To School or Not to School?

Though probably not grammatically correct, that is the question I am pondering right now.  Is graduate school in my future?  

I have my bachelor's of music degree in piano performance and have always been intrigued by the prospect of graduate school.  I have researched schools from time to time, applied to a couple, and was even accepted to one and offered a graduate assistantship, but for various reasons I never actually took the plunge.  Now, after over 10 years of freelancing and, more recently, becoming a mom, I am considering my options for professional development.  I am location-bound, which limits my choice of schools quite drastically.  Further, the university closest to me offers only a MM in piano performance, not in accompanying or collaborative piano.

What I am looking for are:

  • a teacher to study with
  • a network of musicians to collaborate with
  • in-depth study of instrumental chamber music
  • performing opportunities

Can I create these opportunities on my own?  Is a university the best place to pursue them?  Do I need a degree to validate my musicianship?  

Eventually I would love to form a chamber ensemble and perform and record regularly in the Seattle area.  I would also like to accompany a professional choir.  What is the best avenue for me to pursue these goals?

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