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Topic: Music Education Survey

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  1. #1
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Music Education Survey

    I know...lets take a music education survey:

    Please answer the following questions:
    • What courses, both musical and non-musical, did you take in university or conservatory either on the undergraduate or graduate level?
    • How useful did you find each one in helping you as a composer? Rate them (not, somewhat, indifferent, useful, very useful).
    • Explain in more detail what you found helpful or useless on some of these more salient ones.


    Lets see what people write and sum up the totals...be honest and thoughtful in your answers...
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  2. #2
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    Re: Music Education Survey

    Well you go first then.

  3. #3
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Re: Music Education Survey

    nope...i am holding off to be sure not to be taken pretentiously even though I have a PROMINENT FILM.
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    Re: Music Education Survey

    Quote Originally Posted by newmewzikboy
    nope...i am holding off to be sure not to be taken pretentiously....
    Good Lord. How could anyone take you for that?

  5. #5

    Re: Music Education Survey

    Hmm, tough call.

    I went through an entire Bachelor's program and Master's program in composition at a conservatory, so I took a zillion music courses. Too many to list here.

    Oddly enough, I don't think of my *classes* as having a direct effect on my composition. I learned to compose mainly by composing, performing, listening, meeting other musicians, working with ensembles, going to concerts, having my pieces ripped apart by my private teachers, etc.

    I took some wonderful courses, and all of my music theory, history, counterpoint, etc. classes helped to make me a better, well-versed, well-rounded MUSICIAN in general. Being a better musician of course can make you a better composer, but not as directly as you might think.

    Some classes that helped me more directly (most taught by the same guy, in fact):

    -Beethoven Symphonies - We studied each symphony in-depth over the course of a semester, and took needle-drop tests (the professor would play 10 seconds or so from a symphony, or show us 1 page, and we would have to say what symphony, what movement, and whether it was part of the exposition, development, or recapitulation). We had to know these pieces inside and out, backwards and forwards There is nothing like getting in the head of a genius to kick start your composing.

    -Bartok - We went in-depth into the Bartok String Quartets, and had the same type of needle-drop tests. Later in the semester we did the same for his major orchestra works. We also had to identify the elements that made these pieces uniquely "Bartokian," by ear and by scrawling all over the scores. Again, getting in the head of a genius really helps you to think about the way you approach composing.

    -Stravinsky -- Just like the Bartok class, but for Stravinksy's works, throughout all his periods.

    -Ethnomusicology -- We didn't really study "these are african instruments, these are asian instruments" -- we studied the philosophies and practices of being an ethnomusicologist. It really helped me to look at music from a more outsider perspective, and to let go of a lot of the assumptions and the taking-for-granted about music that I grew up with in the west. Much of my approach to music is based on revelations I came upon in this class.

    -Jazz Theory -- Tonal music theory branched out to an extreme. This helped me to understand traditional theory better, and of course to understand pop music and jazz in a much more intimate sense.

    -Ear Training -- I took a semester of ear training through the Juilliard Evening Division while preparing for graduate school. It really knocked my ear into shape.

    -I suppose orchestration was helpful too, but I learned most of my orchestration skills from studying scores, talking with instrumentalists, experimenting, etc. My orchestration classes mainly filled in the blanks.


    Looking back on this, the most important music classes for me were not the ones that taught me how to compose, orchestrate, analyze, etc. They were the courses that changed the way I think about and approach music. That's an interesting revelation to make, and very useful to me as a music teacher. Thanks for asking the question!

    chris.

  6. #6

    Re: Music Education Survey

    I should add, my non-music courses probably helped me as a composer as much as (or more) than my music courses. I don't have time to list them now, but I'll think about it and come back.

    chris.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Music Education Survey

    Quote Originally Posted by newmewzikboy
    nope...i am holding off to be sure not to be taken pretentiously even though I have a PROMINENT FILM.
    “Pretentious”, I just love it!
    Ha! You're just the kind of person I thrive off of.
    My education? ... Music Education k-12 with a minor in Theater. I'll get back to you in a moment. But first! Quite coincidental your post for I am in the midst of planning a return to finish up some loose ends of my education.
    Styxx

  8. #8
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Re: Music Education Survey

    Quote Originally Posted by CallMeZoot
    I should add, my non-music courses probably helped me as a composer as much as (or more) than my music courses. I don't have time to list them now, but I'll think about it and come back.

    chris.
    Yes, I'd also like to know your non-musical courses as well...
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Music Education Survey

    Quote Originally Posted by newmewzikboy
    Yes, I'd also like to know your non-musical courses as well...
    Inner or outer?
    Styxx

  10. #10
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Re: Music Education Survey

    Quote Originally Posted by Styxx
    Inner or outer?
    ?? no comprehende??
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