I haven’t properly posted about last semester’s Music Appreciation class, so let me now.
I was happy with it.
I taught it in reverse-chronological order and focused primarily on music after Debussy. I think teaching it in reverse was neither here nor there, but focusing on new music seemed to engage the students much more. I posted some of the topics here, and got some of the best comments I ever have in this class. Overall, it was fairly successful for a Music Appreciation class.
Now let me tell you what I really want to do.
I often begin my classes by stating “We can’t learn things from classes and books. We can only learn from meaningful experience. Classes and books only prepare us to make the most of a meaningful experience when we find or create one.” I certainly believe that Music Appreciation texts and CDs will not equal a meaningful experience.
Many Music Appreciation classes have a live concert component where students attend three concerts and write reports. I teach section of 200-300 students and find this to be a daunting administrative task. More distressing however, is that I have no way to teach the class directly about the random concerts they might attend.
But what if you could have a live concert in the class, during the class.
Well, nice if your school wants to give you thousands of dollars for your class, but fat chance. Where can we get those kinds of resources?
A text and set of CDs generally costs close to $100. What if there was a concert series that sold subscriptions for $50. What if those concerts happened in the class, during the class. What if 220 students bought $50 ticket subscriptions as their textbook?
What kind of concert series would you book with an $11,000 budget?
What if your Music Business majors handled the booking and marketing of said series as part of their Classical Music Business Class, and students could have internships running the series?
It’s happening at Millersville University. Now.