When you first think of it, dropping out of school sounds very terrible; most research works have indicated that the future looks bleak for students who don’t finish school. However, over the years, students who dropped out of school have gone on to become successful in their chosen endeavours. Take, for instance, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, who both have established billion dollars companies.

This is also true for some students who dropped out of school to pursue careers in music. Jay z, 50cent, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Lady Gaga, Madonna, to mention just a few are some of the top musicians who dropped out of school to face music as a profession. 

Having established this background, our article is going to focus on the reasons most artistes are school dropouts.
Why do musicians drop out? 

Several celebrated musicians across the world over the years while reminiscing on their youthful days have narrated how music saved them from poverty and gave them a life, after dropping out of school. These stories have left young people with a high level of musical talent have to make a decision for life at an early stage: First graduate from college? Or dedicate your life directly to music?

What many people do not know is that most musicians drop out of school because it is difficult to achieve good results in school and music at the same time. According to the experience of many artists, we can say that it is not easy to learn for the next classwork after six hours of school and then to practise on your instrument for three hours afterwards. It takes a lot of strength and energy to plan the day so that there is enough time to practice, read and sleep. Very few young musicians manage to accommodate other hobbies as well. Kanye West revealed that he dropped out of school when he realized it was interfering with his music career.

Many musicians drop out of school early because they realize that they cannot handle the pressure. Grammy Award winner, John Mayer revealed that he dropped out of school when he became overwhelmed with the classwork and courses. Not all 16-year-olds have the maturity and independence to study so early and try creating a career in music. As it has been narrated by most of these artistes many times, it was a difficult task navigating between attending morning classes and performing at late-night gigs. This was the case of British singer, Matty Healy. Indeed, some musicians continued with their education while chasing after their music careers, such as Justin Bieber, Drake and a host of others. However, it required a commitment of sorts for these musicians to finish from school.

Also, early school leavers have proven to have an advantage in music: You can concentrate on your career and have more time for masterclasses and competitions. We can say these musicians who drop out of school have better chances in competitions because they are in the same category as other musicians who still go to school – and therefore have less time to practice. And students who focus on studying and singing are afraid that they will later lose touch with the young students of the same age.

Aside from the points mentioned above, a lot of musicians also dropped out of school due to financial reasons. On the one hand, most musicians have talked about their inability to pay for their studies and studio sessions while growing up. Nigerian singer, Olamide revealed during an interview some years ago that it was difficult promoting his songs and also paying school fees, hence his decision to drop out. While on the other hand, musicians stopped schooling due to the money being gained from their career; for example, Alicia Keys stopped schooling after one semester when she landed a record deal at Columbia Records, while Jay Z dropped out of college to make money from dealing drugs.

Conviction in their talents has also proven to be one of the reasons many musicians drop out of school. They felt lost in the school environment; they believed they had more to offer in the music industry than sitting in the classroom listening to lectures.

Another reason musicians drop out of school is due to high expectations from families and friends. Indeed, it is good to have high expectations; however, excess of it can be disastrous for talent, and this factor, according to many musicians have expressly led them to drop out of college. In addition, poor grades in school also led a lot of musicians to drop out from school.

And finally, many young musicians don’t feel like going to school. They wait impatiently for years to be freed from this burden so that they can immediately plunge into the musical life. Those who are unmotivated at school can only bring home mediocre grades – and that’s one more reason why young musicians prefer to start music straight away rather than take a bad high school diploma and such was the case of celebrated singer, Elton John.

From the above discussion, one thing is obvious; there is no one single reason that led musicians to drop out of school. Many of our music celebrities dropped out of school as a result of a confluence of factors ranging from financial constraint, fatigue, ego, conviction and a host of other reasons.

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