U.S. conservatories expand course offerings in professional development

Posted on: July 26, 2013

In the August issue of Opera News, Allan Kozinn writes about the growth in career-management courses at music schools and conservatories, which he describes as “part of an important sea change…. Gradually, conservatories and university music schools across the U.S. have come around to the notion that for young musicians today, the standard training—a grounding in technique, repertory and interpretation, along with music theory and history—is only part of the toolbox.… ‘Success as a professional musician requires more than technical training,’ says bass-baritone Jan Opalach, who teaches at the Eastman School of Music and counsels his students on career issues … ‘The crucial thing is that kids cannot stay in a practice room for four years and then say, “Okay, I’m ready now.” ’ … In the early 1990s, the [Juilliard School] engaged publicist Mary Lou Falcone to teach a course for fourth-year undergraduates and first-year graduate students. The course is called ‘Completing the Singer,’ although Falcone recently said that if it were up to her, its title would be ‘Reality 101.’ … [Falcone’s] syllabus includes classes on her areas of day-to-day expertise—dealing with critics, how publicity works, what managers look for (with guests from the big agencies) and how to use Facebook and Twitter to your benefit.”

Posted July 26, 2013

Photo: Music Entrepreneurship and Career Center at the Peabody Institute