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"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.

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Replies to This Discussion

The main reasons I think are:

Less free lessons available at school and at local educational establishments. If I want to be tutored it is £20 per half hour.

Now a days you learn three chords and you can play 90% of popular music and get paid, is'nt that right keyboard players, and with the transpose buton, why learn anymore?

I have been playing guitar in churchs for a very long time, over quarter of a century. NO one has ever given me a sheet of dots. What I get is a CD and now it is a youtube URL.

Anyone else?
I agree with your conclusion. The same thing here, I had to give up Music exams, grade 7 for examination which set me 2 years. By now, I should be finished grade 8 but a music career is not as rewarding as in times pass, thus people will give it up. I was contemplating studying music at Cambridge when I am done with A-Levels, then go on to do economics, but my Music Teacher advise me not to do music first because you would be able to survive with a music degree. Maybe I could teach but this leads to my second point. I am not as passionate for music as I am for economics and the monetary sciences BUT it's a dream of mind to study music as a university; it's not a priority now...
Another thing is, I love Classical music, and in a world where classical music in being eroded by modern genres, just makes turns me off from going full thrust into a dying field. Efforts are a foot to revive it but...surely, this blog is thought provoking....
Do not agree classical music is dying it is inmost if not ALL films and every national has classical music not onlyEuorpe but Japan and China. I do not see enough in our churches if that is what you mean. How many SDA orchestras are there? I actually think music is dying in the church in general, young peeps don't seeem to be too interested like we were in the old days or have I got it wrong?
Well PUT!
I have to say that I'm not what you described above (RCM and College Jazz Piano Major after HS), but it strikes a chord within me. To add, I would have quit if my mother hadn't seen the potential in me.
Music is therapy. I play most when I need strength.
I hated I play by ear so I like to play what I wanna play and I feel this is key in the tertiary stage *shrug* it's what kept me coming back to my flute, however, still sits in my closet *shrinks*
I think that the best thing you can do for a young musician in the church is encourage them to share their gift, mistakes and all!
I do apologize for typing errors in my earlier posts, but there have been a decline in classical music around the world and its appreciation-especially in the SDA church. I was trained classically but sometimes a musician must adopt to his/her's surrounding: Example, my church is one that is an up-tempo church, after one pianist left (who is a Jazz Major), another young musician came in and took that tempo up further. Then, when he left, I had to step up and bring that tempo down...sometimes it is affecting the quality of how I play but it is working and my church is slowing becoming Musically Correct. Having a musician correct the musical inadequacies of a church is somewhat a plus as a result of musical training. Tertiary Level of Music will be a great asset for us musicians but why would be spend thousands on a degree, in my case, temporary move from the Caribbean to the UK to learn the highest level of music and the church just says thank you or sometimes NOTHING as a reward. Fine, it's for God, but like other churches, we should be paid. I am still sticking with my Banking and Finance Degree and Music would just be on the back burner.


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