British Journal of Music Education

A young person's guide to the orchestral profession

David Corkhill a1
a1 Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Silk Street, Barbican, London EC2 Y8DT

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Through interviews with ten conservatoire students and ten professional orchestral musicians teaching at conservatoires, this paper seeks to establish whether young people regard the orchestral music profession as a worthwhile ambition. If so, are teachers preparing students sufficiently for their careers and passing on the benefits of their considerable experience? While interviewees express deep enthusiasm and love for the orchestral profession, both students and professors seem less sure about the consistency and quality of career preparation at the conservatoire level. Professors explain the difficulties of prioritising multiple agendas during lesson time, while students, though determined to pursue their dream of becoming orchestral players, reveal only partial understanding and knowledge of the profession.