I’ve been working on a presentation on the language of music advocacy for the Ithaca College School of Music convocation next week, and as always when I prepare something for public presentation, I attain a focus not possible in day-to-day discourse. Also, this past week I attended and gave a presentation to the Network of Career Development Officers (NETMCDO) in New York, at the Manhattan School of Music. Hearing the many issues discussed there, most especially career challenges for emerging graduates, contrasted with my work on the IC presentation. Let me explain.
The contrast (I’m avoiding the word, conflict) involves the altruistic route for emerging musicians of finding ways to connect the power of music to people (of all types) in their communities v. finding a way to “commercialize” what you do well and love. The latter route here may indeed include altruistic elements, but only accidentally.
In my opinion, unless we concentrate on demonstrating the power of music to transform, on connecting to people who are surrounded by music, but not touched by it, we travel a lonely road. Please let’s start with this urge, then explore and find ways to support ourselves. Otherwise we risk gimmickry and ultimate failure.