Improvisation offers valuable educational applications and allows students to get their feet wet in the world of new music without being tied down to some of the technical challenges inherent in much modern repertoire.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this over the last two weeks because I felt that this was an unrealistic route to change. Here are some reasons why I think that the statement isn’t sufficient to address the problem of unpaid gigs.
I believe that this merry band of students has the power to change the music world as we know it, but I fear the “bump” when they leave this environment and explore college options. Will the post-secondary world continue to foster their leadership potential? How will these “over-educated” young composers approach the college experience?
Fair trade ethical consumption has gone mainstream when it comes to certain products. Wouldn’t music fans follow a similar path if it was laid out for them?
What is the best option for a student who has received a solid and complete education, academically and musically, through their pre-college years? Is there anything that will really fit the bill, or will these young students stimulate a new approach to compositional study on the college/conservatory level?
Mr. Ficklin humbly acknowledges that his analysis is “unscientific,” so allow me to correct his impression that music publishers have been fickle in their support [of composers and contemporary opera]. Their presence has been continuing and ardent.
Although I was always generically interested in music as labor, it was really my involvement with Occupy Wall Street that showed me what the contemporary struggles were in this field. I hope the NewMusicBox commenting community will join in on this conversation, so we can get an even greater sense of where these struggles for fairness and dignity are happening, and what we can do as a community to support them.
When I looked through the Metropolitan Opera’s 2014-15 brochure, I was saddened by their lack of other contemporary repertoire. Then I flipped through the pages of the new issue of OPERA America’s magazine and experienced something very different. Pages full of contemporary opera, American and otherwise. Quite a study in contrasts.
Sometimes it feels like life is a tug of war—between east and west, life and career, social and personal, work and play, urban and rural, composer and singer-songwriter, professional and academic, serious and jocular, art and business, collaboration and solitude—and I can’t seem to choose my side.
Growing up, I was ashamed of being a nerd. This was pretty typical. At the time being labeled a nerd was considered about as bad as showing up to school in nothing but your underwear. Times have changed. It is now a badge to be worn proudly by all of us. We all finally grew up. And took over.