January, 1984

Arthur Tollefson

During 1983 CMS entered its second quarter-century of service to the profession with a revised constitution, a new Executive Director, an intensified thrust in Music in General Studies and a revitalized commitment to an essential, ongoing dialogue with major sister organizations such as the Music Educators National Conference, the Music Teachers National Association, and the National Association of Schools of Music. To be sure, our society's focus upon its primary concern - the teaching of music in higher education - remains fixed at the same high level which has distinguished CMS for several decades. Nevertheless, in becoming better acquainted with other sectors of the music field during the past few years, I perceive that many college music teachers continue to function with somewhat limited perspective, the product, perhaps, of an artifically rarefied academic atmosphere.

Within the past ten-fifteen years the enormous music industry - instrument manufacturers, publishers, recording firms, dealers, etc. - has become increasingly aware of the importance of "educational promotion". Whether to establish a truly integrated musical continuum or merely to ensure economic survival, numerous companies and organizations have appointed education directors or boards to supervise such activities. In many cases the definition of "education" has arisen from perceptions - valid or invalid - emanating primarily from within the industry itself. In other cases, most notably the National Piano Foundation, the industry has, from the start, directly solicited outside advice - that of key music educators.

Despite such recent examples of growing cooperation between education and business, however, most college music teachers and in turn, their students, remain relatively unaware of the scope of the music industry and its impact upon society. Such naivete may result as much from a traditional, non-profit, academic mistrust of the profit-making community as from a paucity of music business curricula in our institutions of higher learning. Ironically, the general student, through the ready availability of survey courses on such topics as "Music in Society" may today graduate with a more pervasive view of the overall music scene than the music major himself.

In any event, the time seems nigh for CMS to consider means through which it may effectively provide its membership opportunities to realistically refine its perspective for college music teaching. The location of our 1984 Annual Meeting in Nashville - "Music City, U.S.A." - has, in large measure, been chosen to facilitate such study. We are carefully planning our convention program to take full advantage of this unique geographical-sociological setting and urge you to plan now to join us there this fall.