The Sunday Papers
It is another one of those Sundays. All week
the radio commercials have cheerfully told of successful people who had found
their jobs through The New York Times. This Sunday's Classified Section,
they have crooned, would contain listings of over 10,000 jobs. The implication
couldn't be missed: if you wanted a job, you couldn't fail to land one by
thumbing through the Times' great Help Wanted Section, 44 (and
often more) pages of professional panacea in four-point type.
Years of weekly Want-ad peering may give a proper perspective
on the professional musician's role in the labor market, but will fail to
inure him to the truth. By the time he reaches the M's, his mouth is dry.
After columns of Machinist, Management, and Marketing, a slight hand tremor
develops. Medical and Mental Health, he quips, is what he'll be in the market
for if he doesn't get to Music soon; and Messenger is what he'll probably
have to settle for if he needs a job badly enough. There, after Multilith,
is where the word Music generally appears, when it appears. Not that one
may expect to find Times ads for music directors of major orchestras,
or even for most playing or singing jobs, or tenured positions for professors
of musicology. There are trade journals for such rarified posts, and most
of the time, the professional grapevine does the trick without resorting
to umbrella groups or periodicals. But Music - a whole dimension of
human communication - wouldn't one think that enough lower level or paraprofessional
jobs might be available to give the young aspiring musician a stepping stone,
an apprenticeship, a point of departure? Aren't there enough musically oriented
jobs generated by society's demands for the art to warrant a column or two?
Music Monitors, every so often: people who listen to radio programs and identify
tunes for logging purposes. Music Publishing, now and again: a job as order
filler or clerk, sometimes dressed up with fancier titles (to mask menial
jobs) or occasional offers of free concert tickets. Music Counselors, springtime
proffers for eight weeks of summer sun and frolic, with or without bunk duties,
at a children's camp.
Lovejoy's College Guide lists over two thousand colleges
and universities. Most of them offer courses in music, and many of them have
music faculties and students who major in one or more musical disciplines.
The College Music Society Directory (Eighth Edition) proudly contains
the names of 23,508 music faculty at 1,398 institutions serving
unfathomable numbers of students, many of whom will try to apply their education
when they are cast upon the labor market.
It is another one of those Sundays. Immediately following
the Multiliths in the Want-ads are fourteen columns of Nurses.