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Jazz Studies?
  LN, I finally got to read the whole article and I have many feelings about it. It would make an interesting discussion if anyone is game.

Here is a quote:
"As more composers expect instrumentalists to be able to improvise, music colleges are adjusting their curriculums. The National Association of Schools of Music, an umbrella organization that sets standards in music education, added improvisation to its list of required subjects for the bachelor's degree in the early 1990s. At the Manhattan School of Music, improvisation is part of a new graduate program in contemporary music, and is open on an elective basis to all classical-music students."

When I went to Manhattan School improvisation was all but unheard of. I learned a lot about jazz improvisation, but not from the teachers. I learned from jazz players in the school. We used to stay up to all hours jamming and listening to jazz records. I also went to many jazz concerts in those days.

I remember calling up the head of the Doctorate program a few years after I got my Masters in Music. I asked her if we could design a Doctorate in Jazz Performance for me as a cellist. Her response was that there was an exam that all students had to pass. "Learning jazz is all well and good, but how would that prepare you to write an essay contrasting the Strauss Tone Poems, or an essay on the cycle of Haydn symphonies?" That is the kind of small minded mentality that I had to face.

On the one hand I am glad that "academia" has finally taken a step into reality. I recently did a gig with two young female violinists who studied jazz in college. But part of me feels a little resentment because I was not afforded the opportunities that I should have been due to the climate of the time. I guess there is a price to pay when you are 30 years ahead of your time!
  Author: Von Cello
Eintrag from 05.09.2008
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