Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Another Year...

Since DSM and MusickEd operate outside of academia, our year follows a traditional business year more closely than an academic one. There are however some similarities between DSM and traditional schools or 'band programs'. For example, at this time of year we are preparing our students for Holiday Showcases and we will have a well deserved two weeks off for winter break.

As we look back at 2008 we ask ourselves 'What have we learned?'

At this time last year we were putting in extra hours to complete the Discovery Series software. We had set a 'deadline' and by the close of business December 19, 2007 we were hell bent on finishing the impossible task of packaging 20 'units' times 45 instruments for the online store. This meant hours of 'encryption' and 'building' each of the roughly 900 products. Once complete, these needed to be transferred to our server and uploaded to be made available to the public. We celebrated completion at the 11th hour with a great dinner at one of our favorite places called Sweet Basil. I'm sure the waiters wondered what 4 bleary-eyed guys were doing starting dinner at 10:30 PM with a hearty round of drinks! Nonetheless, we were thrilled to 'be done'.

It didn't take long to realize however that we indeed weren't 'done' and that we had a fantastic opportunity to re-do the software to make things even better. So when we returned in January we set out to not only redesign the look, feel and navigation of the software but also streamline the process of creating future products (i.e. The Jazz Series, The Children's Series, The Band Series, etc.). The work of reorganizing the infrastructure of our product from creation of content to production, editing, and even storage remains underway.

There are also changes being made in the structure at DSM. For over 15 years the core founding members have searched high and low for talented staff to 'come aboard' and be part of our amazing team. We offered many people positions and a chance to pitch in and make themselves a career. We never made a distinction between part time and full time faculty or Partners and Associates as far as the pricing structure for our students. But over the years we have come to realize that there is a difference. Our students and families see it and the entire staff sees it. Now the 'tenured' (to use an academic term) faculty tuition reflects that change.

This is a bittersweet development because as you know (if you are an avid reader of this blog), we have had high expectations for the entire profession of private music education. Our vision in part is
to pave the way for successful models of DSM to pop up all over the country. This would give teachers (and future teachers) a viable, healthy option for employment outside of academia and allow local community music programs to benefit from professional education. Although that goal will not be reached in the time frame that we had hoped...we forge ahead!

Still in all, DSM remains a vibrant, healthy jewel serving an avid community of music enthusiasts and parents who want the best for their children. And MusickEd's time is coming! We are indeed thankful for a great year and look forward to a fantastic 2009!!

Happy Holidays to one and all.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Welcome to the December 2008 Music Education Carnival of Blogs

At Discover, Learn, Play we are very excited and honored to be hosting this edition of the Music Education Blog Carnival! We hope you'll take a moment to get to know us, read some of our posts, leave a comment and drop by now and again to stay in touch.

Submissions for this December Carnival began finding my mailbox bright and early on Monday morning, November 3. We had no sooner started changing the clocks to Daylight Savings time when the first 'ding' arrived from 'One Family's Blog' offering a 'Comparative Review' of Yamaha digital pianos. And I thought I was prolific! This blog covers so many topics that it had my head swimming. The final post came in just under the gun mere moments ago. Posts, authors and home pages are listed below in order of their arrival.

PS check out the music education blogger time-line compiled by Joel at So You Want to Teach? - it's very cool and you just might see your blog and name in print!

Special thanks to Dr. Joe Pisano at MusTech.Net for all of his hard work and for this opportunity. Please be sure to 'actively participate' in this global conversation, comment on posts that you find interesting and above all, tell your friends about the Carnival. Enjoy!

1. Yamaha Digital Pianos - A Comparative Review by One Family's Blog

2. Music Teachers: Free printable sheet music by Crystal H. Site For Music Teachers

3. Get Into Rhythm: 50 Open Courseware Collections for Musicians
by Alisa Miller MatchACollege

4. Learning to Play Better Guitar by Jeffery Hansen Ultra Guitar Method

5.Things I've Learned
by Alexandra Gallant The Misadventures of a First Year Music Teacher

6. Promoting Your New School Blog by Theresa White Education in Music

7. 20 Questions to ask Yourself When Practising by Mike Seville How To Practise

Mozart Makes You Human by Nancy Flanagan Teacher in a Strange Land

A Partial Timeline of Music Education Blogging
by Joel So You Want to Teach?

10. Cross Sticking on Snare Drum
by Cary Stewart Third Stream Music Education

11. The Process of Learning a Musical Instrument
by Thomas J. West Music Education Practice Tips

12. MuseScore , A Free Open-Source Music Composition and Notation Program by Joe Pisano MusicTechnology.Net

That concludes this edition. Be sure to submit your blog article to the next edition of music education blog carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page. Thanks for visiting!