Let’s not single out NYC entirely on this one. Distraction is a part of life, and if you want to find distraction, you can find it anywhere.
That said, NYC is widely known as being as a microcosm of nightlife, partying, and social life. Some people live for these distractions – I on the other hand am concerned if a music student chooses to take advantage of these things perhaps too much.
2. Finances & Rent
The average monthly rent of an apartment in New York City this decade is $3,800, according to this website.
This is the average rent of all apartments in NYC, including multi-bed apartments.
So the average rent per person is more like $1,200 – $1,500.
How many artists do you know are able to afford this kind of rent? Artists are now seen fleeing NYC due to its extraordinarily high cost of living.
Perhaps this point was emphasized already, but NYC is quite congested. Having lived in major cities such as NYC, Boston, Ann Arbor, and Berlin in Germany for extended periods of time, I can tell you that NYC is the most congested and it is not even close.
Long lines, tight-fitting subway trains, and crowded streets aren’t just symptoms of rush hour – they are omnipresent at nearly all daylight hours in the city.
Another con of the city that I won’t get into as much is safety. Some parts are very safe, and others are less so. If you investigate going to school in NYC yourself, you should factor this into the equation and what makes sense for you personally.
Top 6 PRO’S of Attending Music School in New York City
Without question, there are innumerable pro’s to attending school in New York City. Here are my top 10 pro’s for attending school in New York City…
6. Unbelievable Musical & Artistic Institutions
Immediately when I think about New York City, what I first think of is collaboration. There are just an overwhelming number of opportunities for musicians to collaborate in New York City.
From Lincoln Center to Broadway to a “downtown” jazz club, I have never met a musician who felt out of place in New York.
Of course, musicians are exposed to the visual arts as well – places like the Whitney Museum, Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), and the Guggenheim Art Museum all celebrate & cherish the arts.
Collaborating both with other musicians and with interdisciplinary artists is one of the hallmarks of what makes NYC’s music scene so legendary.
5. Access to World-Class Professional Teachers
Want to study with a member of the New York Philharmonic? Just about every music school in the city has on faculty an NY Phil member. Want to study with someone who takes on roles in the Metropolitan Opera? That too.
Broadway? Yes. Jazz at Lincoln Center? Yes.
Something that you may not know about music schools is that they like to employ musicians who are already well-known professionals outside of academia on their faculty.
At Juilliard, NYU, or nearly any other school, you aren’t studying your principal instrument with a graduate student, you are studying with a master of your instrument already working in the real world.
I’m not saying you can’t find world-class professionals at other schools. Far from it.
But we cannot deny that quality of musician teaching at an NYC music school.
I know that some of you may roll your eyes at this one. I was rolling my eyes a little bit too when I first typed that capital B.
And why not? Brooklyn will soon be the nation’s third largest city ahead of Chicago, according to Gothamist. Its popularity is absurd.
I actually used to live in Brooklyn myself years ago. I can tell you, from significant first-hand experience, Manhattan is no longer the clear-cut artist central of New York City. Brooklyn is neither, but it is difficult to dispute one way or the other.
Postmodernism is in with Brooklyn, as well as opera; the Brooklyn Academy of Music, perhaps Brooklyn’s foremost opera house and venue, seats 2,100+ people. Its offerings are replete with modern dance, music, and more.
3. Never a Dull Musical Night
What I liked about living in New York the most was that there was truly never a dull night. If you have the capital & resources, you can go to an event every single evening in New York City.
Some of my favorites? Sure, Carnegie Hall is one, because it has the best acoustics maybe of any venue.
Joe’s Pub is great – you can find almost anything at Joe’s Pub, which has housed the likes of Adele, Norah Jones, Alice Coltrane, and Peter Townshend of The Who.
The Music Hall of Williamsburg, a Brooklyn mainstay, is another favorite among both residents and tourists alike.