It’s hard to imagine a world without a career.
And yet, there are countless jobs out there that are already filled by people who can’t get a degree in music, and that could be a lifetime in the making.
These are the professions that are being lost because of the rising cost of music education.
So what do you do to stay ahead of the curve?
That’s the question being asked of the world’s music educators as we head into the next decade of higher education.
With the advent of digital music and digital audio production, music education is expected to grow at a double-digit rate over the next few years.
In 2018, the number of music-related degrees in the UK is expected for the first time ever, rising to more than 300,000 from just 130,000 a decade ago.
As part of the UK Music Awards 2018, Music Education UK is hoping to take a major step forward by bringing the benefits of music to the digital age.
The initiative aims to make learning music a more viable career choice by bringing together music education professionals, students, industry professionals and researchers from around the world.
Music Education and Media Director of Music Education, Andrew Hill, said the initiative aims at providing a ‘lifelong learning experience’ by helping students to develop their skills in a globalised, collaborative environment.
‘We want to bring the music education industry into the digital world and help people to realise their full potential by teaching them how to make music in their own time and place and in their country of origin,’ he told Al Jazeera.
The scheme will involve a partnership between UK Music Education’s Music Development Network and the UK’s largest music education provider, Soundcloud.
The Music Development network will work with Soundcloud to develop the curriculum and make it accessible for the wider music industry.
Andrew Hill says the Music Development is the biggest challenge to the UK music industry but that the government has ‘bought in’ to the initiative.
‘The music industry has always been very open to a collaborative, open-minded approach to education,’ he said.
‘But they’ve been too cautious in the past about putting this on their own timetable.
They’ve not put a time limit on how long people can work.
And they’ve got a pretty tight timetable in terms of their own curriculum.’
But the challenge for music education in the future is not the money.
Music education needs to improve to remain viable in the coming years, Hill said.
The UK is the third-largest producer of digital audio content in the world, after the US and Germany, and has one of the highest music literacy rates in the OECD.
‘There’s a lack of skills, and we have to make sure that students have access to the skills that they need to make the best use of their time and to make an impact on the world,’ he explained.
‘And we have some very big, big problems with how to do that in a way that actually works.’