Posts in category “Education”

July 13, 2018

Reedmaking and choosing your college oboe or bassoon professor

If you're considering a school where you might study with someone who isn't a performer on your double reed instrument, it would be worthwhile to find out their plan for teaching you reedmaking.

June 13, 2018

The value of chamber ensembles in music degrees

My students learn to follow a conductor in their large ensembles, and how to work with a pianist on their individual repertoire. (The latter is a situation in which—unfortunately—the piano part is sometimes treated as secondary to the “solo” part.) But in chamber ensembles they learn how to make music in a group of equals, ...

June 7, 2018

Not majoring in music

I was a very committed college music major. I had picked music as a career years earlier. Being a music student felt like a central aspect of who I was. While I did struggle at times, and had other (perhaps more widely marketable) skills I could have fallen back on, quitting the music-major track never ...

May 24, 2018

Q&A: The big picture

Answers to questions submitted for the blog's 10th anniversary.

May 24, 2018

Q&A: Instrument purchases

Answers to questions submitted for the blog's 10th anniversary.

March 21, 2018

Grading student practicing

When I was a first-year undergraduate music major and not yet fully convinced of the importance of practicing several hours per day, a nudge/threat scared me into changing my ways. But the sudden "motivation" to apply myself a little better soon started paying off. It's exciting to see my students making that same transition.

December 13, 2017

What I listen for in scholarship auditions

It’s scholarship audition season again, which means I get to meet and listen to some very nervous high school seniors (and community college sophomores). My university is a small regional one, so our audition process probably isn’t as intense as some of the big name-brand music schools. If you’re preparing for an audition, you should definitely ...

November 4, 2017

When you’re too sick for a lesson

Sometimes I have students cancel their lessons due to seemingly very minor, manageable health concerns (physical or mental). Other times students drag themselves to lessons when they are clearly miserable and contagious. The better approach is clearly somewhere in the middle, but my newest college students are usually living away from their parents and the ...

October 28, 2017

Sample woodwind methods syllabus

Shortly before the beginning of fall and spring semesters, I usually get a few emails from new university professors and adjuncts looking for advice and resources on teaching woodwind methods courses. I’m happy to hear from folks, but thought it might be helpful to make available a generic syllabus based on how I teach my ...

March 15, 2017

Advice on graduate performance study and university teaching careers

My university students are mostly undergraduate music education majors, but many at some point inquire about graduate school, including a performance degree path and eventual university teaching. Here are some things you should know about graduate performance studies if you’re an undergraduate music major.
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