Re: Re: Re: Re: Education: Who Needs It?

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Posted by Kenneth Sloan on December 31, 2001 at 14:40:30:

In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: Education: Who Needs It? posted by Rick Denney on December 31, 2001 at 13:20:15:

Town vs. Gown is the oldest discussion on the planet.

Narrow-minded (focused?) proponents on either side generally fail to see the virtues of the other side. This applies equally well to those who don't see what history has to do with being a note machine and to those who don't see what actual music has to do with history.

This is why we developed the concept of a "liberal arts" education. To the extent that students (or teachers) view college as trade school, they miss the point.

At one level, the real goal of college faculty is to produce...more college faculty! They are not there (primarily) for the students. But...let's not go there, right now.

Moving beyond that level, one goal of a music department should be to produce outstanding performers. Another, equally valid goal should be to produce an outstanding AUDIENCE for those performers! For every tuba performance major who wins a seat in an orchestra, we need 100's of engineers, writers, and lawyers to buy the tickets.

Everyone here should now be nodding wisely and thinking about how important it is for the computer geeks to take a few courses in music so that they can truly appreciate that tuba virtuoso. Clearly the doctor, the laywer, and the Indian Chief will have their lives enriched by understanding how difficult Bydlo is when it flashes by in minute 38 of a 2 hour concert.

Turn that argument around. Consider how the mathematics (chemistry, history, poetry) faculty view the music students. For every practitioner they produce, they also produce an "audience" - a society which understands enough about their field to appreciate it, and support it.

A "note machine" with no education is approximately as good a product as a chemist who never leaves the bench (in either body OR mind). Potentially of use to society - but (in my opinion) not the best result in the long run for the individual.

Repeat after me (mm=180): College is not trade school
Trade school is not college
College is not trade school

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