Ok, as most of you regulars know, I'm a high school choral director, jazz and classical vocalist, jazz pianist and a vocal coach and have been doing all of the above for over 20 years now. Recording is merely a hobby and I'm a self-described hack compared to real audio engineers (many of whom are my fellow mods here at RO) Just returned from a convention in St. Louis focusing on future trends in music education. Lots of great, intelligent educators (primarily college professors and their grad students) presenting to curriculum people who are shaping their courses for colleges and secondary music programs. Much of the talk (as it relates to the RO community) centered around 21[SUP]st[/SUP] Century musical skills and exactly what those skills were and if schools had a responsibility / role to play in the development of those skills. An example of the skills were the mash ups, multi-tracking, music-by-ear, layered composition, dub-step things that a variety of people used on Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” posted all over Youtube. This was contrasted in another session exploring college music curriculum today versus 1959 and then again 1880’s. As you can guess, there was VERY little change in the preparation of musicians in readiness to be a part of orchestras, community bands, etc… that dominated the performances of the later part of the 1800s compared to their preparation today. How many of THOSE jobs will be around in 20 years? My question is where are we headed? Is there a place for band, orchestra, chorus in the future? If so, what role? While live musicians can certainly be replaced with recordings for theatrical and perhaps even classical type performances, is that where we are headed? Should be headed? I can accept and recognize that classical/ART music requires a disciplined approach and years of study to reach the virtuoso levels that modern performance practices require is THAT what we should be teaching the youth of today? If so, why? They suggested that 4 conservatories in the U.S. could likely meet all the live classical musical needs 30 years from now. What about the RITUAL of performance that is a part of folk/ vernacular music in every culture? How about the ritual of classical ensembles? Is the ritual of performing with a group of value to the future? Is that a part of the new trends of virtual community? My concern is that we lose the “soul” of music when we only work on it by ourselves. I can “compose” a piece but it doesn’t become music till it is performed- even if only performed by myself. Is everyone just learning to write scrolls for player pianos? Neat, but dancing pony mentality.... Are we creating anything of lasting value? Even if we collaborate nowadays often times it is done virtually. Is there a real soul to “popular” music, is there room for anything else in this commercially driven world? I’m interested in the RO community’s thoughts. Especially those who work in both the classical, pop and education fields?