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Re: Mozart in the Jungle
tomasino #1962329 09/21/12 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by tomasino

I take some issue with her thesis, because there is an upside to the overproduction of talent. I feel that the more people highly educated in music, the better it is for everyone in the society.......I decided to become educated in music because I loved music and I loved culture. When it was time to find a job or establish a career--photography--I found that music, in a hundred different and indirect ways, was a fine background to have.


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Re: Mozart in the Jungle
beet31425 #1962332 09/21/12 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by beet31425
Originally Posted by Mark_C
I flipped through a number of the reviews on Amazon (which I think often gives a good fix on a book), and judging from what I see there, I'm both interested and not interested: sort of interested in some of the details (like "who") grin but not enough to delve into it and find out. From what I gather, this isn't a story about music as much as a story about a New York subculture (at least in a certain era and probably beyond) and a certain kind of person, and I'm sure it's been present in many other places too. I think there have been a lot of such lives in many different career fields, and among people with no particular career. I also think that it's not true in any general way that a classical music career is the kind of sordid desperate hellhole that some of the reviews state as a given and which I guess the book suggests.


I looked through this book at a bookstore a couple years ago, and this was my sense too. I put it down.

As did I after reading a few pages.......

Last edited by carey; 09/21/12 11:19 PM.

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Re: Mozart in the Jungle
Carey #1962333 09/21/12 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by carey
Originally Posted by tomasino

I take some issue with her thesis, because there is an upside to the overproduction of talent. I feel that the more people highly educated in music, the better it is for everyone in the society.......I decided to become educated in music because I loved music and I loved culture. When it was time to find a job or establish a career--photography--I found that music, in a hundred different and indirect ways, was a fine background to have.
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But although it may have worked for you I think in general a music major and especially a performance major does not prepare one well for other kinds of work. As Tindall says in her book, much of the normal liberal arts background gained in a non conservatory is not part of a music majors education. In general, I think those studying a specific field where are a good number of job openings have the greatest chance of finding work after college.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 09/21/12 11:25 PM.
Re: Mozart in the Jungle
tomasino #1962338 09/21/12 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by tomasino
[...] speaking as a statistic of one, I knew from the beginning that there was very little chance I would ever be employed in music. Everyone told me so. How could I not know? How could anyone ever have gone into music thinking it's going to be sure employment?

Following the posts and videos (some excellent!) of various students here, I do wonder just what their ultimate goal is in studying piano, and do they have a backup plan?

Half-way through uni I fully realized I wasn't going to make it as a pianist (playing Beethoven's 'Waldstein' -fairly well I thought- isn't any ticket to stardom), so I switched to organ and church music. It was far more satisfying, and indeed it turned out I had a very decent talent for playing a church service.

After emigrating to the US several years ago, my Anglican training was all of a sudden of neutral importance (perhaps more valuable in an Episcopal environment), but at least I landed a job as a fiscal specialist. I am grateful I had the foresight to take night-time accounting classes.


Jason
Re: Mozart in the Jungle
pianoloverus #1962341 09/21/12 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by carey
[quote=tomasino]
I take some issue with her thesis, because there is an upside to the overproduction of talent. I feel that the more people highly educated in music, the better it is for everyone in the society.......I decided to become educated in music because I loved music and I loved culture. When it was time to find a job or establish a career--photography--I found that music, in a hundred different and indirect ways, was a fine background to have.
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Quote
But although it may have worked for you I think in general a music major and especially a performance major does not prepare one well for other kinds of work.
The same could be said about other majors as well. But the self-discipline and analytical skills necessary to be successful in music are definitely transferable to other fields.
Quote
As Tindall says in her book, much of the normal liberal arts background gained in a non conservatory is not part of a music majors education.
I'm assuming you mean a "music major" in a conservatory as opposed to a "music major" in a liberal arts college or university where you are required to study and demonstrate competency in other subjects as a condition of graduating.
Quote

In general, I think those studying a specific field where are a good number of job openings have the greatest chance of finding work after college.
No doubt. But there are thousands upon thousands of folks in the work force who successfully earn livings in fields unrelated to their college majors.

Last edited by carey; 09/21/12 11:44 PM.

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Re: Mozart in the Jungle
pianoloverus #1962461 09/22/12 09:00 AM
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Do we regard an education as enabling us to find employment, or to gain a richer life? Put another way, do we educate to fulfill the projected needs of modern industry, or do we educate to develop an individual's talents and interests.

There may be some real downsides to tailoring education to industrial needs. This was touched on in a very fine editorial in the NY Times a month or so ago, headlined as "do we need algebra." Here's the link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/29/opinion/sunday/is-algebra-necessary.html?pagewanted=all

Tomasino

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Last edited by tomasino; 09/22/12 09:30 AM.

"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

Re: Mozart in the Jungle
tomasino #1962513 09/22/12 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by tomasino
Do we regard an education as enabling us to find employment, or to gain a richer life? Put another way, do we educate to fulfill the projected needs of modern industry, or do we educate to develop an individual's talents and interests.


Ideally, education should achieve a combination of both of these aspects. The reality of the situation is that it often fails to do so.


Originally Posted by tomasino

There may be some real downsides to tailoring education to industrial needs. This was touched on in a very fine editorial in the NY Times a month or so ago, headlined as "do we need algebra." Here's the link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/29/opinion/sunday/is-algebra-necessary.html?pagewanted=all


This editorial is almost completely wrong. The responses to the editorial on the Web page provide some refutations to the fallacious arguments presented by the author; note the high percentage of negative responses. Here are links to articles directly refuting this editorial:

http://scientopia.org/blogs/galacti...nt-he-just-ask-is-high-school-necessary/
http://dropoutnation.net/2012/07/30/why-algebra-matters-and-why-those-who-think-it-doesnt-are-wrong/
http://axiomofcats.com/2012/08/02/how-andrew-hacker-and-the-new-york-times-got-it-wrong/
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friend...ra-is-necessary-rebutting-andrew-hacker/

The following links discuss the importance of studying math:

http://mrflip.com/teach/writing/WhyStudyMath/WhyStudyMath.html
http://www.popmath.org.uk/centre/pagescpm/imahob95.html
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/faq/faq.why.math.html

Re: Mozart in the Jungle
pianoloverus #1962520 09/22/12 10:52 AM
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Well - while we're at it, we should consider why it is important to study music....(This list was compiled by Deborah Torres Patel) -

"1. Music training has been linked to spatial-temporal reasoning skills. (I.e. ability to read a map, put puzzles together, form mental images, transform/visualize things in space that unfold over time, and recognize relationships between objects. These skills are often helpful in science, math, and chess.)

2. Musical symbols, structure, and rhythmic training utilize fractions, ratios, and proportions, which are all important in mathematical study.

3. Increases problem finding/solving, logic and thinking skills like analysis, evaluation and the linkage/organization of ideas

4. Optimizes brain neuron development & circuitry

5. Assists motor development especially coordination of hands, eyes and body

6. Expands multiple intelligences and helps students’ transfer study, cognitive and communication skills from subject to subject in any syllabus

7. Group orchestra or ensemble activities help promote cooperation, social harmony and teach kids discipline while working together toward a common goal.

8. Music augments memory. For example, most people learn their ABC’s by singing them. Repeating a tune in a predictable rhythmic song structure makes memorization easier.

9. Singing is a great way to aid/improve reading ability and instruction. Karaoke is a perfect example. Children may learn a song by ear (auditory) but words on a TV or computer screen provide a simultaneous visual anchor.

10. In vocal music learning rhythm, phrasing, and pitch greatly enhances language, pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary skills. This is especially noticeable when using songs in first and second language study.

11. Improves critical reading and writing

12. Raises test scores, decreases performance anxiety, and teaches kids how to handle/manage stress during standardized exams

13. Helps children channel unexpressed and/or negative emotions in a positive way

14. Boosts creative thinking

15. Reading music and performing memorized pieces help children to think ahead

16. Improvisation helps people to “think on their feet”

17. Solo performance is connected to self-esteem & self-efficacy. (concept of self capacity) Children learn to reach for their very best.

18. When kids prepare and consistently practice for recital or performance, they work to sing/play without errors. They generally apply similar determination and perseverance to many future endeavors academic or otherwise.

19. Improves understanding of homework and enables a higher levels of concentration

20. Children who study music usually have a better attitude, are more motivated and are less intimidated by learning new things

Strong music reading, writing notation, sight singing (solfege), music theory, literacy, and moving the body to music are solid, transferable skills. Learning is a two-way street. For example, one can assume that mathematics can also develop music. Academic achievement links positively with musical achievement and vice versa."





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Re: Mozart in the Jungle
Otis S #1962530 09/22/12 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Otis S
Originally Posted by tomasino

There may be some real downsides to tailoring education to industrial needs. This was touched on in a very fine editorial in the NY Times a month or so ago, headlined as "do we need algebra." Here's the link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/29/opinion/sunday/is-algebra-necessary.html?pagewanted=all


This editorial is almost completely wrong. The responses to the editorial on the Web page provide some refutations to the fallacious arguments presented by the author; note the high percentage of negative responses. Here are links to articles directly refuting this editorial:

http://scientopia.org/blogs/galacti...nt-he-just-ask-is-high-school-necessary/
http://dropoutnation.net/2012/07/30/why-algebra-matters-and-why-those-who-think-it-doesnt-are-wrong/
http://axiomofcats.com/2012/08/02/how-andrew-hacker-and-the-new-york-times-got-it-wrong/
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friend...ra-is-necessary-rebutting-andrew-hacker/

The following links discuss the importance of studying math:

http://mrflip.com/teach/writing/WhyStudyMath/WhyStudyMath.html
http://www.popmath.org.uk/centre/pagescpm/imahob95.html
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/faq/faq.why.math.html
I will read those articles you gave with interest since I taught math for 38 years. I did read the NY Times article, and although I may not agree totally with it I think many valid points were made. I don't think the issue black and white either way.

Re: Mozart in the Jungle
pianoloverus #1962555 09/22/12 12:09 PM
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It's only responsible for students to consider having a job after spending years in school, most likely racking up debt in the process. In the end we must make a living, and the task is to find a way to do so that's also personally fulfilling.

This may or may not include schooling. I think our culture may have fetishized education over the years. We were told repeatedly that you must get one if you're to amount to anything in life, and now the conventional wisdom is you don't need to have a degree in the same field you go to work in. A lot of the students I met really didn't seem like they should have been there, or at least weren't ready for it. University profs are frustrated by highschool graduates who can't write and looking back my highschool experience seemed like glorified babysitting. I was told a joke once: "university is a great institution! Where else can you get a good highschool education?"

I don't mean to bash it so much. I think post-secondary education can be a great tool but in the end I've decided that one has to take the responsibility for their own education, in and out of institutions.

Re: Mozart in the Jungle
pianoloverus #1962565 09/22/12 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Otis S
Originally Posted by tomasino

There may be some real downsides to tailoring education to industrial needs. This was touched on in a very fine editorial in the NY Times a month or so ago, headlined as "do we need algebra." Here's the link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/29/opinion/sunday/is-algebra-necessary.html?pagewanted=all


This editorial is almost completely wrong. The responses to the editorial on the Web page provide some refutations to the fallacious arguments presented by the author; note the high percentage of negative responses. Here are links to articles directly refuting this editorial:

http://scientopia.org/blogs/galacti...nt-he-just-ask-is-high-school-necessary/
http://dropoutnation.net/2012/07/30/why-algebra-matters-and-why-those-who-think-it-doesnt-are-wrong/
http://axiomofcats.com/2012/08/02/how-andrew-hacker-and-the-new-york-times-got-it-wrong/
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friend...ra-is-necessary-rebutting-andrew-hacker/

The following links discuss the importance of studying math:

http://mrflip.com/teach/writing/WhyStudyMath/WhyStudyMath.html
http://www.popmath.org.uk/centre/pagescpm/imahob95.html
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/faq/faq.why.math.html
I will read those articles you gave with interest since I taught math for 38 years. I did read the NY Times article, and although I may not agree totally with it I think many valid points were made. I don't think the issue black and white either way.


Many political philosophers have some points one would agree with, even if one totally disagrees with their overall ideology. The truth is that Andrew Hacker, the author of the editorial in question, is associated with the group of people who would like to see less importance placed on math in the US educational system.

His Wikipedia article describes him as "an American political scientist and public intellectual". The only concrete thing the article says about the ideas he has promoted or his viewpoints is:

In his articles he has questioned whether mathematics is necessary, claiming "Making mathematics mandatory prevents us from discovering and developing young talent."

Regarding his views of people who major in math, he recently told the New York Observer that

“Math majors,” he tells us, “math majors have their minds so sharpened, that their opinions about Syria are more valid than your opinions about Syria because once you do math and algebra, your mind becomes superior and so do your opinions in every field.”

The above statement is an unfounded generalization of math majors, and the fact that he would openly express such prejudice towards math majors immediately raises questions about how objectively he can view the subject that he has chosen to write about and champion.

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