A couple of new software projects designed to help bloggers and other web-dwelling folk to use proper musical accidental symbols, and a diatribe about why they should. Some significant improvements to these tools are on the way.
I’m still at what I hope is the beginning of a long career, with lots of things left to learn. But here are a few little things I’ve picked up along the way so far (three and a half years, actually), and that I thought might be worth sharing.
Getting hired for a job in academia is about being the right match. I applied to a lot of jobs during the final year of my doctoral studies. A few seemed like good matches on paper, but for a number of others I thought I could perhaps offer something better than what was listed in the requirements. For example, I applied for quite a few single-woodwind jobs, and tried to emphasize in my cover letters and CVs that I could potentially take on responsibilities with additional instruments. I got virtually no response to those applications. The jobs that I got interviews for were specifically multiple-woodwinds jobs.
A highly-qualified and very talented friend of mine was hired for a teaching position. I had opportunity later to speak with one of his new colleagues, who raved about my friend’s lively and outgoing personality. “The other person we interviewed was so boring,” she moaned. I suspect that had I interviewed for that job, I would have been the “boring” one. At some other interview, my friend’s energy and humor might have been seen as frivolous or flippant, and my more muted social style might have won the day.
Since being hired myself, I’ve had several opportunities to serve on committees that have sifted through applicants for other music faculty positions. There are lots of people looking for those jobs, and when the applications start to pile up, anyone who doesn’t meet the specific requirements of the job gets set aside pretty quickly, no matter what other strengths they might bring to the table. Continue reading “What I’ve learned in my first three years as a college professor”→
I was pleased to hear from Ben about his new book, A Complete Approach to Sound for the Modern Saxophonist. It is now available in print from Amazon (currently a very reasonable $14.95) and as a download from Payhip (a steal at $9.95).
The book is around 60 pages long, but it’s not densely packed text. It can easily be skimmed in one sitting. What you get for your money is a highly-concentrated, efficient approach to tone production. I (and probably you) have shelves of much longer and much more expensive books that take a week to read and longer to extract anything useful from. Ben’s book is a straightforward, less-is-more approach that is refreshing and worthwhile.