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Friday, 13 September 2013

How Musical Education Leads to Professional Opportunity

Today’s economy has been particularly tough on millennial artists. This population of 20 and 30 somethings have to face a harsh reality of less opportunity and rising living costs. The solution for many in this group has become entrepreneurship, and the academic community has started to embrace these ideas.

While it may be easy to pigeon hole graduates in the arts as undervalued in today’s workforce, the reality is that arts graduates share the same kind of thinking that is required for entrepreneurship.

Catherine Fitterman Radbill, NYU Director of Undergraduate Music Business, argues that musicians and entrepreneurs can be one in the same. Both use creativity and analytical thinking to accomplish their tasks, and both derive the same level of gratification from success. Each type has its own way of defining success as well, but the mindset is very much the same. 

Cost Concerns

Every business requires an investment of cash in order to launch, as well as careful management of that
money over time. A musician invests in the instruments he or she plays, and learns how to maintain and upgrade them as he continues his practice. As a working adult, musicians translate these same skills into solid decision making.

Cost concerns might prohibit a family from investing in musical instruments for children or growing students. In most cases, brand new instruments are moderately priced, about the same as game console or a television. While there is evidence that video games can provide instruction and positive benefits for growing minds, music has been shown to impact language development and IQ. And you don’t need to be a music student to reap these rewards either. Simply playing an instrument will help.

Try going to a music store and playing with the sample instruments. Low end versions are normally much cheaper than standard or advanced models, offering the same basic functions. Check classified ads online for a user instrument that may be cheaper. 

Finding the Right Teacher

In the same way that an entrepreneur needs a mentor, a musician needs an instructor. Even casual players benefit from having some form of instruction with homework to keep the student focused on the task at hand.
The right music instructor will enhance  playing skills and teach discipline:
  • Ask about practice routines and expectations
  • Observe a lesson to be sure the instructor corrects things like posture
  • Reviews online may be hard to find, instead search or the instructor by name and read his or her blog
  • Ask for a sample of the instructor's playing
Rather than going to a generic music institute for group instruction, investing in private drum lessons gives a one on one experience with someone experienced in music. Anyone can teach you which chords to play, drums to hit or strings to strum. A good music instructor is passionate about that instrument and has industry experience that you might not get at an institute.   

Music Practice

The discipline to practise is the same thing that drives entrepreneurs to continue working on their ideas. Entrepreneurs routinely fail--it’s basically written into the description. Musicians experience these same trials and overcome them through practice and dedication to their instruments.

The place where you live does not need much space, even for a drum set. Guitars, drums, and many wind instruments can easily find a home in one’s room. Most have easy storage containers too, like guitar stands or cases.

Those concerned about noise levels will like electric instruments, like guitars and drums. With electric instruments, music students can practise without disturbing neighbours. The instruments themselves are often more affordable than their acoustic counterparts as well.

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