Adapt, change or die. It’s the mantra every organization faces. Leadership, personnel, and even business models in recent years have had to completely alter the way they operate to stay in the game and prevent extinction. Universities around the world are adapting to new methods of bringing students in. So why are Music Schools not following suit?
Too many colleges of music across the world face a very harsh reality: Change or Die. But why is this so? One is that music schools do much to teach composition and music theory, but very little to prepare their graduates to face the real musical world of job placement and entrepreneurialism. Like many students of a variety of degrees, the job market for the music industry is not an open field of empty positions. Many music schools are producing brilliant graduates with no where to go, no positions to fill. This is especially true in the Classical realm where jobs are being cut and funding for many symphonies continue to decline.
Music Schools should take a page out of the entrepreneurial handbook (if one exists, there are countless experts on the subject) and adapt to teaching their undergraduate and post-graduate students the skills needed to survive in an employment market that is not guaranteed, nor always fruitful. While many specific positions may not be available, the need for music teachers, musicians, and cultivators of the art are abundant, especially in places where education funding has decreased. Learning the art of survival is something students and educators can join in together, before it’s too late for everyone.