Saturday, May 29, 2010

A thought about numbers

So in my last post I mentioned that the number of Music Grads each year could be 6k-30k. A new friend, Dr. Dave (trombone) mentioned that those numbers are probably smaller due to some of us getting multiple degrees in music. Another friend, Paul, brought up there are more opportunities for professional musicians and it's been growing (6 professional orchestras in 1950, vs. more than 200 now), but have the expanded opportunities kept up with the increase in well trained musicians graduating?

I work in Admissions and Financial aid. When Parents and students ask me what the graduates do after graduation, the message that gets passed around my school is 1/3 go on to grad school (mostly in music), 1/3 go to work as a musician, and 1/3 leave the music world completely. But I have no way of knowing if this is actually true. My institution struggles to accurately track alumni. So another research project to figure out a way to accurately track what happens after graduation? Perhaps that will provide a clue as to what the schools are preparing students for.

Another reason for this blog/writing project is I want to know that my career is more than just convincing students that this is a possible path for them, and not just a way to make sure I make my bottom line, keep my budget in check and keep the business of the school running. Am I really helping students to achieve their dreams? And are their dreams actually attainable? And do they even understand what a life as a professional musician is like?

More questions!

I do want to mention that with the Stanley cup finals starting tonight, I may not write as much as I'd like. I'll be back after the Hawks hoist the cup. . . Go Blackhawks!

1 comment:

Paul Botts said...

Some doctoral student(s) might usefully do some actual sampling, wouldn't be all that hard now in the age of Google and Track down all the graduates of the classes of 20XX and 19XX from Major Conservatory A, contact them and do a brief phone interview to find out how many are working in music or whatever; do the same for Small Conservatory B; etc. From which a defensible national across-the-board estimate could be assembled. Maybe it's even been done for all I know.