Whether it’s been years since you last sat in a lecture hall or only just this morning that you put a child on the school bus, September will probably always carry with it thoughts of the classroom. Yet despite these traditional specters, how we seek out and process new information has clearly evolved in the digital age.
While maverick music makers who build their art well outside traditional institutions were certainly not invented in 2013, advances in technology have multiplied and publicized the myriad routes students may follow. In parallel to the ways we’ve seen the boundaries of genre blur and meld, education and career paths have been derailed and resurfaced; others have completely gone off road.
So how do you get to be a new music composer or performer today? How do you connect with the music and grow as a listener? Fresh learning methods have opened up exciting possibilities when it comes to advancing music education and introducing new ears to new work, so this week (September 23-27) we’ve invited our regular contributors plus some special guests to each pick up a thread in this huge concept and tell us about a piece of this story that’s important to them.
While I don’t expect that any of them will dismiss the idea of music education completely, they may advocate for learning that occurs outside of traditional intuitions or that continues long after the graduation cap is airborne.
This, of course, isn’t the first time we’ve poked around under the hood of educational issues here at NewMusicBox. In recent years we’ve chronicled Detroit’s fight to save music in the public schools and examined how we measure learning among music school students. We questioned if education debt was really worth it and what kind of teaching methods are best for those who decide to invest in it.
I expect that lots of new ideas will be thrown around this week, and it’s my hope that you’ll be inspired to add your voice to these discussions as well, using whatever 21st-century messaging strategy you most prefer.
For my part, I’ll sign off with this YouTube video. Now, I’m not much of a performer, nor did I complete any advanced work in the sciences, but thanks to the internet I’ve been schooled by someone who clearly has both well in hand. So thanks, A Cappella Science Guy! You’ve illustrated the importance of music education even when it comes to STEM subject excellence: Sonic proof of concept for any naysayers, as far as I’m concerned.