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Topic: Seeking private composition teacher

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  1. #1

    Seeking private composition teacher

    Hey everyone. I am seeking a private composition instructor. I have already studied either in the univeristy or privately, through 2 years of standard Harmony/ear training (voice leading), beginning chromaticism and Fux counterpoint. As well, random topics on my own here and there (My current obsession is the Schillinger System, which will take me years).

    I would like to continue serious compositional studies in areas such as 20th century materials, serialism, set theory, etc.. and study scores under the direction of a teacher, as well as work on my own compositions under the direction of an instructor. Actually, I need a good teacher to guide me as to what to study.

    I am seeking a teacher that would be qualified to teach these topics in a university setting. I am considering going back to school for BM and maybe MM, but I haven't decided and in the meantime I want to further my studies in these areas.

    If anyone knows of anyone qualified, please have them message me directly. Working remotely over the internet with a good instructor is completely feasible in my mind.

    -steve
    steve@bstage.com
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

  2. #2

    Re: Seeking private composition teacher

    If you can decipher the Schillinger system, you are well on your way. Although I have heard, it was much easier to understand when he lectured on it than his writing would convey.

    Gershwin did okay using that system.
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  3. #3

    Re: Seeking private composition teacher

    ha ha ha. Well, I checked out the first volume from the local library (900 pages) and there is a second volume (total of 1800 or 1900 pages). I am 25 pages into it and it took me most of the week to grok it...and actually there is still one section I don't entirely understand.. But I'm told from some other Schillinger enthusiasts that I need to power through to the juicy stuff where it will fall more into place. I'm also thinking about studying Schillinger privately with a guy in the UK who did his Phd on Schillinger and actually wrote the preface for the current edition in Print.

    I am always interested in altnerative music theories. Schillinger has been on my list for a long time to study it, but the books are $365 for the two. I found one on Ebay recently for $60(volume 2). still looking for a used 1978 copy in good condition of vol1 to compliment it. I fully intend to study all of them until I understand every bit and apply it to some music I write...even if it takes me 5 years to do it. I might someday write some software that is geared around composing the Schillinger way too. We'll see.

    By the way, when I was very young my musician grandmother took me to a record store and showed me a rack of records and told me to pick one. My sister picked Beethoven. I had no idea what to pick and she suggested George Gershwin, I guess because I was learning 2nd year piano blues diddy's at the time. It was a two record set that had American in Paris, Rapsody in Blue and a historical account of Gershwin's life. It was really my first exposure to any kind of serious music or music history. I've always had an affinity to Gershwin for this reason... I never knew he studied Schillinger for 4 years until I read that recently.

    We'll see where it takes me. Someday (after I finish school wink wink) I want to study the EIS system as well. I really am fascinated by all the ways to compose, be inspired and produce music using different paradigms. But I don't want to be a theorist...its only interesting to me if I can write cool music with it.

    Really wanna find a good private teacher to work with until I can get into a good school.
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

  4. #4

    Re: Seeking private composition teacher

    I spent several years grokking through Shillinger in an effort to build a heuristic modeling program to reconstruct a Mozart two-part invention. It was a spectacular failure.



    But I learned a lot in the process. Even though I don't sit down with a chart and structure a piece in a strict adherence to the practice he outlines in the compiled works, it still has had a great influence on how I approach composition and to a large part I've never gotten writers block except for when pure exhaustion set in and neither parts of my brain were working.

    I have a feeling that a lot of composers tended to pick and choose which parts of the Shillinger system they wanted to use in order to "get through" a particular part. The rest is instructed by intuition and study of previous works (both of which are assisted by the Schillinger system in some way or other). In one way, Schillinger's attempt to provide some unified theory of the arts was a failure, but it's in understanding its shortcomings that you understand music, acoustics and human perception better. So, even in failure it continues to instruct, but you have to get on the other side of those teachings in order for that to really gel.

    In the liner notes for "Porgy and Bess", it was asserted that George Gershwin composed the main part of the opera with pencil and graph paper with no sheet music or instrument to referece - as he was on a two-week train trip across Europe at the time. I've never verified this, but it's a strong indication that the direct students of the man himself obviously had some aspect of the system down pat that's lost in translation when looking at the texts alone.

    In the end, it's a very good descriptive model but what's needed is a good prescriptive model, and that's what Schillinger the man seemed to provide, and a transition that my computer program failed to make - even for something as simple as de-constructing and re-constructing a two-part invention. There are layers of interpretation that must take place that the Schillinger system does not (and dares not) take into account. It's closer to a "periodic table" of musical elements - rather than a unified theory that it is sometimes touted to be.

    I think that if you can get some part of it to "gel" for you, then you can use it to reveal layers of technique used in compositions that you admire - and that will serve to instruct you in creating your own compositions. To a large degree, that's what many systems will do for you - although Schillinger's system scales to many more forms of composition than any other I've come across. You'll get back what you put into it. Good luck.
    Houston Haynes - Titan Line Music

  5. #5
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Seeking private composition teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by dewdman42
    Hey everyone. I am seeking a private composition instructor. I have already studied either in the univeristy or privately, through 2 years of standard Harmony/ear training (voice leading), beginning chromaticism and Fux counterpoint. As well, random topics on my own here and there (My current obsession is the Schillinger System, which will take me years).


    -steve
    steve@bstage.com
    Well, you might see what you can learn from Berklee College, originally known as the Schillinger Insitute, I believe. They ought to be able to put you in contact with someone in San Francisco who knows the Schillinger System. I have the two volumes, have not got very far into them, and probably never will. I don't think I have enough years left to study the system thoroughly, and don't really think I would want to. I get some occasional exercise by lifting the two monster books and dusting them.

    Richard

  6. #6

    Re: Seeking private composition teacher

    Let me correct this thread. I am not looking for a Schillinger teacher. We kind of got off base with tha. I am looking for a general purpose private composition teacher. I'm sure Berklee has wonderful teachers, maybe I'll be lucky enough to attend there. Do you know if any of them teach privately, perhaps long distance?
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

  7. #7

    Re: Seeking private composition teacher

    Berklee offers some internet courses. I don't think composition is one of them, however it's worth a trip to their website though to check.

    Karl

  8. #8

    Re: Seeking private composition teacher

    I've taken one of their web courses. they are very rudimentary.
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

  9. #9

    Re: Seeking private composition teacher

    Berklee is a fantastic school, but when it comes down to Theory and serious composition, it is still a little lacking. If you want to be a film composer, jazz composer or arranger, or performer... the Berklee is about the best there is. It is an accredited school for commercial music, which is not a bad thing, unless you want to be the next Paul Hindemith.

    I find, on the other hand, the conservatory schools to be more geared to performers. They usually have a stringent performance requirement because they want all there students to be concert level performers... and they are. The future Yo-yo Mas go to places like Eastman.

    I think the best situation for an undergrad composer is a large state school. Indiana Univ has an exceptional program and TONS of people to play your music. Sometimes, the bigger the school the better for composition. Check composer bios and see who has accomplished something, especially if they are published. Some good schools might be: (incomplete list)

    Indiana
    Ohio State
    Michigan
    Colorado
    Nebraska
    U of Tennesee
    Vanderbilt (although Blair is EXPENSIVE and is considered a conservatory type school)
    Florida State
    Northwestern
    UCLA
    USC


    ... if they are Division I then they prolly have a good sized music program.
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  10. #10

    Re: Seeking private composition teacher

    How close are you to the San Francisco Conservatory? Maybe you could partner up with a professor there? Just a thought...

    Paula
    Cheers!
    Paula

    Remember to Play www.thepunkduck.com

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