In the past we have discussed how many people working in the arts are already and have been pursuing portfolio careers for some time now. So it was especially interesting to discover that in Australia
knowing how to build a portfolio career has become an essential skill for Australian musicians.
‘Being led by a Conservatorium where we are preparing young musicians for a career in the 21st Century this is a core concern for us,’ said QCRC Director Associate Professor Brydie-Leigh Bartleet.
‘So many musicians today don’t have a single job. We know this is happening increasingly but we don’t know very much about how people navigate these careers. What are the challenges and how do they achieve success?’
Professor Bartleet said the three-year investigation aims to survey 1000 musicians about how they combine careers that include performance, recording, creation, music direction, teaching, community activities, health, retail and a presence in online environments.
Professor Bartleet said the results will inform opportunities for training, development and support for working musicians.
‘We already have a course at the Conservatorium called My Life as a Musician to get students thinking from the very first day about their careers and that includes entrepreneurial skills, business skills, marketing, how to build collaborations with colleagues. But we hope we will be able to develop much better strategies with this research.’
The study will cover all genres of music. Professor Bartleet said while the typical training and performance context was different for classical, jazz, popular and cross-cultural musicians there was increasing crossover as part of the multiple career model.
I have a feeling that more and more professions will begin to pay attention to helping their students to explore the possibility of creating portfolio careers.