#1
I am just curious for people pursuing a career in music...does a university undergraduate degree or Royal conservatory of music training make you a better candidate for making a living with music (teaching, etc.)

Also, what enhances your musicianship knowledge and skills better...a degree or conservatory training?

Thanks for any thoguhts!
#2
As far as I can tell, the best thing for making a living with music is being a good musician. If you're looking to teach in those environments, you'll need a degree, but really, you just need to learn the business side of music and be a capable musician.

Both a degree and conservatory training will help, but the best thing is your own desire to learn. If you want to make it, you'll have to figure everything out on your own.
#3
What qualification do you think you get from a conservatory?
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#4
From my own research into this, especially after talking to people who've done one instead of the other, universities provide a much more historical and theoretical background, and usually teach a lot more about composing as well. Conservatoires, on the other hand, basically focus on making you a master and playing your instrument and improvisation (assuming you elect for a jazz course; the classical courses won't have much, if any, improvisation). However, with both you can do a PGCE afterwards to go into teaching, and I'm almost certain that for both you can choose for your final project to be a teaching practical instead of a dissertation or performance.

Edit: Assuming you're from England here, because I don't know how widespread the PGCE is...
Last edited by theknuckster at Jan 18, 2012,
#5
it depends on what you're doing

Quote by AlanHB
What qualification do you think you get from a conservatory?

of course it's all on the individual etc, but there are people going straight from places like university of indiana university or julliard into major symphony gigs that could easily take them 30+ years of working towards. on the other hand, those kinds of people are paying tens of thousands of dollars into their instruments and dedicating their lives to their craft, so it's hard to believe a random person has that level of prestige and drive (or plays an instrument other than guitar) on this site to accomplish that kind of stuff.

so just pursue something else for making money unless you're some sort of virtuoso harpist or something, the real money in music's in symphonies and production, and even those guys don't necessarily get ludicrous salaries.
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#6
Perhaps TS should narrow his career path a little. The music industry isn't just teachers and musicians.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#7
Well, there are different kinds of teaching too.

I am a teacher, as in one who teaches in a publicly funded school. I have taught high school music, middle school music, high school math, and about a dozen years of grade five.

In order to become *that* kind of teacher, at least here in Canada, you MUST have a university degree. You won't get into teachers' college without one, and you won't get a teaching certificate without a Bachelor of Education... which you get from the Teachers' College.

My degree is in music (classical guitar). It gave me what I needed to get into teachers' college and in a teachable area that was somewhat in demand. (all things being relative... at that time, there really wasn't *anything* in demand... kinda like now...)

Funny enough, I found that the time I spent teaching music I mostly hated. I love teaching grade five. My degree in music, as my life has been for most of the last fifteen years, has been mostly irrelevant.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#8
hmm interesting!

do you have RCM training as well?
Quote by axemanchris
Well, there are different kinds of teaching too.

I am a teacher, as in one who teaches in a publicly funded school. I have taught high school music, middle school music, high school math, and about a dozen years of grade five.

In order to become *that* kind of teacher, at least here in Canada, you MUST have a university degree. You won't get into teachers' college without one, and you won't get a teaching certificate without a Bachelor of Education... which you get from the Teachers' College.

My degree is in music (classical guitar). It gave me what I needed to get into teachers' college and in a teachable area that was somewhat in demand. (all things being relative... at that time, there really wasn't *anything* in demand... kinda like now...)

Funny enough, I found that the time I spent teaching music I mostly hated. I love teaching grade five. My degree in music, as my life has been for most of the last fifteen years, has been mostly irrelevant.

CT
Last edited by dvm25 at Jan 19, 2012,
#9
Quote by dvm25
hmm interesting!

do you have RCM training as well?


Never done a conservatory exam in my life. I have grade nothing.

However, as part of my degree, I played RCM pieces primarily from the grades 8, 9, 10 syllabus. Instead of RCM exams, I had a final performance exam each year (four year honours degree) called a "jury" which was made up of three profs from our department.

Basically, a degree trumps any conservatory levelling. If you have a degree, nobody cares what conservatory grades you have.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#11
Haha....

In the absence of a degree, though, when a person says that "I have grade whatever RCM", it gives me a pretty good idea of where they are at. If they have their grade ten, for instance, I don't even need to hear them play. I know they can kick some pretty serious ass. For the player, one does achieve a lot of pride in achieving levels. It marks progress, and eventually, marks accomplishment.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#12
Having a university degree certainly makes it much easier to make a living as a teacher. And what do you mean by conservatory training? Attending a conservatory, or just taking the exams?

It's all totally dependent on the pathway you want to take. Some can be notoriously difficult to penetrate without going to conservatory and achieving a degree/diploma, whereas in others nobody cares where you've come from.

I think there's a slight misunderstanding of what tertiary education in music is actually about. It's not so much about people teaching you stuff, although of course this is a big part of it. The main point of it is to provide an environment for the student where you can work hard at your craft, where you get to play a whole load of stuff with a bunch of different people, and just generally come into contact with as many different people and ideas as possible. Of course, all of this is possible without enrolling on a program at a university or conservatory, but it just greatly accelerates the process and just makes it easier.
#13
are you talking about a teacher in a school? because if not, you dont need anything, just students. you just have to know what you are doing and should know how to explain it properly, so some knowledge of theory. i know a guy whos about 21 or so and has a teaching job in my town. he never went to school for it, but he is a good player and knows his stuff. i've thought about it but i would rather perform.
#14
if you want to have a career in music then learn about it and be around it the best you can. going through the school system is a great way to learn about music and you have a better knowledge of your craft. being a professional musician means that music plays a pretty important role in your life, and at least for myself i enjoyed learning about music history and all the bells and whistles that go with school. also the connections you make at school will never go away, a lot of opportunities can come from it, and always do. you are your own voice in deciding whether or not school is what you want to do. if you wanna play music and be a big rockstar then going through school won't necessarily help you anymore than just putting yourself out there.

but don't think that you have to be an amazing player in order to be something in the music world. musicians just know each other, they've all played with everyone else and being a reliable person goes a lot farther than actually being good. so if you're afraid of not being a good enough musician because you don't go through school you got it all wrong, we care more if you show up late rather than if you're an amazing player, you have to be solid enough to do it.
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#15
I am just curious for people pursuing a career in music...does a university undergraduate degree or Royal conservatory of music training make you a better candidate for making a living with music (teaching, etc.)

Also, what enhances your musicianship knowledge and skills better...a degree or conservatory training?


There's a huge range of music qualifications and careers... what do you want to do? As the other guys were saying, even "teaching" is a pretty broad spectrum.

As contrast to Axemanchris, I'm an electric guitar teacher. It didn't take any qualifications, but a lot of private study. Incidentally I also am qualified - I did a dipLCM in Electric Guitar Teaching, which can lead to a LLCM. The same level as a degree but a fraction of the cost.

So if you wanted to be a guitar tutor, I'd probably recommend

Bring yourself up to decent level (around grade 8 standard in the UK, YMMV)
Talk to your guitar teacher about teaching methodology and job opportunities
Start teaching some beginner lessons, while concurrently gigging/studying for qualifications/doing session work/whatever your secondary goals are.

but don't think that you have to be an amazing player in order to be something in the music world. musicians just know each other, they've all played with everyone else and being a reliable person goes a lot farther than actually being good. so if you're afraid of not being a good enough musician because you don't go through school you got it all wrong, we care more if you show up late rather than if you're an amazing player, you have to be solid enough to do it.


This also applies to guitar tutors btw. Your employers will appreciate punctuality and reliability a lot more than 200bpm sweeps.
#16
Quote by Freepower
...which can lead to a LLCM. The same level as a degree but a fraction of the cost.


This LLCM sounds *similar* to the Royal Conservatory levels, though more flexible.

It would be almost accurate here to say that an ARCT (Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto) is the same level as a degree but at a fraction of the cost. A person who has their ARCT will be as good a player as most people with degrees.

However, the difference is that a degree is a degree. An ARCT cetification is not a degree. A diploma is not a degree.

Depending on what you want to do, you might NEED a degree. (though, in music, those things are rare.)

You can have an ARCT in five different instruments, but that won't get you into teachers' college. In fact, in virtually all cases, a simple BA will not get you into teachers' college. What will? An honours degree. End of story.

It used to be (might still be, but I don't know for sure) that, in order to qualify for a Canada Arts Council grant, you need to have a degree in performance specifically. A degree in music, for instance, with an education focus would be ineligible.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#17
Depending on what you want to do, you might NEED a degree. (though, in music, those things are rare.)


Absolutely - another reason why the threadstarter needs to be a bit more specific about his plans! It's not just the level of qualification, but the specifics too.

In the UK you can actually move into the second or 3rd year of a degree if you have the correct level and type of qualifications, which can be useful.