Followup to Systems View of Music Education


More on preparing for the real world.

Since posting a blog on applying an electronics education model to music performance education, I have found several other blogs with related material worth investigating. While college performance majors graduate with strong fundamentals, many lack real-world survival skills. Students are left wandering in the dark to figure it out on their own.

Justin Locke discusses an “inside/outside” model to illustrate how college programs need to teach thinking beyond academe.

…what I want to propose, is a complete turning on its head of the current system. Instead of focusing on precision and conformity (and by that I mean precision of technique and conformity to past ways of performing, i.e., focusing one’s rare glimpses outside of oneself solely on other players of your same instrument), I suggest that arts education become totally focused on the whole thought of: “what does my audience want from me?”

He observes that the current education model encourages students to think too inwardly, burrowing themselves in practice rooms, focusing on minutiae, precision and conformity. This mindset, he suggests, may even encourage the narcissistic state of mind so prevalent in the business.

Drew McManus asks in The (New) Realities of Orchestral Life “why not give students what they’ll need instead of forcing them to flail around blindly for it when they actually need it?”

While Mr. McManus notes that some college programs have warmed up to the idea of preparing students for the real world, he wonders if the turn in the economy might result in these programs being cut back. Colleges that offer lectures and workshops on the topic not only help their graduates to succeed but also make their programs more competitive and desirable to new students.

University of Horn Matters