Going to Music School

Posted on January 12th, 2012 by Jean Cook in What We're Learning. 4 Comments

The FMC team spent some time with the Network of Music Career Development Officers at their annual meeting on Thursday, January 11, 2012 at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City.  Here are some slides from our presentation, which look at some of the survey results with respect to conservatory and music school graduates.

In this presentation we looked at the characteristics of the 2,728 musicians and composers who said they graduated from a conservatory of music school.  The top regions for this group were New York, Boston, Washington DC, Long Beach/LA, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Detroit, Madison, Minneapolis, Nashville, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth and Rochester.

conservatory graduates


We found that music school or conservatory graduates were more likely to be earning more, working more, and were more likely to have a graduate degree.

This revenue pie aggregates the income of 2,728 respondents.  This group is more likely to teach, be a salaried player in an orchestra or ensemble, or perform live than non-graduates of conservatories or music schools.

Conservatory or music school graduates are more likely to teach than people who did not attend conservatory or music school.  61 percent of music school graduates report having teaching income, compared to 35 percent of those who did not attend music school.  Here is more on where these musicians teach, when they do.
We also spent quite a bit of time looking at the case studies we’ve been developing for this project.  The ARS Case Studies look at actual verifiable financials for real musicians, composers and groups and go into fascinating detail.  We’re still a couple months away from finishing the case studies and releasing them publicly, but you see a sneak preview of a draft of a Jazz composer-performer-bandleader on NPR’s A Blog Supreme here.

4 Responses to “Going to Music School”

  1. […] I also found this study which shows that of the $25-40k a jazz musician is making, only 20% of that money comes from live performances, the rest coming from teaching, salaries, and session work:   http://money.futureofmusic.org/going-to-music-school/ […]

  2. […] gives some data for the entire project’s 5,371 respondents. And the correlation of attending music school and income — much bandied-about in this age of jazz history — is also […]

  3. […] degree from a music school like LA Music Academy (LAMA) is more important than ever. According to a new article in the money section of FutureofMusic.org, going to Music School shows an impact on artists’ […]