Monday, September 10, 2012

The Future of the Classical Musician

Is change really possible at the institutional level to allow the future of classical music to exist in a relevant and meaningful way? Because in order for classical music to even have a future, like Kaley said, it relies inexorably on the classical musician. And how the classical musician is educated means everything. 

We need to expand our notion of music education. Instead of teaching western music 80 - 90% of the time with “world music” as special classes every once in a while to fulfill a curricular diversity requirement, we need to look at how our musical culture is one of many, and see how it fits in with the rest of the world. If you’ve ever taken education classes before, you may have done the cross-curricular lesson plan projects, where you pair up with someone not in your subject and collaborate on a lesson. The few times I’ve done these style lessons, I’ve found them to be extremely successful and the creative learning of the students to intensify greatly. Apply that cross-curricular style to different musical cultures and imagine the creative output that could be generated. The future of classical music may well be in a hybrid genre or mixing of cultures and classical musicians need to be ready.

Michelle Jones proposes some very interesting changes that could be made to present music schools to prepare the classical musician for an unknown future. I agree with all of her points but would emphasize the necessity to be trained in multiple genres. I’m not entirely sure enacting these ideas would result in the resurrection of the symphony orchestra or somehow create more jobs for musicians, but it would certainly broaden the spectrum of jobs that could be applied for upon graduation. It would promote the survival of the trained musician, without whom, classical music cannot survive. The only question is how and when this shift can happen within our musical institutions. And that is quite a big question...


binshing lim said...
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binshing lim said...

Could not agree more. Trained musician worked hard but make less money than other field of job.
I could not help but wonder- Passion first or $$Hunger first?