The View From The Stage: Real Life in a Professional Orchestra

A few years ago an enthusiastic audience member approached me after a concert. “I used to play a little clarinet in high school,” she said.  “How do I get  into the Richmond Symphony?” I explained the long, hard road I had traveled to become a professional musician. Then, with a look of confusion she said, “But you can’t actually make a living doing this, can you?” Conversations like this reveal the disconnect between …

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Why Music is Essential to Education

What is the role of music and the arts in education? Unlike the arts-centered education of ancient Athens, modern American public education has increasingly moved towards jobs training. In this commodified world of standardized tests, the arts are often pushed to the periphery so that students will be “prepared for college” or “competitive in a global economy.” Does the current system teach students what to think instead of how to think? In …

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