Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Response to an AAJ Post

This post is in response to an article on the AAJ (All About Jazz) website. It seems that MENC (Music Educators National Conference) is coming to the rescue of Jazz Educators since the demise of the IAJE (International Association for Jazz Education). OK, enough with the initials already; on with the post.

It strikes me as a somewhat sad state of affairs that jazz educators need to be 'served' and the profession needs to be 'promoted'.

I might even argue that the profession of jazz educating doesn't exist in a traditional sense of the word. After all, what are the options for a jazz educator upon graduation from college? Either work in a traditional school system where one has few if any colleagues or opt to abandon education and/or music altogether.

The goal 'to advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all' is a lofty one. Perhaps MENC should contribute to a fund that goes toward teaching jazz educators business and entrepreneurial skills so they can band together and open schools in communities around the country.

Turning our attention to the health of the profession is a great idea. We should be as passionate about music educating as we are about music education. If the benefits of teaching music were as apparent as other professions, we wouldn't need to be promoted or served.


mystic minstrel said...

ok - define. what would you say is the definition of music educating vs. music education? and what happened to IAJE? they had an add in the last MENC magazine...at least i thought they did.

MusickEd.com said...

If you haven't read this about the IAJE, take a moment, it's amazing:


As far as music education vs music educating, I was really addressing how we always hear about the benefits of music education for our students, but we rarely hear about the benefits of music educating for teachers. For example; it's easy to see the benefits of being say... a doctor. You're helping people and making a very, very good living... unless of course, you're a bad doctor.

I get a little tired of hearing music educators say 'we aren't doing this for the money'. That kind of thinking though noble, sells us all short.

I would like it to be about the money - I want the money to be so good that kids actually clamor for music degrees and then get out in the marketplace and use them!

Declan McManus said...

It's establishing music education as a "profession", not a hobby. We would all be worse off is Doctors all worked out of their house, with no standards, code of ethics, professional colleagues or limitations. Having music in a persons life is a wonderful thing. Having a trained professional group of educators that as a majority represented the profression in a positive manner, were respected by the community and made a good living would be wonderful. But we are no closer to that than we were in the 1700's. That is a true shame and our own fault.