The urgent need for career preview: Student expectations and graduate realities in music and dance

Dawn Bennett*, Ruth Bridgstock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Unlike the work available in many creative disciplines, musicians and dancers have the possibility of company-based employment; however, participants outweigh the number of positions. As a result, many graduates become "enforced entrepreneurs" as they shape their work to meet personal and professional needs. The similarities between initial music and dance careers offer opportunities for research across both. This article explores the career projections of 58 music and dance students who were surveyed in their first week of post-secondary study. It contrasts these findings with the reality of graduate careers as reported by five of that cohort four years later. In contrast with the studentsfocus on performance roles, the graduate cohort reported a prevalence of portfolio careers incorporating both creative and non-creative roles. The paper characterizes the notion of a performing arts "career" as a messy concept fraught with misunderstanding. Implications include the need to heighten studentscareer awareness and position intrinsic satisfaction as a valued career concept.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-277
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Music Education
Volume33
Issue number3
Early online date13 Nov 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes

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