The issue of whether musicians should pursue formal education or remain self-taught is causing heated debate in recent days. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, therefore, as a musician, do not be pushed by what people are saying. It’s important that you do your due diligence, weigh the pros and cons of going to college then make your decision yourself.
According to some self-taught individuals in the music industry who range from singers to guitarists and producers, being self-taught gives you the opportunity to be adventurous and therefore, more creative. They are not limited by any guidelines unlike those that went to college. In music schools, people are taught the same things which just gets them set on the same ground and mostly tend to release the same kind of music. That sounds boring, doesn’t it? There is hope though, since the making of music does not only depend on one factor and formal education might be more helpful than you thought.
Here are some ways that musicians benefit from getting a formal education.
Helps to Nurture Talent
Having a great voice does not make you a musician. Sad, right? Being a good musician involves creating music that people can relate to and these are not skills that you are born with. Fortunately, music schools are here to solve that problem. They teach you how to balance your voice and give you an idea of how the industry operates
Helps You Understand the Process
The process of making music is very important but complicated. Schools help you understand the musical notes, tempo, melody, rhythm, etc. Learning about all these helps you advance your understanding of the music structure and composition.
Music classes also improve your memory retention. This is why many schools are introducing classes for students even in the lower grades. Statistics show that schools with music classes have a graduation rate of 90.2% compared to 72.9% in those that do not offer them.
Teaches You How to Give Quality
The fans of music expect the musician to produce high-quality music. It takes an expert to produce that kind of music. Schools give you a clear picture of what good means. They also aid you with suggestions on the best producers, directors, and deejays. Producing high-quality content in terms of visuals and audio sends an important message to your fans that you are all about quality. Remember, pleasing your fans should be your number one agenda.
Teaches You Important Communication Skills
You will learn the verbal and non-verbal cues from your fans. Music happens to be a popular and powerful tool for expression, and it can also alter the behavior patterns of your audience. You can tell if your fans love the music not just by seeing them dance but also by looking at other reactions, for example, a fan enjoying a love song will probably dance with their eyes closed.
Learning the jargon used in this industry helps you to effectively communicate with other artists. This might even land you an international collaboration. You will also learn the skills that you need to negotiate for deals. This is probably the most important trick to learn since we are talking about money. Schools give you a chance to interact with established artists who give you estimates charged on either tours, endorsements, etc. This ensures that you are making profits as a musician. Who wants to work without making any returns?
Gives a Backup Plan
Most artists who attend music schools learn how to play one or several instruments. This acts as a backup plan for starters who can use the skills learned to make some extra cash while waiting for their music career to pick. They work as trainers for kids. They also make posters for gigs, a skill learned in the schools. Making posters is proving to be a lucrative business with the increased tours and concerts in the USA.
Helps You Make Informed Decisions
You will be able to understand which contract to sign and the ones to reject. If you plan on joining a record label, what are you entitled to? Which labels will match your kind of music? Are the returns you are getting from the labels worth the hustle? Are you ready to release an album or do you need more time? A person who has attended a good music school will make these kinds of decisions with ease.
As much as you have talent as a musician, getting a degree in music and arts is an added advantage for you. It is true that there are many musicians out there who’ve made it without any formal education, but getting it just gives you that edge. You’ll have nothing to lose but everything to gain!
As a musician, now that you know the advantages of going to music school, is it easier to make a decision on which way to go?
Lucas Cappel is a writer and a professional educator with a deep-rooted interest in the philosophy of knowledge and the human mind. Working as an education advisor at https://edubirdies.org Lucas spends his free time volunteering as a philosophy tutor and writing about the importance of education.