truth is, we don't get taught how to move these very mountains. We don't even learn how to find them, or what to do if they refuse to move. The thing is, university education is focused on the rules and limitations of style, schooling, etc, and on theoretical knowledge based on tradition. What does this all have to do with the future of a music graduate?
So here we are, overloaded with books, rules and required repertoire, trying to drag it around
The answer is nothing.
At the end of the day, what we get is "a good musician" with no understanding of what to do with all his knowledge. So he stuffs his dream of sharing his Music with humanity somewhere deep in the closet and gets a job in a music school or an orchestra, thinking this is the only way things can go for him.
Are there any other after-graduation scenarios? Yes, plenty. But very few of us see them, thanks to the blinders they put on us in college so we stay focused on the studies and don't get distracted by some "nonsense". That's why a common mind of a musician isn't sharp enough to notice more options.
What does this all have to do with the future of a music graduate?
The first step to seeing something new and different is a seed of doubt that this is really the only kind of life a musician can have. We deserve the life we want and we have a right to choose what kind of life after graduation will it be!
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