Having gone through several music programs and with friends still attending music programs, I can tell you that these ranking systems absolutely fail to address what is important as a developing musician seeking to make a career as a performer.
I can't help but wonder how many children are denied music education in America, either because it is unavailable, unaffordable or they are determined unworthy. It is both an injustice to our children and a threat to our future.
After some prying, we got to an answer. I then asked why this was such a tough question, and why, say, if I had asked this same question 100 years before, there would have been an avalanche of answers.
A skeptic could ask, "Why open a campus in a foreign country experiencing severe economic challenges while U.S. colleges are under their own financial pressures?" But I believe that the 21st century will see a rise in the power and influence of musical ideas from other parts of the world.
Because everybody assumes that opera singers are fat, and because it's still okay to openly mock and disregard overweight people in our society, there is really no reason to even imagine what it means to actually be an opera singer.
With just an EP to his credit, the Texan has already received praise from everyone from Eric Clapton to Alicia Keys, and Rolling Stone recently singled him out as one of five shredders to watch under 40.