Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Inspiring talk

The talks at the important — and inspiring — DePauw School of Music Symposium — have started to stream.

david-wallace-blogI gave the keynote, but that's not as important to me as what others said. For instance, David Wallace, chair of the string department at the Berklee College of Music.

What he said in his talk was life-changing. He showed us a new way to teach — in which the string department functions as a community, and every student can (and very likely does) work with every teacher. Across many genres, incorporating world music as well as everything native to us here. Classical, jazz, pop, rock, country, everything.

As part of his talk, David showed a video he'd made about his department. Featuring, for instance, a harpist who'd always longed to play jazz. This is great to watch, but David's full talk is even better. Inspiring, truly life-changing. As David says, his department brings him joy every day.

It doesn't get much better than that.

I blogged twice about the DePauw symposium. First about David's talk, and two others — by Sarah Robinson (streaming next month) and Mike Block — that were also inspiring.

And then about a panel that, in its quiet way, broke new ground. People who ran or used to run established conservatories talked — in radical terms — about how much things need to change.

About how we can't just teach students all the standard classical music stuff we think they should know. But about how we need to include nonclassical music, too. And, above all, about how we should encourage students to be creative, to discover what they want to do. Not exactly what happens at most conservatories up to now…

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