Musings from our CEO

"It's Life Jim, but not as we know it!"

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“It’s Life Jim, but not as we know it!” 

During these exceptional times (Covid-19 crisis), this quote from the famous “Star Trek” character “bones” sums up rather nicely how we feel about a career in the creative industries including music. Just a quick scroll through your Social Media apps will demonstrate how the creative industries are quickly reacting an ever-evolving employment landscape.   

Authors of “Urban Theory: A critical introduction to power, cities and urbanism in the 21st century”, Alan Harding and Talja Blokand remark on Clays initial premise. 

Gentrification as a process: 

“First the pioneers come – artists, bohemians, people willing to take risks and in search of cheap housing. They are then followed by developers and investors. When the media pick up that an area is becoming “hip”, more established middle classes take an interest in the place and prices rise. Finally, these middle-class professionals are outpriced by managers and business elites.”

The ethos of this concept should be extended to the “work environment”. Artists and creative individuals are the catalyst for invention and advancement. The value of the arts is appreciated by economists and the U.K. government who recently announced: 

With the very nature of work evolving from a “a job for life” towards a “portfolio” based career, music and the creative industries play a vital part in helping to upskill and mentally prepare the next generation of workers. The opportunity for increased job satisfaction whilst supporting the mental health of a society should not be under-estimated, which is why so many artists are now choosing to study conventional “business” courses at University in order to learn how to monetise and carve out a career in the creative industries.  

Last year (2019), there was an average decline of 22.5% in music and music technology courses being offered to young people. Is this because there is insufficient demand or supply? Or is it a reflection of how music education has evolved into the digital sphere quicker than any other subject? There are now more YouTube and e-teachers than ever before and music is about learning from listening, watching and guidance. Therefore, the digital space is almost the perfect environment for musicians to meet, learn, collaborate and continually evolve!   

Anecdotally our young musicians have parents that come from a different starting perspective and essentially a different world. They might be dentists, lawyers, nuclear scientists, all of which have “traditional” jobs and “traditional” workplaces. Does this make it difficult from them to comprehend a “portfolio” based career pathway? Are questions such as “Is it stable?” and “How will they earn money?, or “will they be able to have a family?” typical?   

We are not brave enough to respond directly to those concepts, however, what we do know is that the enlightened parents who support and engage with the learning and opportunities to be found in a creative industries environment are uniformly excited and energised by what their children are achieving.  

The answers to the typical questions are obviously “yes” and it is just fear of the unknown that prevents parents embracing a different future for their children. The starting concepts for any life decisions should be: 

“What do I want to change or contribute to this world? 

“Does this make me happy?” 

Rather than coming from the premise of “what do you want to be when you grow up?” which leads to dissatisfaction as the jobs change as we grow. It is better to say, “what do you want to change and contribute?”, that way our young people choose subjects which will give them the skills to make a difference.   

At Hot House we encourage young people to “do” what they love, “do” what they enjoy, not because we want them all to become professional musicians or athletes/dancers, rather we understand the emotional value of investing in what makes you “smile”. If music is your passion, there are so many opportunities open to you including: 

The examples above (not exhaustive) all combine music and another “traditional” subject and have the ability to operate within a portfolio career framework, thereby giving our young people the opportunity to be happy and relevant members of the work force. 

We are extremely proud of our alumni who have gone on to become successful and famous musicians around the globe. However, we are exceptionally proud of those alumni who go on to change the world in more diverse fields such as: 

Calum Ferriera & Naomi Tansey – sound acousticians who work for Arup and focus on the acoustic design of concert halls, cross rail, HS2 and Maida Vale BBC studios. They have also worked for MTV and Beats headphones, a perfect example of combining physics and music 

Music makes the world a smaller and more tolerant place and when placed within the digital environ it becomes a valid and engaging career choice for all demographics. To increase the happiness and kindness in the world, we need more pioneers, artists and bohemians”, as they “take the leap”. We hope that our parents will be equally brave and aspire to understand and appreciate the value of a creative career 

 To our students, “the future is yours to change and yours to manage, you choose the life you live, choose well. You never know, you might be the next Gene Roddenberry!”. 

Who remembers this???

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