That brings me to my next point: speed and flexibility
. A lot of universities have accelerated programs, minor degrees, and build-yourself flexible programs – the first things that come to mind are the UCLA Extensions film certificate and NYU's Gallatin School. But if music schools want to survive, they need to be more agile.
At Full Sail University, for instance, you can complete a bachelor's degree in 20 months on campus or 29 months online, with rolling admissions and classes beginning monthly. Moreover, you can pause your education, like Minh Khuat did
when he got a film scoring internship back home. The Thai composer landed a job at Hans Zimmer-owned Remote Control Productions right after graduation because of his connections with Full Sail's alumni.
Lastly, music institutions should move away from the traditional formalities and focus on even more specialized and niche fields
instead. A musician's success no longer depends on whether or not one can remember all composers of the Romantic era – in fact, one doesn't even need to know the notes to compose anymore.
We see that positions like mixing and mastering are becoming commoditized, while fields like data science are growing with groundbreaking speed. As a current student, there aren't any options to study data science in music specifically; the only route you can take is majoring in music and juggling that with a minor in computer science. If schools start to create these vertical-based programs, this will allow them to produce specialists that actually have relevant skills, and emerge as a leading educational institution in that niche area.
Of course, universities can continue to operate the way they already are and ignore the reality that is the changing music industry. After all, music companies themselves, following The Dyson Institute's example, can start building their own education programs that would offer industry-relevant skills, a salary from day one, and a guaranteed job in-house. The only question institutions need to ask themselves is… will anyone need universities at that point?