I didn’t have the opportunity to post a blog entry last week.
My schedule has heated up BIGTIME with of the start of the school year at the University of Southern California. As program Chair of the Popular Music Program, you can imagine the planning and details which have had to become part of our work and strategies for our students to experience a meaningful fall semester of work.
MUSIC IS NOT ALL MEANT TO BE TAUGHT ONLINE!!!!!!
While I appreciate the incredible technologies that have given us access to one another since our COVID crises (ZOOM , FaceTIme etc), teaching music, working with ensembles, private instrumental and vocal instruction are among a few classes of many within the performing arts which are struggling to figure out how and what they can do for these lessons to be experienced meaningfully by our students.
The student experience at any level should give form, structure and offer possibilities when the faculty is engaged, competent and open to try new ideas. I am so fortunate. The majority of the faculty with whom I work are seasoned practitioners of the recording arts, production, great players and pedagogues with stellar experience and reputations. …. And yet we are all so CRAVING the ability to teach and play with our students in real time albeit over the Internet.
I know it ‘s coming. And when it does , especially in the form of an easy, quick process of set up that is practically “plug and play”, it will be an absolute GAMECHANGER for all of music education. There is a part of me that says .. “hey .. don’t be too hard on these weird and cumbersome technical setups and bugs. These scientists are trying to defy the laws of sound and physics!!!!! Nevertheless, the software that becomes simple to set up and gets people to the music –making and with the least amount of latency, the most ease and consistency in working is awaited with open arms!!!!
To all students, of all ages who are dealing with online classes as their reality for the semester… be strong, be disciplined! Get up, attend your classes!!! Be thoughtfully engaged. Your teachers have been working overtime in being creative and dedicated to your acquisition and absorption ot information appropriate to your graced level. Do not take for granted their dedication to that purpose, their care and their struggles in making that happen for you.
To all teachers :Wishing you good luck!!!! Be patient with yourselves too! In these times there is much to process and reimagine. Be fearless and bold in offering your best.as you can! I dedicate to you from my song catalogue; “LOOK UP”
I’m glad we have MUSIC.
When you feel particularly up or down, turn to the recordings, interviews and videos of your favorite artists. Take that time to get “fired up “ with joy and feel that part which can uplift, take us away from our immediate problems, offers us sympathy, empathy, courage and hope!!!