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Missing the Grade
The Truly Important Things to Learn as an Undergraduate

by Joanie Brittingham



High unemployment rates, opera companies folding, rising costs of education—these are the problems facing singers of all levels in the United States. It’s particularly dismal for students navigating college auditions and choosing a voice program. Music schools feel obligated to admit as many students as possible to keep programs full and, to administrations, viable. Students may or may not know what a career entails and they often do not learn until after they’ve completed a degree program.

“Keep in mind that a bachelor’s is just the beginning and never fully enough—too many singers come out of school not really learning to appreciate and understand music and are merely prepared to sing songs and arias,” notes Jennifer Kosharsky, whose credits include Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra and St. Petersburg (Fla.) Opera.

What might be more disturbing than students coming out of undergraduate and even graduate programs ill prepared for their profession is that they leave school thousands ...
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