Ah, Music Appreciation

How i have missed thee.

I've now taught 5 different courses, some technical (Music Applications for Computers/Intro to Music Tech I), some creative (Digital Audio and MIDI courses), but the pure fun of music appreciation just can't be matched.

As a music lover and educator, it's nearly the perfect circumstances. In college, Music Appreciation can usually fulfill a "gen ed" requirement. At Brooklyn College, they have "Core Curriculum" requirements that are split into a couple different courses you can take to fulfill. Music Appreciation is one of a few. The same is true at KCKCC.

Why does that create a nice environment? These students don't have to be there. Granted, their options are limited, but if they had no interest in music, there are other areas. of course there are other considerations- it may have been the only class the fits their schedule. Maybe it's the "least of all the evils" and the student still hates music.

Those are all possibilities.

But in any case, it's not like teaching English 101 (or whatever Comp I is). I've had many a friend teach that course. It's a requirement at almost every university. You either take it or pass out of it, but there is no way around the subject coming up. the question becomes how to get the required information to students while engaging them in a class that almost all do not want to be in.

I've got a better starting point. The students want to learn something about music. On top of that, a solid portion of the country enjoys listening to music. Maybe not Western Art Music, but music in general.

It's a bit easier to grab a crowd that wanders in with a little interest.

Oh, Music Appreciation, how i've missed you. Watching students puzzle over the question of "What is music?...Because, of course, we can't learn about a subject until we know what it is we are studying."

To watch everyone tap their feet and clap their hands and realize that it isn't some magic secret- it's just learning new words for what they already felt.

To see the looks of horror the first time you play Penderecki, or the screams of "This isn't music!" when i put on Cage's 4'33...and the ensuing discussion of the importance of questioning preconceptions of music and art. I'm sure some of my students get annoyed when they see my half grin, trying to force back a laugh, as they struggle with questions that too many musicians never even ask themselves.

And to see their eyes light up as math, physics, sociology, psychology, physiology, biology, etymology, semiotics, literature, history, and any other subject they could imagine is brought into the fold

And this is just what i do in the first two weeks

just wait till we hit organum

1 comment:

John Chittum said...

Holy Shit, I'm leaving this comment because it's beyond special.