Recruitment and Retention in the Applied Music Studio: A Critical Examination of Curricular and Institutional Demands

April 1, 2019


This article explores data from the published literature, and a focus group, on recruitment and retention in the applied studio—topics, about which, applied faculty members have been reticent and private for decades. Authors shed light on historic and contemporary common practices, and problematize the implications of sustaining recruiting requirements as mandated by traditional music curricula and music departments within United States (U.S.) conservatories and universities. A review of the literature reveals few journal articles related to applied studio recruitment and retention and only four doctoral dissertations by researchers in the last 35 years. Our focus group was in the format of a panel discussion convened at a regional conference of the College Music Society. Six applied faculty members represented six institutions, public and private; participants taught in string, woodwind, brass, piano, voice, and composition studios. Our analysis of the scant published literature, and focus group comments, revealed many recruitment and retention practices that have remained common over the last 40 years or more and recurring inequity of resources, both within programs and between public and private institutions. Authors call for open dialogue and continued, shared research into equitable, productive, sustainable recruitment and retention methods in applied music studios within our conservatories and universities.

Donald Henriques

Expand article
5906 Last modified on April 15, 2020