Just wanted to throw this up here- with a couple of thoughts-
Our society likes the arts. Sales of Gibson guitars are at an all time high. Personal participation in creative activities is growing (writing, creating video/audio content for the web, Game design, theatre companies, music groups, etc). How do children even know what art is? And shouldn't art be a core subject as well?
Arts courses crucial to students' success :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Commentary
The Core Standards initiative has detailed their core standards for all K-12 students as to what should be taught and learned by every public school- from their website:
"These standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs."
So we need to connect the two. Right now the Core Standards Initiative focuses on reading and math, but they will expand. For there to be a society that welcomes the artists we are currently training, society needs to place as much emphasis on the arts and make them part of the "untouchable" part of the day. In other words, we need arts to be seen as vital as reading and math because of the intrinsic value and transformational nature of the arts. And not let them become extras to be cut.
So what are we training our college musicians for? Well we need to absolutely train them to be advocates, for themselves, for their art, and for society to value art.