Art vs. commerce continues to be an issue in a world where students studying music hope someday to make a living.
Traditional conservatories such as Juilliard still rank high in the overall picture, even in a world in which many big-name composers and musicians make an impact without any formal training at all. For those who do want a traditional music education, a conservatory is still an effective way to develop skills without the pressures of the business side of the industry.
"I think the school of music was formative for me in that respect," says film composer Marco Beltrami (The Homesman) of his experience at Yale's conservatory. "It was a very academic institution rather than a trade school — it's more about expanding the creative processes of the brain." But composer Jeff Beal, who recently won an Emmy for his work on House of Cards and is creating a program for the Eastman School of Music, says the key to making a living as a musician lies in diversifying.
"I've met so many young composers who've come straight out of Juilliard, and so many of them are wonderful concert composers, but [they] have an interest in doing film. My sense of the future of music-making is that's a line that's going to continue to be blurred."