A student laughs during a clarinet lesson. Photo by Daniel Jean-Paul

How to Rank the Best Music Schools

Norman Lebrecht’s ever-controversial blog, Slipped Disc, has just posted a list of what Lebrecht calls the world’s ten leading music schools, “based on our readers’ recommendations and disapprovals.” This list is followed by several dozen comments from Lebrecht readers from all over the world. Inspired by similar lists with entirely different results drawn up in
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Members of the Ying Quartet smiling and looking at the camera.

Resident Chamber Groups at American Universities: How to Foster Effective Relationships

Guiding Principles for Agreements It was the spring of 1975 when Paul Katz, cellist of the Cleveland Quartet, sat down to work out the details of the Quartet’s appointment as members of the faculty of the Eastman School of Music, whose director I was at the time. We both understood at the outset that the
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Orchestra playing in big hall with empty seats

Saving American Orchestras from Themselves

The Community of Musicians Proposition It was May 1987 when Ernest Fleischmann, the champion executive director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, gave a famous commencement address at the Cleveland Institute entitled “The Orchestra is Dead—Long Live the Community of Musicians,” a speech that long roiled the musical world. Its principal argument was that orchestral musicians,
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Organ with six keyboards and many switches

Music-Making and Neuroscience

Pianists: Air-Force-Certified Masters of Complex Tasks Several years ago I had the privilege of listening to a talk by Lex Braun, Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force, at an annual Advisory Board meeting of the Texas Medical Center in Houston’s National Center for Human Performance. The Pentagon, Mr. Braun told us, was concerned that the
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Harry Caray catches a foul ball in a net

What Music Educators Can Learn from Baseball Commentators

I was ten years old when my father joined the Boston Symphony and I went to my first Red Sox game, a mile from Symphony Hall at Fenway Park. That game took place in the summer of 1946, when the Red Sox won the pennant and should have beaten the Cardinals in the World Series!
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Shinichi Suzuki (pictured left) helps a girl to learn violin

Who Should Study Music and Why?

Most parents understand that it is a good thing for even very little children to study music, and for all sorts of reasons besides one day becoming a professional musician. Dalcroze Eurhythmics was developed early in the 20th century by Swiss musician and educator Émile Jaques-Dalcroze (1865-1950), teaching concepts of rhythm, structure, and musical expression,
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