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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Let's invest more in Ethnomusicology

Ethnomusicology - "the study of social and cultural aspects of music and dance in local and global contexts."

While musicology's traditional subject has been the history and literature of Western art music, ethnomusicologists study all music as a human social and cultural phenomenon.

Here are the US colleges at which you can study this field:
• Bowling Green State University
• Brown University
• City University of New York
• Columbia University
• Florida State University
• Indiana University
• Kent State University (M.A. in Ethnomusicology, Ph.D. in Musicology-Ethnomusicology)
• New York University
• Ohio State University
• Oberlin College
• Texas Tech University (Musicology Degree, Emphasis in Ethnomusicology)
• University of Arizona (Musicology Degree, Emphasis in Ethnomusicology)
• University of California, Berkeley
• University of California, Davis
• University of California, Los Angeles
• University of California, Riverside
• University of California, Santa Barbara
• University of California, Santa Cruz
• University of Chicago
• University of Colorado, Boulder
• University of Florida
• University of Hawai'i at Manoa
• University of Illinois
• University of Iowa
• University of Maryland, College Park
• University of Memphis, TN (Musicology Degree, Emphasis in Southern Regional Studies)
• University of Minnesota at Minneapolis
• University of Michigan
• University of New Mexico
• University of Pennsylvania
• University of Pittsburgh
• University of Texas at Austin
• University of Washington
• University of Wisconsin–Madison
• Wesleyan University

One can pursue a BA, an MA or a PHD. This is a field that has got to pay very well. And if you combine this study with lots of student loans it is a sure way to financial security.

It is obvious how this coursework helps these entrepreneurs establish a framework on which they can hire other employees, pay income taxes and help the US balance of payments with exports to other countries.

For any high school senior looking for productive future here is something you should really consider.

I am a first year student at a Top 40 school

I am a first year student at a Top 40 (in the world) school. Between my upper-middle class parents, scholarships, and financial aid, I could easily continue on going with college for the next ten years. And I will keep getting scholarships because I take classes in a subjects matter I am good at, my potential 'majors' if you will. Those are Mythology, Linguistics, and Creative Writing. You can see where this is going. Come October of 2009, I was already at the point where I had to ask myself "what the hell am I doing here?" My classes this semester involve the quick-learned talent of reading the IPA chart, a class that covers the extensive history of Greek Mythology (and I've read all the classics in high school), an open workshop in Lyricism where half of the students speak English as a second or third language, and a mandatory history class on Japan and I took Japanese History at my local state school in my senior year of high school. Next year I will be taking a novelist workshop with even less native English speakers, a class on wine tasting and one on math theorems in music theory, a Japanese class composed of fifteen Japanese students, 12 Chinese students, and 3 or 4 anime fans, a 200-level class on reading the IPA chart, and an Asian folklore class.

Where am I going with this? How is any of this helping me? I'm taking classes with subjective grading systems, terrible curves, and profs who know less about the subject matter than I do. I'm draining money out of the system that I don't need so I can live in a cramped little room with all of my books and an ever growing pile of water bottles and beer cans. It is such an empty experience, and I know it won't help me. At best, I'll have the BA (or BFA, should I end up in Creative Writing) and then get a desk job that has little or nothing to do with my major. I can't stand it. I want to leave, but I have no job experience and my only skills relate to language and writing. Short of succumbing to the inevitable and becoming one of the many English teachers who serve only to perpetuate this cycle, I've got little else I can see myself doing. Unless I hit it big in the publishing world, I don't have many options here but to live with my parents, something that would probably end in tragedy.

I wish, in high school, there had been other options suggested to me. Our guidance counselors made even the poorest students apply to community college, and students like me - the top tier - were everything but forced to apply to the best schools in and out of state. There was no real concept of specialty schooling, or job training, or perhaps just alternatives to "living with your parents." It was basically that or college. Now I'm stuck in a system that will lead to a life of monotony.