In Sunday’s (3/8) Chicago Tribune, Howard Reich reports, “Applications are soaring at music schools across the country, often mirroring the overall rise in college enrollment but in many cases surpassing the interest in other disciplines. Never mind that the chances of landing a paying job in a decent-size symphony orchestra have diminished, with many ensembles going out of business in recent years. Never mind that jazz clubs are becoming an endangered species. … Some students and parents—encouraged by the Internet-savvy marketing departments of the music schools themselves—do see a practical side to music education. They point to scores of new careers involving music that didn’t exist a decade or two ago. At the very least, its proponents say, the study of music prepares a student well for other careers. … Music deans say their students’ success in getting accepted into business, law and medical schools, among others, owes specifically to the skills the students develop in music school. ‘They know what it means to chase excellence,’ said Oberlin [Conservatory] dean David Stull. ‘Musicians have the discipline to work in focus for hours, they can collaborate, they can attain high performance levels in the 10 minutes that count.’ ”
Posted March 10, 2009