Saturday, April 26, 2008

What is "comprehensive?"

What must be included in a comprehensive public school music program? This is the question that I want to explore with this blog. I feel that my own music education has been blessed in many many ways, not the least of which is the fact that I have had some of the best teachers music education can find, but also that in not having a marching band experience, I was able to delve into jazz and chamber music more than I feel was allowed to my peers. So, was my own music education really "comprehensive" by not having a marching band experience? If I were to have had that, could I have experienced jazz and chamber music in the same way, budget aside? That is to ask, would there have been enough time?

And so, with my own future students, how am I supposed to strike a balance between what administrators, parents, other educators, and the students themselves want to accomplish within the band program? I leave this as a question until I can write more, as there is one week left until summer break, and I have, at my last count, six papers due (well, two of them are actually compositions, but one has a paper that has to go along with it) : what programs/labs/opportunities would you wish to have available to your students if you could have only 4?

My own list at this time would be, in no particular order,
1) concert band
2) jazz band
3) music technology lab
4) student-run chamber groups

Hope all's well,

Edit: that is to say, the program at whatever level you teach. If we were talking the entire K-12 program here, that would be another story altogether.