Those who teach…

October 17, 2009

In an area known as “Music Education” which, for Schools, Conservatories, and Departments of Music means K through 12, there appears to be a national problem. Potentially gifted teachers may not always be the best performers: sometimes yes, sometimes no–and vice versa. So the question arises: if instrumental lessons are required of all future K-12 teachers, from who can they study? Teachers have limits on the size of their studios, and insist on the best student performers; taking a music education “major” who is below the level of many students that were just denied due to lack of space, seems unfair to all those that were rejected, but better performers.

One solution is to have music education majors come from the performers already admitted who are already at a high performance level. Another is to have doctoral students teach the undergraduate MusEd majors. The problem with that is the perceived “upstairs-downstairs” of it all. The best solution is to just hire more teachers; but if you add one more for every instrument in the orchestra, that is a LOT more faculty–That is quite a challenge in slimming-down times.

There are stories of famously fabulous teachers who never performed, and amazing musicians or composers who are terrible teachers.

It’s a puzzlement.

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