New York City to open public high school focused on music

Posted on: September 28, 2012

In Monday’s (9/24) Wall Street Journal, Sophia Hollander writes, “For decades, students who dreamed of careers as classical musicians trained to compete for spots in symphony orchestras.  … New York City plans to open a public high school next fall for this new breed of performers, a milestone in a growing national movement to re-evaluate how classical music is taught, and to what end. The Special Music School, now a small kindergarten-to-eight-grade school on the Upper West Side that works in partnership with the Kaufman Center, will expand with 50 ninth-grade students in September 2013. ‘It’s not enough to be a great string player, you need to know how to market yourself online and what to do in terms of recording and all those types of things,’ said Paul King, executive director for the office of Arts and Special Projects at the city Department of Education. … Some question the wisdom of siphoning precious hours away from practice time, especially at such an early stage in a musician’s career. … Supporters of change point to daunting numbers: Although classical music sales have held a steady 2% to 3% share of the U.S. market over the past decade, a 2009 study by the League of American Orchestras found that the unique audience for classical concerts has been shrinking … ‘The training does need to change,’ said Jesse Rosen, president and CEO of the League of American Orchestras, a nonprofit that is currently working on helping orchestras adapt to the new environment. ‘The boundaries are less distinct than they used to be.’ ”

Posted September 28, 2012