The first of two CMS Study Groups met in Chicago in April. The charge was to stimulate dialog regarding the undergraduate music curriculum, focusing on issues related to 1) the musical education of the general college student, and 2) the general musical education of the music major.
The second Study Group will meet in September to consider issues related to the prepara¬tion of college music teachers and how their preparation affects the quality of the under¬graduate educational experience. Both Study Groups were formed in response to various national reports and articles that have offered criticism and direction in American higher education. Of particular importance were the reports entitled "Involvement in Learning: Realizing the Potential of American Higher Education" and "Integrity in the College Curriculum."
For the first Study Group, eight professionals in music and one in the humanities engaged in provocative dialog for two and one half days. The core of the deliberations soon became clear: Schools and departments of music who desire to move into the next decade with an educational environment anti curriculum that are reflective of the realities of the world beyond the campus must respond to:
1. Changing demographics in American society, particularly population shifts in our communities and on our campuses;
2. Advances in technology, including computers, electronic keyboards, and MIDI applications;
3. The diversity of musical styles and performance contexts that currently exists in our society and throughout the world.
A published report of the Study Group is to be available for dissemination in the early fall. It will not present curricular design and structure, but will raise stimulating questions and offer thought-provoking issues regarding what undergraduates need to know and to do in order to participate successfully in the cultural life of the United States. Its purpose is to stimulate continued dialog and, ultimately, to improve the undergraduate experience for all students.
The Study Group was chaired by Barbara Reeder Lundquist, University of Washington. Other participants were Harold Best, Wheaton College; Richard Long, humanities professor from Atlanta University; Colin Murdoch, Lawrence University; Elliott Schwartz, Bowdoin College; Donald Funes, Northern Illinois University; William P. Malm, University of Michigan; Georgia Ryder, Norfolk State University; and Frank Tirro, Yale University.
CMS is a member of and contributes to The Foundation for the Advancement of Education in Music, an organization formed by the music business and education communities. The Foundation represents a significant opportunity for organizations and individuals to combine their energies and resources to promote the serious study of music by children and adults in all educational settings. The Foundation seeks to bring to the attention of the public how serious music study can enhance the lives of all people, whether their principle involve¬ment is as a listener, performer, or creator.
I believe there is room in our profession for promotional efforts such as this. We as music professionals too often talk only among ourselves, and this is one opportunity to extend our outreach.
I encourage you to find out more about the Foundation for the Advancement of Education in Music; its address is 1902 Association Drive, Reston, VA 22091.
Regarding the proposed 1988 Conference on College Music and the Community, we are beginning to receive notice of model outreach programs and suggestions for participation in the Conference. Please send suggestions to me at 220 Utah, Portales, NM 88130.