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Music Schools in Transition, VI.i

There's a bit of a scramble on: to create co-curricular programs and to add value to the BMus by facilitating double (even triple) majors and double degrees.  Part of the reason for these developments results from the undergraduate degree in performance being so tightly packed, and with so many other needs have been identified, that the only way to address the situation is with these options. And the old "sell points" of faculty, location, price, core curriculum and alumni network are not enough anymore.  Competition demands that even more … [Read more...]

Music Schools in Transition, Part VI

Many music schools have added valuable co-curricular programs. A working definition of co-curricular would be that these programs offer non-required credit for courses, a certificate for participation and completion of a set of expectations, or experiences or courses that significantly pair with a curricular requirement (and designed as such).   The latest spate of these programs focus on entrepreneurship (a field that I have concentrated on heavily over the past 5 years). Programs of this type range from offering enhanced career … [Read more...]

Music Schools in Transition, Part V

The term, professional school, has always puzzled me. Taken literally, it must mean that the school prepares you for a defined profession. And when there were, more or less, stable professional opportunities for musicians, the idea of strong, focused professional training combined with substantial courses in the liberal arts made sense. Now, however, with music professions in flux, and in a process of redefinition, and creation, the curriculum in the B.M in Performance doesn't meet students' needs. The basic components of the current degree … [Read more...]

Music Schools in Transition, IV.i

First in this post, I must let NASM (National Association of Schools of Music), the accrediting organization off the hook.  I suggested that they need to change their guidelines to allow for necessary changes in the bachelor of music in performance.  I reread my NASM Handbook and was pleased to find that there is considerable flexibility within accreditation guidelines.  Sadly I realized that the reason almost all U.S. degrees programs look alike redounds to the faculty and leaders who created them.  I suppose it's understandable that over time … [Read more...]

Music Schools in Transition, Part IV

In this post I want to begin to delve into the full educational program that music schools offer.  To do so requires some definition. There are the degree programs with their requirements; various co-curricular programs, such as internships and courses offered for credit (but not required for the degree); and extra curricular learning opportunities. I will concentrate in this post on degree programs, specifically the Bachelor of Music degree in Performance.  This particular degree of 120 required credits generally allows 8 liberal arts … [Read more...]

Music Schools in Transition, Pt. III

Most music schools look alike.  It's quite amazing, that once inside a school, you can quickly forget where you are geographically.  Standardization resulting from accreditation requirements means that student experience from one school to another changes only slightly.  Curriculum is locked in (more on this in future posts). Some schools are located in dense urban areas, while others are in isolated regions; some are housed within a university or college while others are independent.  Those within a university or college may be closely … [Read more...]

Music Schools in Transition, Pt. II, i

A number of people have asked me to be more specific about ensembles, so here I will elaborate. Just to keep interest in future blog posts, I will be focusing next on maximizing configuration, e.g. free-standing school within an urban area, school within a university, and so forth. Maintaining a full-sized symphony orchestra is strangling a number of smaller music schools.  The human effort and amount of scholarship money dedicated to enroll oboists, bassoonist, violists (violists, too) and bass players are substantially taking away from … [Read more...]

Innovator, Entrepreneur, more —

Sent to me by Mark Pomerantz, Seattle U. and USASBE LIAISON newsletter editor, "Innovators are the dreamers: They create the prototypes, work out the kinks and then get bored, anxious to return to what they do best, which is inventing more prototypes. They are rarely concerned, ultimately, with the financial viability of what they do. Entrepreneurs are the builders: They turn prototypes into going concerns -- then they get bored. For them, financial viability is the single most important aspect of what they do." (Boschee & McClurg, 2003, … [Read more...]

Innovator, Entrepreneur?

Must one be an innovator to be an entrepreneur? I have always thought so, and Drucker, who asserted that the entrepreneur is an innovator, bolsters my belief. This being said, I recently read “Worthless, Impossible and Stupid” by Daniel Isenberg, in which he makes a case for the two being entirely separate qualities and functions. I’ve always taught entrepreneurship with extensive emphasis on innovation, spending at least 25% of class time on idea generation and formation. I plan to continue to do so, perhaps because I continue to believe … [Read more...]

Class Planning, Arts Entrepreneurship

I’m working on the final revision of the syllabus for my fall course in arts entrepreneurship at Purchase College (SUNY). Of interest are 2 aspects of this course planning. First, I will only teach in person (warm body in room) 5 times during the semester. I will teach the remaining classes either asynchronously or synchronously, the latter here using video technology (check out Zoom). I will also meet twice with each student one-on-one using Google +. Second, when at the University of Maryland this June for my National Orchestral … [Read more...]

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