Posts in category “Education”

November 4, 2017

When you’re too sick for a lesson

photo, AnkarinoSometimes 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 ...

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

photo, John WalkerMy 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.

December 7, 2016

What I would do differently as a college music major

Believe it or not, some of my college students make mistakes that seem somehow familiar. If I could go back to college (and graduate school) and do it all over, here are a few things I might choose to do differently. Embrace my teachers’ approaches. As readers of this blog know, I tend to be a bit ...

July 15, 2016

Students and paying gigs

Sometimes I get phone calls from people hoping to hire my students for gigs. I’m delighted when I can pass a professional opportunity on to a hardworking, high-achieving student, but often these calls are troubling. Obviously, the callers want students because they assume students will work cheaply. Lots of college students work for not much money, ...

May 11, 2016

Things you need to cover in woodwind methods class

A few years back I posted a rant about non-mission-critical information in woodwind methods textbooks. This is a course primarily for instrumental music majors, who will go on to become school band or orchestra directors, and who need a crash course in the playing and pedagogy of each instrument that will be in their future ...

July 11, 2015

Five things to do before starting a new school year as a college music major

Most colleges and universities will be starting classes again within the next month or two. If you are a music student, now might be a good time to make some preparations that will set you up for success in the new school year. Get your instrument ready. After a year of hard playing in ensembles, ...

January 5, 2015

University of New Mexico offers new multiple woodwinds degree

The University of New Mexico is now offering a masters degree program in multiple woodwinds. A few items of interest from the degree requirements (also see an update in the comments): It is a 4-instrument degree, with one “primary” and three “secondary” instruments. Two semesters of study are required on the primary instrument, and one ...

July 17, 2014

Auxiliary instruments and college study

One thing that seems to surprise some prospective college music majors is that we have different views about what I consider "auxiliary" instruments. For example, it's common for prospects to identify themselves as bass clarinetists, or as tenor saxophonists. Some of these students have never even attempted to play a B-flat clarinet or an alto saxophone, and sometimes show little interest in doing so. Am I old-fashioned to expect my saxophone majors to play mostly alto and my clarinet majors to play mostly B-flat?

February 10, 2014

Teaching multiple instruments in higher education

While I thoroughly enjoy the variety in my day, there are some additional things worth considering if you take on multiple instruments in a collegiate teaching career.
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