Survey data regarding salaries for musicians is difficult to ascertain. Many musicians and artists in general are reluctant to respond to survey data if they are not making it full-time in the arts, and often income is sporadic. While this report regarding U.S. Salaries for Music Positions contains wide ranges in salaries, Berklee should be commended for compiling this report and providing some information and benchmarks as a starting point.
In a previous post, we featured a video interview of Roger H. Brown, President of Berklee School of Music in which he articulated why music education belongs in public schools. He stressed that the most important element of effective learning is a motivated student:
“If you care about people doing well academically, being prepared for careers, and having a successful life, the number one thing that you need to do is find something that gives them energy, that lights them up, that makes them feel animated. A sullen student sitting in a classroom being drilled on Algebra isn’t going to happen.”
Brown stresses that music is often the conduit that opens the student up to the concept of learning.
In my research for the book Everything We Needed to Know About Business, We Learned Playing Music, Bob Massie, CEO of Marketing Informatics echoed those sentiments when reflecting on his own academic experience:
“Music just completely filled my life,” he stated. “That was life in the small town. I did school just because that’s what you were expected to do, but I did it only as an obligation. Every waking moment I wanted to be involved in music someplace.”
It would seem that the “student motivation/effectiveness of learning” argument alone, as expressed by Brown, would justify funding of music education programs. Massie’s sentiments take it a step further – consider that in many cases, we might lose students altogether if we don’t provide the programs that energize them about participating in school at all.
It is worth noting that Massie’s company has been recognized in Inc. magazine as one of the 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies on several occasions and has been recognized for outstanding achievement by the Harvard School of Business, The Kelley School of Business, and the Indianapolis Business Journal.
With all of the metrics used to evaluate the effectiveness of education, it’s important to remember that students are the customers of the education system. Therefore, the ultimate measure of performance is whether or not the students feel as thought their needs were met -whatever those needs might be for the individual student.
With that thought in mind, when Berklee School of Music held a music education symposium recently to discuss best practices, they held a special panel discussion comprised of students discussing their experience and answering questions regarding music education.
Many of the benefits mentioned by the students included those identified in our research such as leadership, confidence, and teamwork and collaboration (See FROM THE BAND ROOM TO THE BOARDROOM…The 9 Common Lessons of Music Education That Translate into Success)
Brenda Pike from Berklee’s Office of Communications captured some of those comments and posted them to the Berklee website. Click here for the article link
This brief video interview with Roger H. Brown, President of Berklee College of Music, articulates so many of the key reasons that music education in our schools is important. Interesting ideas that we also articulated in Everything We Needed to Know About Music, We Learned Playing Music include:
– The importance of finding ways to motivate students if we want to effectively educate them
– The idea that many students that don’t respond well to traditional education assessments often have exceptional talents
– Roger uses the term that it is “criminal” that we can’t make music educators available to students, a thought echoed by S. Neil Vineberg in the book.