Jonathan Starkey

A true voice of reason and experience . . .

I am available at varying times of the year for tuition and lectures.

This is an area I am interested in as I find it amazing (with no disrespect intended) how very little musicians and tutors from major music educational establishments and educational departments in local authorities really know and understand about music and its relationship to business today.

Is too much emphasis placed on qualification in music today?

In order to comprehend my comment above, you have to understand that I am not against qualifications, far from it, but realise that a credential from any august body, no matter how well respected they are, doesn't make you a brilliant composer or performer - it is your performance or composition at your chosen instrument or ensemble when performed live or broadcast and the perception of your listener(s) and/or industry professional who intend to use you or purchase your goods for resale. Not a new concept, nearly all performers and composers (i.e. even as far back as Clementi) were aware of this - but one which is forgotten in our politically correct society of today.

I have never known any major publisher or broadcaster who ever hired a performer or commissioned any composer because they had any form of qualification. It was always on their ability to perform or compose and prove the same. I remember my first introduction to 'At the Piano' on BBC Radio 2 - the producer John Langridge wouldn't accept any recommendations for me to perform on the show until he had actually seen and heard me for himself!

Having said all that I have nothing but admiration for people who strive to achieve as long as they remember that the qualification is a guide and it is experience and product coupled with where your musical capabilities presently lie that music industry professionals and any other potential employers are always interested in.