Saturday, March 14, 2009

Where's the PASSION?

It used to be that joining an extra-curriculum (or now I think they call it "Co-curriculum" ) group in school was mainly out of interest and passion for the activity undertaken. For instance, one joins an atheletic club if one loves running, or a certain track-n-field event. Or you may join a outdoor activity club if you love hanging out with pals or engaging in mainly outdoor sports & activities.

Or you may join a performing (intrumental or voice) music group if you love playing a particular intrument and are keen on performing for a listening audience.

Well, that was what I thought, and I'm pretty sure it was applicable in the years past. But not anymore, apparently...

From my experience at the SMU and NUS guitar clubs, it is clear that the undergrads nowadays just do not have the same kind of passion and commitment to their respective guitar clubs in the recent years.
The most obvious area this shows is in the disappointing attendance levels at the usual weekly rehearsals.

For GENUS, the Committee is often frustrated at members not showing up regularly, and frequent emails from the President berating errant members for not doing their part (whether it is directed at another Comm members who is absent more often that he ought to be, or at members in general for not turning up on time or regularly enough) pepper the group emails.

For Guitarissimo, matters are even worse as they struggle to even make 10 players for each rehearsal session. Reasons given are always the same - late classes, other club commitments (true or not, only they know) or work attachments. Even Comm members sometimes are missing in action themselves.

I recall one occasion recently where the administrator at SMU (who used to be a performing member in a music club during his uni days) commented to me that he also wondered why students nowadays just isn't as committed (to their ECA or CCA) as before. Has the passion for music dropped so much over the years, that students these days care for nothing but their studies and/or work?

To me, when someone tells me, "Sorry i cant make it for rehearsal this/next/following week(s), because I'm really busy with my project/studies, etc..", there's nothing much I could say to him/her but "Ya, ok, I understand." But do I really? Sure, studies are really important, but com'on, does that mean the other undergrads who attend DON'T need to studies like you do? Or it is because you are so much more hardworking than the rest?

Or could it possibly be, you just can't manage your time properly, such that even a 2hour per week commitment seems like asking a lot out of you.

Possible, I guess. But mostly like the SMU Administator is right - there just isn't the same kind of passion for music these days. Afterall, who can make a living out of playing music these days?

Not in Singapore at least...