(Sorry I realised I wrote a pretty long email, so skip if you're not
really interested in the (off) topic)
In Italy here, so pretty different environment, educational system and
(crappy) job market. I'll give you some of my experience and in the
meantime some required background on the country... hoping it might be
interesting for someone.
I did a degree in musicology (after quitting one in computer science)
and started working while I was finishing my degree. I have always been
a 'techie' as well and used the skills in both my degree and job (did
two 'IT-oriented' theses and work for a musical foundation on IT-related
Within my job I met a composer and professor of electronic music who
suggested I might try admission to an electronic music conservatorie
I guess this need a biref explanation on "music learning in Italy" which
I think is unique in the world: in Italy electronic music (and music
teaching like isntruments, composition etc.) is a monopoly of music
conservatoires, no university has such programmes (some engineering
faculties have DSP and some sound design, but of course the focus is not
on music). In university only musicology and ethnomusicology are taught.
Around the year 2000 conservatoires were put at the same level of
universities with the creation of 'European' degrees that is 3(+2)
years, roughly corresponding to MA + BA. As usual in this country this
created a big big mess so that these degrees are still called 'diplomas'
and no post-graduate programmes exist, together with many practical
Anyway... I tried admission and passed. There is no such thing here as
'adult learning' so studying with job and family is pretty much a
nightmare and who knows when I will complete my 'diploma' (hopefully
beginning of 2012), it is also relatively expensive. But I really enjoy
the subjects and am determined to complete it. Family and job also mean
there is very little time to study and what's most compose and
experiment, 'play' etc. I must say I have encountered very supportive
and nice teachers until now and that also helps.
As for what Michael said about the 'vision' on electronic music,
especially in academic contexts, I think it depends a lot on the (head)
teachers and the vision they have. So looking at the study programme,
maybe even asking for a chat, could be useful to see if what they do is
Let's not talk of jobs. The situation is simply dramatic here.
As a side note, I'm a strong Linux advocate at the conservatoire as
well... Most people use 1. mac 2. windows. I'm the only one using 100%
linux in my class. During the last year I've been porting stuff we were
developing for MAX/MSP (as C externals) to Pd, it's fun but sometimes it
can be a little frustrating to be the only one using the system: I am
slowly creating some 'adepts' though (I always make sure my Compiz is
turned on when I'm in class :) ) who are interested in stuff like Jack
and the fact I manage to make stuff completely in linux (from composing
to scoring to audio rendering, using plugins, etc., etc.).
Not sure all this was of any help. Anyway I wish you all the best and
michael noble wrote: