Traditional Arts-performance Curriculum Short Changing Graduates

A recent article in the US based Chronicle of Higher Education argues that the current art-performance curricula does little to improve graduates prospects to make a sustainable living from their art.  Music academics Eric Lapin (Clemson University), Ronald McCurdy (University of Southern California) and Dean of Architecture, Arts and Humanities Richard Goodstein (Clemson University) argue that ‘a strictly performance based arts degree' leaves graduates having to find ‘bits and pieces of low -paying often transient work that often leads to burn out and disillusionment'.

They argue that a performance education curriculum that reflects the challenges of securing a stable performing career in today's environment should be more about ‘artist/entrepreneur training with courses in arts collaboration, management and marketing as central features. Noting that some US institutions are moving in this direction, for example the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins, Berklee College of Music and Julliard, in many others the ‘glacial pace' of curriculum reform is preventing the changes that will provide graduating art performers with the chance of a stable career.