"This is for all the music educators and scholars out there. Many high schools have good music academic programmes, yet, a number of students opt out of pursuing music at the tertiary level. What is the reason for this. This is for a school paper and I would welcome your opinions."
(Question from Monique)
My answer: Perhaps the most common reason I am aware of is just pressure of time. Having reached a good level of accomplishment on their instrument, some people thinking that they will always have the skill level that they currently take for granted, give no attention to this, considering a leisure persuit, and focusing on building career skills. Other leisure persuits, new friends, etc. encroach on their time. Space and financial constraints may mean that an instrument is left behind, in their parent's loft, or sold.
Even those who plan to continue after tertiary studies often are waylaid by the pressures of work, family and general living. Before you know it confidence is lost and skills forgotten.
For myself, I was studying for Grade 8 piano at the same time as my A levels, and seriosly considered giving up piano lessons. I was planning to be an english teacher, so didn't really need to have lessons. However, I enjoyed playing so much, that I opted to keep on taking lessons without preparing for the exam. Looking back, I was probably ready to do the exam anyway, as my level of playing (i.e. time spent) was almost the same, even throughout those two years.
Now, as a teacher I will always encourage students to continue playing during examination preparation in other areas, because of the pleasure and relief this change in activity can bring. If you are in higher education now, don't let your skills slip too much. Get involved with your local congregation, form a group, or ensure that you still perform when visiting back home, or your friends places of worship.