In a nearing post-college society, we currently have a massive population of millennials who are heavily burdened by student loan debt. The majority of students who seek out the validation of a tiny piece of paper end up with an ever interest-increasing debt that is seemingly impossible to handle without choosing to live in your parent’s basement for the rest of their lives.
The topic at hand, now, is how we can embrace education in the digital age. Is it necessary to attend college? It may depend on the study in which you are seeking.
Coming from a singer, who attended a world famous music college, I can safely say that I wouldn’t change my decision in attending, if I had given a second chance. Despite the fact that I have been out of school for almost ten years and still have over $90,000 in student loan debt - still doesn’t make me question it. I couldn’t read music when I first arrived - and the four years of intensive training tuned my ear like no other. Priceless, in my opinion. It gave me a creative confidence that I never knew I was missing - in being able to break down a chord structure or conduct for a symphony impromptu.
If you are looking to follow the journey of a sound engineering career, schooling may be beneficial as it is more technical, unwavering & deliberate when it comes to the world of consoles, DAWS (i.e. ProTools) and plug-ins.
Meanwhile, if you’re a performer - this may be one of the divisions in which you would be better suited to just take out your instrument, gig every night, meet colleagues, collaborate, learn by trial and error and even use apps like PitStop Musicians, to navigate the blur a bit easier. You are learning in the streets of the culture. Another benefit of this is that you may end up saving time that you may have had to make up for after college. When you’re embedded in a 4 year + program, you are often times so busy that you aren’t able to be too much in the culture of your near future career. After exiting school, you will have to make up for lost time and immerse yourself back into the reality, rather than just the theory, of the culture, which often times takes years. Yet, in the end, all you can do is trust your instincts regarding what is right for you at that particular moment in time.
Finally - Let’s not forget the entire world of online tutorials. YouTube has a plethora of educational materials at one’s fingertips. Pick your topic of choice, they’ve got it all and then some. The benefit of this is that you can replay the videos over and over and over until you’ve got it down. Best of all, it's pretty much completely free - all it will cost you is time, focus and the monthly price of your internet connection. More on this coming soon. Stay tuned!
K. O'Neil, PitStop Musicians