Title

Teaching Chamber Music in the 21st Century

Poster Number

6

Lead Author Affiliation

Conservatory of Music

Lead Author Status

Faculty

Introduction

Chamber Music is one of the most vibrant additions to the curriculum in major music schools throughout the United States. The twenty-first century musician is required to be more entrepreneurial in the field to achieve success. Large ensembles are encountering problems securing funding and with maintaining audiences. Small ensembles, on the other hand, are more affordable, more nimble in their ability to adapt to different types of venues, and more varied in their programming. There is a personal connection between performers and audience that creates an experience that is more intimate and rewarding for the audience. Music in this form thus can be most effective at keeping the arts alive and engaging new audiences to sustain the future of live musical performance.

Purpose

This research was done in order to discover the most successful methods of teaching this genre and determine what approaches we could employ in the Conservatory to achieve a national reputation in this area of instruction.

Method

interviewed current chamber music faculty at Pacific to determine their ideas for creating a more innovative and effective program surveyed current and former students to discover their opinions of the current program, and to discover what methods of instruction were used in other schools where former students participated in chamber music studies researched the offerings of other schools in the U.S. where chamber music is studied and, in some cases, offered as a degree program interviewed chamber music faculty in other schools across the U.S. to discover their method of instruction, along with successes and challenges that they encounter in their teaching selected the one school (New England Conservatory of Music) to visit, observe and directly interview faculty and administrators. This school has the most comprehensive program and most closely resembles what we at Pacific could embrace into our curriculum the data was analyzed and a strategy is being presented to faculty in the Conservatory to enhance our curriculum and place us in the leading role of undergraduate chamber music instruction in the U.S. over the next 3-4 years.

Results

Several music schools have created innovative and successful programs of study in the field of chamber music. The schools that merited the most scrutiny included: The Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, is a program whose focus is on undergraduate students of the highest caliber. Curtis is able to attract top students due to their reputation and the fact that every student who enrolls in the school receives a full scholarship. The Juilliard School is an undergraduate and graduate school that attracts top students from the country. While much of their program focuses on graduate students, there are many courses offered that can be embraced in our program through partnerships within the Conservatory The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University is an undergraduate and graduate school that has tapped the creative resources of their chamber music faculty to provide a curriculum that addresses the multiple facets of a career in chamber music. The Cleveland Institute of Music has a graduate string quartet program that has produced numerous award-winning quartets and provides a strong program of instruction for the education of string students in the performance of chamber music. Chamber music groups engage in community and regional performance series that feature the most outstanding groups. The Oberlin Conservatory of Music has an active contemporary music program that prepares their undergraduate performance majors with strong skills in the interpretation and presentation of new music. The Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble frequently represents the school in national performances and tours. The Frost School of Music at the University of Miami has both undergraduate and graduate programs that provide full scholarships for string quartets, woodwind quintets, and brass quintets. The students work closely with faculty in the fields of music education and music therapy to design effective programs to present for school, community, and hospitals throughout the Miami region. The Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford has a chamber music honors program for undergraduate and graduate music majors. Students audition to be placed into this program and receive scholarship assistance for this honor. Students work with faculty members to create programs and perform in the community. The New England Conservatory of Music (Boston, MA) is an undergraduate and graduate school. Their program is comprehensive and varied with several facets that serve separate, specific needs of their student body. These include a dedicated chamber music program, a program of community performances and partnerships, and a program of entrepreneurial musicianship. Their organization and offerings most closely resembles what we could do at Pacific since we have strong programs in music education and music management.

Significance

Currently, Pacific is far ahead of most undergraduate institutions in the instruction of chamber music. However, the performing musician in the twenty-first century requires a more flexible and informed education to deal with the entrepreneurial workplace of today. As we move forward, we can create strong partnerships with the strengths in our other programs to leverage a complete experience for the undergraduate musician and prepare them for these types of performance careers. This includes work with our programs in music management, music education, music therapy and cross-campus collaborations with departments of art, languages, world history, international study, business and theater.

Location

DUC Ballroom A&B

Format

Poster Presentation

Poster Session

Morning

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Apr 29th, 10:00 AM Apr 29th, 12:00 PM

Teaching Chamber Music in the 21st Century

DUC Ballroom A&B

Chamber Music is one of the most vibrant additions to the curriculum in major music schools throughout the United States. The twenty-first century musician is required to be more entrepreneurial in the field to achieve success. Large ensembles are encountering problems securing funding and with maintaining audiences. Small ensembles, on the other hand, are more affordable, more nimble in their ability to adapt to different types of venues, and more varied in their programming. There is a personal connection between performers and audience that creates an experience that is more intimate and rewarding for the audience. Music in this form thus can be most effective at keeping the arts alive and engaging new audiences to sustain the future of live musical performance.