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Thursday, August 19, 2010

What is WRONG with our Art Form: Education

I always get in trouble when kids at VCU ask me why I do not advise. Because I tell people going after Bachelor of Music degrees to stop wasting their money and pursue the BA.

For anyone interested in actually pursuing a career as a performer, the BM is not going to help you. Why? Take time to study another discipline that will allow you to make money while you are getting started. The BM offers absolutely NO time to learn anything outside of music.

And one other thing: Where are the classes in basic Acting Skills, movement, and combat that the singer/actor needs?

Oh, the singer gets classes in Diction, but really never learns the language well enough to USE IT. But boy, they get bitched at enough about the diction not being perfect. The problem with American singers isn't diction, it is the total lack of heart that comes from having NO CLUE how to communicate the language.

One other thing: The vast majority of full time music professors in Voice are totally laughable as experts. The Majority of DMA's spent their time going to college and never competing, or learning true standards. The small number who actually TRY to create a career, then go back for DMA work are excluded because they have something tangible to offer. They TRIED. They may have tried and failed, but at least they tried.

Always amuses me that in most colleges, the adjuncts usually are the good teachers who had a semblance of career, and can teach. Funny.

One last thing: The Euro's used to say, You can sing, now come to Europe to learn how to be an Artist. Quit worrying about the damn mechanics, and let your heart loose.

1 comment:

  1. I feel that part of the problem is that the scheduling of classes is locked in so tight. I'm aware that the professors have lives and other commitments, but when you only have one day and one time available to take each class, it allows no flexibility whatsoever in taking other classes of interest or relevancy. Sure, I would love to take acting classes, or computer graphics classes, or underwater basket-weaving classes, but they simply won't fit in my schedule... and if I wanted to pursue another degree, then I wouldn't be allowed to take some of the "majors-only" classes that I am also interested in. Even with loans, scholarships, under-paid jobs, et cetera, education is overpriced but below-standard. It can be hard to get a bang for your buck, and it's very frustrating to feel as if your degree is not helping you whatsoever, but to also feel as if you don't have any other real option. Another thing is that I could do anything! but I am constantly being reminded by society that the clock is ticking away, and I have to find the job I'll be doing for the rest of my life RIGHT NOW. There is more than a bit of pressure, and it turns what is supposed to be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience of learning and living, and turning it into a nasty and stressful trek of survival. It does not a happy person make. I can only hope that at the end of it all, I can say that I did something that truly mattered to ME.