Separating the best from the (best-1)

<p>I'm certainly an infrequent poster on this forum. I spent a lot more time here when I was gearing up for viola auditions at the canon of celebrated conservatories. I also think this is one of the least abrasive forums. Somewhere along the way, I decided to go a different way and ended up in software engineering (real similar, I know). In any case, I stumbled upon this thread once again <a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>where i found the Juilliard effect article here: <a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>In the article, the author describes two musicians with two highly contrasting careers. One who ends up as an assistant underwriter (not his ideal job) and one who has a successful performing career. It reminded me of a scene in Good Will Hunting where Professor Lambeau says to Will that there were only a handful of people in the world who could tell the difference between them. I'm not sure which audience the author had in mind when he wrote the piece. But it appears that he’s holding up the Juilliard degree as the metric for being the best and subsequently exploring the disparity in career trajectories.</p>

<p>To many of us who went to the elite music festivals (mine was Encore), it was painfully obvious who the most gifted instrumentalists were and who would succeed as world class performers. Many of us violists were frequently outclassed by the talented violinists who happened to pick up a viola. And while all of my friends (both superstar and “normal”) ended up at terrific conservatories, I’m not sure those of us in the bottom of the top 1% were so sure about our employability. </p>

<p>I guess the question is: What are some other effects of a market where supply of instrumentalists crushes demand? In software, certainly more than the top 1% get decent paying jobs. As college students, how do we proactively take charge of our marketability given the dismal state of positions in the music industry?</p>