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  1. #26

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    What I would like and am not sure if it really exists is a decent history of jazz education.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Mark Rhodes had a post about that book some years ago if I recall.

    My copy is in the landfill now. (Yes I bought it).

    Save your nickels gents, it’s lame.
    Your hating it is the only recommendation I need.

    in the other hand if it actually does suck I’m blaming you.

    Thats fair ;-)

  4. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    Your hating it is the only recommendation I need.

    in the other hand if it actually does suck I’m blaming you.

    Thats fair ;-)
    It's not as long as post #13 so you may get bored.

  5. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter
    Most (all?) of the teachers at Berklee...
    Nice to see you back, Alter. At last :-)

    I don't suppose you want to try the Softly song, do you?

  6. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    What I would like and am not sure if it really exists is a decent history of jazz education.
    You'd need to write it yourself. History is by nature biased and there is not even a consensus of what jazz is, no less how that complex process of real time composition, the acquisition of the unique listening/contribution skills, the role of history in the validity of the lexicon, the dynamic and ever changing syntax based on such a wide influence and source pool, even the debate of what the semantic intent of individual solos is.
    Jazz is unique in the artform because it IS such an immediate reflexion of a chaotically dynamic world.
    It would indeed make an interesting book. The people I know and talk with have such different ideas about their education (the sources of their language development and the evolution of the quality that makes their music valid) even when we've gone to the same school. When I learned about jazz with Archie Shepp at one institution, we couldn't even CALL it "jazz". That was a term of cultural ignorance. When I attended Berklee decades later, it was a word for a category, one among many that qualified for awards at the Grammy ceremony.
    I can tell you one thing, if you write a really good one, you'll find at least 60% of players and armchair students who will find it outrageously trashworthy. Ha ha.
    I'd read it.

  7. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller

    There are so many threads here related to my research it's tempting to type an essay. The focus of my research is jazz education. The truth is there is a 'multi-tier' system operating; within Berklee this is clearly demarcated by their marking/streaming system - your 'number'. In the UK this tends to be split between the (small) traditionally classical conservatoires that have jazz courses like the Royal Academy where only students who can already play have a chance of getting in, and and the more pop oriented schools like BIMM (where Guthrie Govan used to teach - apparently he basically wrote the curriculum) which tend to be more like those Berklee rock star wanabees and are in the business of teaching basic skills. Both offer academically accredited music degrees that are in theory at the same level, but very different institutions.
    As an aside, I'd say that multi-tier system exists throughout higher education (and in my experience, secondary as well) in the US. No matter how selective/elite the institution and no matter how much it sells itself on everyone's experience being special and elite once you're admitted, that's not really how it shakes out. Some of the tier-ing is socioeconomic secret handshakes, some is legitimately based on students' genuinely having higher-tier smarts, but though all animals are equal, some are more equal than others. There's also, of course, the whole thing of reputational differences between schools, which in the US is even weirder. People puffing themselves up because of the schools they went to and/or looking down their noses at others because of where they went to (guilty as charged), when the reality is that the actual quality of undergrad instruction between the top tier and lower tiers is somewhere between minimal and non-existent. In England you get the same thing of course, but Brits have far fewer delusions about class and social mobility than Americans, so it doesn't have the same dissonance.

  8. #32

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    If "Jazz Ed" really refers to Jazz, then just study UNT.

    They're still doing "Jazz", no apologies.


    History of Jazz at North Texas | Division of Jazz Studies

  9. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    You'd need to write it yourself. History is by nature biased and there is not even a consensus of what jazz is, no less how that complex process of real time composition, the acquisition of the unique listening/contribution skills, the role of history in the validity of the lexicon, the dynamic and ever changing syntax based on such a wide influence and source pool, even the debate of what the semantic intent of individual solos is.
    Jazz is unique in the artform because it IS such an immediate reflexion of a chaotically dynamic world.
    It would indeed make an interesting book. The people I know and talk with have such different ideas about their education (the sources of their language development and the evolution of the quality that makes their music valid) even when we've gone to the same school. When I learned about jazz with Archie Shepp at one institution, we couldn't even CALL it "jazz". That was a term of cultural ignorance. When I attended Berklee decades later, it was a word for a category, one among many that qualified for awards at the Grammy ceremony.
    I can tell you one thing, if you write a really good one, you'll find at least 60% of players and armchair students who will find it outrageously trashworthy. Ha ha.
    I'd read it.
    Haha hell no.

    I’ve had enough of this research game for at least for a bit. Get my Master’s done and chill for a bit. look forward to getting my life back a bit.

    If was going to write a book I would prefer it to be of practical use to musicians. Maybe a history can be framed that way?

    I have quite a few friends who’ve embarked on PhD’s. Probably they’ll write theses about how music education is getting overly academic in order to secure better paid teaching gigs at academic institutions. (This literature is large and expanding.)

    Everyone hates academia in music education and yet we are locked into the event horizon it seems…. Like moribund starships swept towards an ineluctable demise… Only much much more boring…

    Anyway lacking a formal music qual this seemed a good way to go, but academia is really not interesting to me. It inevitably takes you away from a place of actual practice to doing research.

    It might say ‘music education’ on my degree title, but really what I am doing is academic reading and research methods. I think that this is not so interesting to me as playing and teaching the guitar, although I do find the ideas engaging. Definitely some fun stuff in the course as well, like doing Konakol for a semester.

    Happy to have some nice gigs, teaching and playing, should they be available. I’ll do a PhD if I have to… (no seriously, this is a thing that happens..)
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 09-23-2021 at 12:16 PM.

  10. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    Yeah here no one thinks an Oxbridge degree is worth the same than one from an ex-Polytechnic… But does anyone seriously think a degree from Yale or Harvard isn’t worth more than one from one of the many US colleges I’ve never heard of?

    As far as the ‘old school tie’ goes - yeah I think Brits are generally aware of this. The 60’s was meant to shake all this up, but look at public life today and it’s dominated by the upper echelons… even the flipping actors are old Etonians…
    What a degree is "worth" is a complicated question. Ivy and equivalent undergrad degrees provide entree to certain careers (e.g., finance), and there is a big difference in earnings potential between an Ivy law degree (which is graduate degree in the US) and others. But beyond that it's not clear what one can buy you (considering only earnings potential). Depending on what you want to do in life, what you want to learn and why, and how much it costs you, a fancy degree in the US might be a great idea, or it might be mistake. In terms of the actual quality of instruction, the difference between highly selective and less selective colleges is the students, not the faculty. Another oddity of US higher ed is that the elite universities churn out an order of magnitude more PhD's than they hire. So there are brilliant people with gold-plated doctorates teaching literally everywhere, and even more who can't find a job anywhere. Meanwhile, the elite universities have grad students teach a high percent of their undegrad courses. As a result, many of the schools you've never heard of offer a better instructional experience than the ones you have.

  11. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    moribund starships swept towards an ineluctable demise
    king ell

  12. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    What a degree is "worth" is a complicated question. ... As a result, many of the schools you've never heard of offer a better instructional experience than the ones you have.

    It's really too bad there's no metric for the things you learn beyond the curriculum. A syllabus only tells you the story of what has been planned. My experience in going to some really great and some so-so institutions is the things an instructor can give me, the insights, the experiences, the perspective and context of the knowledge that's in that book (or on the board). Even more so in an arts related institution.
    A school's baseline core can be duplicated in another school, but the anecdotes and imparting of an ephemeral spirit of the knowledge, that's a special kind of knowledge that's between an insightful instructor and an astute student. I think there's a better chance of finding that at a place that has attracted both knowledgable and experienced teachers AND students.
    I got more from Berklee from a few people I knew as students...but then again when I was there, Julian Lage was a classmate.
    There's also a benefit/danger from this broader definition of education that goes beyond the boundries of the classroom. I learned volumes of amazing game changing things from Mick, as he shared stuff that may well never be published in his life time. I learned conceptual liberation from Jon Damian that will never be taught with the unique chemistry that was formed in a gestalt of inspired students.
    And then there was a girl I knew, a very talented horn player. She learned about rape from her teacher and her knowledge of NDAs is more than she ever imagined when she enrolled at Berklee.
    A lot more to education than they tell you when you're reading a website from a company that's trying to get 100k+ from you.

  13. #37

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    My son is just finishing up a degree at a so-called "Little Ivy".

    He's a STEM guy. The classes seemed quite uniform in terms of the complexity of the material and the amount of work required to complete each course.

    That wasn't true of his non-STEM courses.

    He also took a couple of credits on-line at UC Davis in the arts -- those courses were inconsistent in the amount of work required and were generally easier.

    I'm inclined to agree that the difference is in the quality of the students -- to the point where my rating of colleges was based entirely on the 75th percentile of SAT scores of admitted students. There are pros and cons to this, but, at least, it's a level playing field, of a kind.

    There are schools, and Berklee may be one, where the main admission requirement is that your tuition check clears, but, once you're in, you have a shot at a quality education without anything being dumbed down. That may be a pretty good system. Non-discriminatory on admission and then you have to get it done.

  14. #38

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    Well Berklee Online makes you work hard and my understanding from the instructors is that on campus is even more demanding.

    Is it expensive? Yeah, but all this "you can sail through if you have the money" stuff doesn't line up with my experience.

    You have to work.

  15. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Well Berklee Online makes you work hard and my understanding from the instructors is that on campus is even more demanding.

    Is it expensive? Yeah, but all this "you can sail through if you have the money" stuff doesn't line up with my experience.

    You have to work.
    My only experience is the many faculty I know, so I don't really know...oh yeah, I was a student too. It can be demanding but that's if you want to learn. If you want to be a poseur, you're never going to be punished for it. Teachers know full well that a failing grade goes with legal retaliation with many students who have parents who just want the degree for their kids. There is no failing there, just failure to learn.
    Example: In an arranging class our assignment was a full chart on a particular piece. Full 6 piece band, transposition and range limitation required. Yeah I worked hard on it, learned a lot. It took time. I thought it was hard but worth the effort.
    A female singer, Arianna Grande wannabe hands in manuscript paper with measures drawn out and chord changes written over the measures. "What's this?" says the teacher? "That's what I give my band". She was something of a minor celeb in the backwater town she was from and she was that way the whole semester I heard. There were classes when she totally derailed the class with questions and demands for explanations that clearly indicated that she had done none of the work. I got fed up and switched out of that class for one with a more unforgiving (rigorous) teacher.
    Next semester, she's on the next level.
    Those who were on the fast track learned the secret road to success: Learn the next level on your own and test out. THAT's why it's hard there, cuz you have to wade through a swamp of slackers.
    Plus side, there are good teachers who will recognize you and show you the respect you deserve, if you find them and work with them. (And if you're not a girl who has to pay for that attention in a "body tax".)
    This is what they go to great lengths to keep hidden. It's my experience.

  16. #40

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    Well ok, I have seen some less than impressive students too now that you mention it. I normally wouldn’t say something like that but you make a point.

    I don’t think the instructors encourage that stuff though, per your story. Further, the online school is a “fun class” for many, and it IS fun!

    So let me reset - I go for an “A” in every college course that I take. I don’t always make it but I’ve come pretty close. I especially try harder in subjects that I care about (like music) and have done well in that regard. The instructors DO appreciate that in a student.

    I have seen some students disappear from a class, but most finish.

  17. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    My only experience is the many faculty I know, so I don't really know...oh yeah, I was a student too. It can be demanding but that's if you want to learn. If you want to be a poseur, you're never going to be punished for it. Teachers know full well that a failing grade goes with legal retaliation with many students who have parents who just want the degree for their kids. There is no failing there, just failure to learn.
    Example: In an arranging class our assignment was a full chart on a particular piece. Full 6 piece band, transposition and range limitation required. Yeah I worked hard on it, learned a lot. It took time. I thought it was hard but worth the effort.
    A female singer, Arianna Grande wannabe hands in manuscript paper with measures drawn out and chord changes written over the measures. "What's this?" says the teacher? "That's what I give my band". She was something of a minor celeb in the backwater town she was from and she was that way the whole semester I heard. There were classes when she totally derailed the class with questions and demands for explanations that clearly indicated that she had done none of the work. I got fed up and switched out of that class for one with a more unforgiving (rigorous) teacher.
    Next semester, she's on the next level.
    Those who were on the fast track learned the secret road to success: Learn the next level on your own and test out. THAT's why it's hard there, cuz you have to wade through a swamp of slackers.
    Plus side, there are good teachers who will recognize you and show you the respect you deserve, if you find them and work with them. (And if you're not a girl who has to pay for that attention in a "body tax".)
    This is what they go to great lengths to keep hidden. It's my experience.
    Mine too. They keep it hidden while others are oblivious to the depravity.

  18. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    My son is just finishing up a degree at a so-called "Little Ivy".

    He's a STEM guy. The classes seemed quite uniform in terms of the complexity of the material and the amount of work required to complete each course.

    That wasn't true of his non-STEM courses.

    He also took a couple of credits on-line at UC Davis in the arts -- those courses were inconsistent in the amount of work required and were generally easier.

    I'm inclined to agree that the difference is in the quality of the students -- to the point where my rating of colleges was based entirely on the 75th percentile of SAT scores of admitted students. There are pros and cons to this, but, at least, it's a level playing field, of a kind.

    There are schools, and Berklee may be one, where the main admission requirement is that your tuition check clears, but, once you're in, you have a shot at a quality education without anything being dumbed down. That may be a pretty good system. Non-discriminatory on admission and then you have to get it done.
    I went to an Ivy, non-STEM major. From what I remember (I graduated almost 40 years ago) workloads in the humanities were consistent and heavy across courses (typically, more reading than I could actually do, so it was an exercise in triage and prioritization). Much of STEM was even more demanding, but that was because much of it was designed to weed out premeds more than it was to teach people bio or chem. Not sure what it's like these days.

  19. #43

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    souvenirs souvenirs
    Does Berklee have a codified jazz theory?-berklee-jpg
    Last edited by emilP; 09-24-2021 at 06:44 AM.

  20. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    king ell
    I’m firing up those boosters and trying to break orbit. I will probably fail. Academia looms. Gravity always wins.

  21. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    I’m firing up those boosters and trying to break orbit. I will probably fail. Academia looms. Gravity always wins.
    A long time ago Steve Swallow was a promising academic at Yale. It was never an intention, no less a dream to become a musician. But when Jimmy Guiffrey gave him a taste of it, he knew that was what he would do.
    He told me "Don't go into music. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. But if you HAVE to do it, there is nothing else."
    One of the blessings of obsession is it provides clarity.

  22. #46

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    Has anyone actually got hold of Berklee and asked them? It's what I'd do. Nothing like the horse's mouth.

  23. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    A long time ago Steve Swallow was a promising academic at Yale. It was never an intention, no less a dream to become a musician. But when Jimmy Guiffrey gave him a taste of it, he knew that was what he would do.
    He told me "Don't go into music. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. But if you HAVE to do it, there is nothing else."
    One of the blessings of obsession is it provides clarity.
    I’m kind of obsessed with teaching as well as playing, and I know what will play best with my family life etc at least atm. What I am not obsessed by is research.

  24. #48

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    @jimmy blue note Anyway I hardly need to remind you that there is today essentially no career in (modern) jazz that does not include at least some teaching anyway… and that suits me. You can make some money playing it, at least in Europe, but in practice everyone has a sandwich career.

    People I know who play music for a living and don’t teach at all, still play jazz for love basically… their bread and butter is Shows, library music maybe some studio work etc. Even those that work stupidly hard at setting up tours and stuff.

    my advice to aspiring young contemporary/modern jazz guitarists? You have to regard this as your mission from God.

    This is something I kind of have trouble with myself for various reasons, but mostly because I feel that it’s a little self indulgent for me to think this way? Fine when you are 21, not so much later in life. I’d like to do more projects, but that’s balanced against time away from the kids etc, and as it is I’m doing the thing I love for a living, and that’s pretty lucky.

    If you feel contemporary jazz is a supreme form of self expression that’s great, and one should go all out for it because that’s the only way to do it. But I also think there’s a lot of ‘self’ going on… today’s jazz musicians are very interior, process focussed. I know I am.
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 09-25-2021 at 05:36 AM.

  25. #49

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    My experience at Berklee during the early mid 70s was quite different than I imagine it now. I was a Ralph Towner wanna bee. There was a teacher there who taught classical guitar to about a dozen of us. Eventually I switched my principal instrument to piano and took classical guitar lessons with Philip DeFremery at Mt. Holyoke. This led to a scholarship at Aspen Music School and Oscar Ghiglia with Eliot Fisk his assistant. My Berklee classes in my later semesters where with the brilliant John Bavichi, late Beethoven String Quartets, Bartok. North Indian music with Shirish Korde, I also did the advanced solfege class which got into twelve tone and atonal exercises. Advanced composition with Michael Gibbs. I found the town of Boston to have a treasure of music. Metheny was teaching at Berklee while I was there. The Jazz Workshop shows with Bill Evans, McCoy,Tony Williams, Gary Burton with Pat and Mick, Oregon. Keith Jarrett at Symphony Hall. Wednesday night $1.00 admission with student ID for rehearsal with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Imagine Ozawa rehearsing "the Rite of Spring" for a buck. The Boston Museum, Gardner Museum, Fogg Museum at Harvard. Classmates Mike Stern, Jamie Glaser, Bill Frisell, Vinnie Coliuta...It was a magical time...I cherish it

  26. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by rintincop
    I wonder does Berklee School of Music really have a codified system of jazz theory and terminology that their teachers adhere to? In other words, are their teachers told to teach a specific Berklee jazz theory system?
    I thought not, but maybe they do. I know they publish course books.

    And, how influential on jazz is the Berklee School? Does it really substantially effect the course of the jazz world? I thought they were simply a prestigious music college, a training camp, a place to make contacts and be recognized.
    I guess they do---and so what?

    No one needs $5 words and 'systems' to play; compose; sing---whatever. Instead ask someone who knows more than you; digest; become an autodidact lifelong learner; trust your ears and heart.

    It's CHEAPER too!...