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My most recent single release - "My True North" - is now available on Bandcamp. Open my profile and click on "audio clip".

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Alchemy Vs. Education

Without question, the biggest challenge I face developing classes on music is what will end up being on the playlists. Doesn't matter if it's a brief presentation or multi-day course, it's exquisite torture every time.

I've also observed that as soon as my playlist falls into place, alchemy occurs. Unfortunately, that pushes up against my training as an educator. I was always instructed that content - a playlist would fall under that heading - should flow from teaching objectives, not the other way around. And though it's likely those objectives are in my head  - even as I'm combing through my collection, trolling I-tunes and soliciting input from others for the playlist - if I haven't written them, well, they're not real objectives then are they? Meanwhile, precious time ticks away as I try extracting my rule-bound head from an otherwise enjoyable process.

In the end, the torture, the alchemy - even the confounded objectives - bring me such joy that raising the issue feels a bit churlish. Maybe if someone else on the bell curve told me they've ever struggled with a tension between alchemy and education, I'd feel better?


  1. Sounds like your overarching objective, regardless of the smaller objectives for each respective class, is to ignite a love and appreciation of music. Also sounds like you achieve this through the process, the delivery, and the expressed conflict on your blog. Class dismissed.

    1. Anonymous; Thanks for your comment. You hit my "...overarching objective...:" dead on. I'm not sure how you concluded I achieve it without attending but thanks for the encouragement. And your assignment is...