Music education key in professional achievement

Re: “Keep music playing at Camosun College,” letter, April 20.

Is there a correlation between music education and business success? Top-tier executives will tell you music training is a key factor in their professional achievements. Camosun’s own president, Kathryn Laurin, is a gifted choral artist and conductor who attributes her career success to music. She’s in good company — Condoleeza Rice, Alan Greenspan, Neil Armstrong, Alexander Graham Bell, Louis Braille, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, John Glenn, Ben Franklin, Bill Clinton and Mahatma Gandhi all studied music.

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Music opens pathways to creative thinking, collaboration, ability to listen, the power to focus on the present and the future simultaneously and the ability to connect disparate or even contradictory ideas. Music contributes to a well-rounded education, a foundation of learning and power of reasoning that is critical, no matter what your professional path.

So why isn’t everyone objecting to potential plans by Camosun to cancel the music-diploma programs delivered by the Victoria Conservatory of Music? As a senior executive for the past 20 years, I’m certainly horrified we are at risk of losing programs that help students become more versatile and creative and able to move between a variety of careers in favour of single-discipline experts.

With enrolment in trade studies nearing 25 per cent of total students, could it be that Camosun thinks specialization is the way to secure its success? Provincial funding of $29 million might certainly drive this focus.

I hope Camosun will realize that our future business leaders are worth more than the $227,500 it will save by stopping the music.

Lesley Brown

Victoria

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