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Music majors are truly tomorrow’s global citizens. Ideally, their work as professional musicians will take them to music venues around the world. Future instrumentalists, conductors, singers, and songwriters can prepare for a successful future in music with a trip abroad. Below are five of the top travel destinations from around the globe to thrill and delight music majors.
In addition to being an international hub for art, fashion, and theatre, London’s music scene is world-renowned. Students can experience all types of musical performances at premier venues like the Royal Albert Hall and O2, or stick with classical music and opera during a visit to the Royal Opera House. London also has a variety of music festivals throughout the year, from Trafalgar Square to Hyde Park. For rock music fans, be sure to visit the famous Abbey Road studios and zebra crossing (tread by the Beatles) in the heart of the city.
Many American cities, like Detroit, Austin, and Nashville, have legendary music scenes. A true melting pot of musical cultures, New York is certainly part of this list. It’s the birthplace of hip-hop and electro, and fans of Bob Dylan can visit Greenwich Village, where many famous folk musicians got their start. Greenwich Village is also home to the historic Blue Note Jazz Club, which features nightly jazz performances from some of the genre’s most accomplished musicians. Also, classical music aficionados would do well to visit Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center for world-class performances – the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center is part of the “Big 5” leading American orchestras. If none of these options appeals, then music majors can research if some of the biggest names in music will be playing at Madison Square Garden during their visit.
Rio de Janeiro
A place where music spills out of the doorways and into the streets seemingly at all hours of the day, Rio de Janeiro is a top travel destination for students pursuing a major in this discipline. Bossa nova, Funk Carioca, and samba are genres that were born in Rio, and their sounds will fill the ears of music majors fortunate enough to experience the city’s ebullient nightlife. Pedra do Sal is an informal gathering site for musicians to play, while visitors to the plaza can eat, dance, and sing within a festive atmosphere until midnight. Café Musical Carioca da Gema, located in the center of Rio, is one of the many clubs where attendees can hear some of the best Brazilian popular music played until the early hours of the morning. Rio is also home to many free music events, including Feira Nordestina, a weekend festival that features live bands and barracas (food stalls) serving local delicacies.
Several prodigious composers lived and worked in Vienna, Austria during their lifetimes, a list that includes Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Haydn, and Brahms. Naturally, the city has devoted substantial resources toward preserving this cultural legacy. Music majors can visit the respective houses where Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn created some of their best-known works. Additionally, the Arnold Schonenberg Center and the House of Sound contain immersive exhibitions that should help students enhance their understanding of classical music and the historical context in which some of the most famous symphonies were made. Known as the City of Music, Vienna lives up to its name with no shortage of live performances; around 50 operas and 20 ballets are performed nearly every day in this cultural capital.
Music is a critical component of many Japanese theatre arts. Music majors would do well to catch a Kabuki or Noh drama at one of Japan’s many venues. Each features a unique combination of music, dance, and movement, performed by highly trained actors well aware of the legacy of their craft, as these theatre arts date back hundreds of years. The Noh Theatre and National Theatre of Japan are two venues that feature traditional Japanese performances, so head to the Budokan or the Setagaya Public Theatre to see some of the biggest names in contemporary Asian music. Otherwise, make a trip to the local karaoke bar to find out which tracks are dominating the music charts. As karaoke is an extremely popular pastime in Japan, there’s probably no better way for students to get a taste of Japan’s modern music culture.
Hopefully, these five top travel destinations will inspire music majors to pursue journeys abroad that will enhance their musicianship and skills.