The Streets are paved with gold

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Philtunes 1 year, 5 months ago.

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  • #23655 Reply

    #23656 Reply

    Art Munson

    LOL! Just heard that segment this morning. First thought, “Oh great, just what we need, more composers slicing up the pie.”. Second thought, “Oh great, more MLR subscribers!”. 🙂

    #23657 Reply


    Let’s just say that with a cost of 227K for a four-year degree, there some incentive to make it sound lucrative.

    Law School cost a fraction of that! 🙂

    #23666 Reply


    As a Berklee alum, I think I can say that the streets in the Back Bay of Boston are certainly paved with the gold of the students. Insanely expensive these days! Double what it was just twelve years ago. It’s a crime to give a kid more than $100k of debt (let alone 200k at full price) with only a music degree to show for it.

    Maybe there aren’t many students paying full price (a lot of scholarship money is handed out each year), or at least not in debt for the full price (I’m sure many have wealthy parents).

    That said, I’m glad they’re focusing on paths that actually lead to making a living. The facilities in the new tower are amazing – they actually have a pretty much pro level scoring stage now, something I could only dream of when I was there.

    #23667 Reply

    Scott Ross

    As a former large commercial studio owner in Seattle (till about 4 months ago) the amount of calls and emails that I received throughout the years from new graduates of the Art Institute, Full Sail etc. was staggering.They were all looking for “internships”! I’m sure they teach their students that once they graduate, they’ll be mixing the next big record in 6 months. I’m assuming it’s like this in other parts of the country, but being that Seattle is a large metropolitan area, there aren’t that many studios that offer internships. After you’ve spent $100,000 on a music degree, it’s hard to pay that back working for free!

    #23668 Reply


    After you’ve spent $100,000 on a music degree, it’s hard to pay that back working for free!

    It’s also hard to pay the back selliong cues for poscasts, which is what the podcast seems to imply is possible, with the help of Berklee.

    Even with a pro level scoring stage, etc., the industry can’t absorb all of the graduates that Berklee and other schools are cranking out.

    But…it does mean there’s some very well trained competiton out there.

    #23669 Reply


    The same thing applies to the many young Jazz virtuosos being turned out from Berklee, North Texas State, and all the other schools that now offer Jazz Performance Degrees. Something that did not exist in recent memory. These Men and Woman are getting very good younger and younger but there are fewer gigs with more competition then ever. Live music at the working class musician level has really suffered/changed in the modern world. With DJs and countless entertainment choices people have , your old gig paradigm has shifted. I have been gigging full time for over 40 years and it has been a constant adaptation. It is still possible but I don’t see a bright future for all the highly trained and in dept future graduates, although I wish all of us well. Now I got to go look for a gig.

    #23672 Reply

    Michael Nickolas

    Double what it was just twelve years ago

    And it sure was reasonable when I graduated, dare I say it, back in the 80’s. I just can’t imagine what the kids graduating now face, trying to make a living in music. I found a way to scrape by with music over all my years, but wouldn’t know where to tell a recent graduate to even begin…

    #24711 Reply


    I may be a bit jaded, but I think anyone majoring in music today is making a huge mistake. I graduated from North Texas in the 80s and if not for the computer skills I developed between gigs after that, I would probably be destitute, divorced and supporting Bernie Sanders because of his promises of free stuff. 😉 I was the first person in my family to go to college, my parents had no idea what to tell me about school or debt for that matter. I paid for college with student loans and scholarships.

    I recently heard someone say “the music industry is a very hard place to grow old.” He is correct. Chasing a dream is one thing, but the odds of making it big are slim, and to think that it requires talent and hard work is short sighted. It also requires luck, timing, network connections among other things. Do we encourage kids to major in sports so they can make the NFL? Yes. Should we? No. There will always be skilled people that make it based on raw talent. But for each one of them there are thousands of others that chased that dream and now struggle because they didn’t have a solid Plan B. Life isn’t fair, but it is what you make of it. Personal accountability and the choices you make are important.

    #24713 Reply



    #24716 Reply


    I feel that if students wish to develop a career in music they should be aware of the skills they have to understand. It is certainly not enough to be computer aware and know how to handle a mixing desk … That is music technology and can be learned through working in a studio or in a band or live sound this is modern technology. However, learning an instrument to a very high level… Particularly piano. Violin, guitar, trumpet etc can also lead to many opportunities. Also being able to arrange an orchestral or jazz ensemble may well lead to opportunities which are never really considered .. I really enjoy composing music for film and soundtracks but there are so many (composers) sending music to libraries I feel I cannot compete or be bothered with writing 50 or more tracks to keep sending to libraries, So I use my music education in a different way. Eg…. The music was a an orchestral sample arrangement we want it written for a string quartet or a brass group, or we want it arranged for a renaissance group. Could you do this for us. I do and I make a fair amount per hour for the service. I suppose what I am trying to say is there are several artists out there who record music…with live ensembles such as string quartets someone has to arrange it , write it out etc.
    There are many benefits to studying music at degree level and if a student is imaginative and skilled enough a good living can be earned supplementing the music skills they have acquired.

    #24718 Reply


    All good points, Phil. The reality I’ve seen is that live musical performing groups are disappearing. You mentioned jazz ensembles, they are going the way of the dodo and Latin. Most of the remaining ensembles play music written/arranged by members of the ensemble. I think there are far more arrangers and composers than there are end users that could perform their works (which is so sad).

    Advances in computer technology have made it very easy for people to produce very high quality tv/film music. And I’ve learned that many of the people making six figures a year at this have little to no formal music training. Many can’t even read music, they just know what sounds good. Mixing in the box has replaced many studios. Sample libraries and high quality .VST’s have replaced many quality musicians. I’ve got friends at the top of the performing side of the business and rare is the person that makes a quality living at it. So many are struggling and worried. If you can break into the inner studio musician circles in LA, NY and Nashville you can stay busy and do well. But that’s a small group, and there are thousands, if not millions, of musicians out there trying to make it.

    My advice to my two musically gifted teenagers has been this: Music is an amazing passion that can fill your soul for life with constant challenges and joys, but rare is the person that can make it a comfortable career. (there are always exceptions) Find a way to earn a quality living so that you can fund your passion for music and truly get the most pleasure out of it, instead of forcing yourself to take that bar gig at the airport Holiday Inn to cover your rent payment. I enjoy my technology day job and use it to fund my home studio, which gives me immense pleasure as I can write very day for joy instead of need.

    #24719 Reply


    As a chef and a musician/songwriter (neither of which I went to school for) I thought I’d add that culinary schools are doing the same thing as these creative schools by selling false promises and a reality of the business that simply doesn’t exist (very few become rich or celebrity chefs) It’s really a racket and these kids get saddled with a ton of debt for a career that really doesn’t pay (and asks a lot of you and your time)

    #24724 Reply


    Yes Paulie, I know it is tough particularly for young performers. I took a path in the uk I might add and became a music teacher initially…. I carried on and I am still am having a wonderful time teaching music part time now. Ok I am not earning a full on living writing music as a career but you are right, hey Philip Glass was working as a plumber in the 70’s to supplement his income. John cage had to give lectures. I think it is popular music where there are fantastic incomes to be earned for only a few lucky artists… The rest of us have to carry on with what we do and develop it.

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