Thursday, January 31, 2008

What You Never Learned in School

Today members of eighth blackbird graced my three musicianship classes to talk about their education and how it affects their professional lives. The students were dismayed to hear that ear training was important. In two of the classes the importance of sight singing was particularly stressed, bringing a smile to this solf├Ęge meister (as I heal the wounds of World War I). All six members (two each came to the three classes) said they wished they had done more improvisation as undergraduates. Other skills on this wish list were score reading, transposition, and keyboard skills, eliciting more grins on my part and groans from my beloved pupils.

So, what things do you wish you had learned in school? I'd put computer programming on my list. I did learn in grad school, and even wrote some programs for my dissertation research, but learning as an undergrad would have made my life much easier later on. Other wished-for skills or knowledge are interpersonal communication, self-marketing, and weight training.

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