This is a problem that I rarely get: “I should go to the School of Music?” Most of the time the short answer that is true: maybe not. Nothing is that easy though, so I’m going to set out some of my thoughts on the subject, but first a bit about myself so you know where I come from: When I was a kid pounding the piano in our living room, I loved music- I think I’ve done some serious harm to that stuff. Perhaps because every single song in my mind was about dinosaurs. Our website provides info about Mandeville School of Music & Dance.
During middle school and high school, I was pretty passionate about piano, and then I attended a music school in Baltimore- The Peabody Conservatory, graduating with a degree in composition. Being a member of as a young person was really an awesome culture. Even, I always had doubts about the real “worth” of the experience that some anonymous soul tried to sum up by scribbling “Music School Diploma” on a paper towel dispenser at the campus bathroom.
I write / play / produce instrumental jazz-funk music these days and I still wonder how different things would be if I hadn’t gone to the music school. Without ado, here’s what I think:
Reasons to miss school for music:
1. Ironically, Peabody is swift to include people such as Tori Amos in their esteemed alumni lists. The sad part is she fell out. Until she bolted, Tori was a young classical piano student: I think she probably found that while education can add a great deal to music, good music transcends nuts and bolts of that sort. If people like what you do, you ‘re here already. Often, when you determine if they like your music, nobody cares whether you have a degree.
2. For people creating new music: structured music education for others, in terms of creative development, curbs their ability to think “out of the box.” It’s hard to resist doing all the stuff that you’re learning that changes the way you think about music. It is always nice, but it may, in fact, be restricting to others.
3. Every one really is about a future in music. The music market is in a state of flux. Album sales are slowing down as online sharing is increasing. This, plus the struggling economy, makes music a hard business to be in. Are you confident that you do not want to learn any other, more marketable skill?