• rogue63
    Posts: 404
    Has anyone else encountered this term? "Musicing"? BLEECCCHHHHH!!!!! This summer, I'm finishing up an online Master of Music Ed from Boston University (and it has been....well.....PAINFULLY boring) and this term keeps coming up as a description of musical activity, meaning something like the aggregate of "...performing, composing, listening, arranging...." et cetera. Are these arrogant education professors always trying to fill up the lexicon with new words? What drives people to such silly innovation?

    And another thing---reading up on current music education texts provides a frighteningly accurate picture of just the sort of music teacher our 21st century universities are producing:

    "We must begin with our admissions criteria. We can no longer limit admissions to those
    who perform on concert band and orchestral instruments, and sing classical music.46 To do so is
    to narrowly limit the musical skills and perspectives of our graduates, thus placing music in peril.
    We must embrace a wider array of musicians with varied backgrounds and experiences. In the
    end, we must consider that the future leaders of our profession might not necessarily be members
    of school based large ensembles with resumes of participation in honor band, choir and orchestra
    but are perhaps garage band guitarists, self-taught keyboard and drum-set players, and vocalists
    who have played in clubs and copy an aesthetic more regularly found on Broadway and MTV
    than in the concert hall."

    Patrick Jones, from "Returning Music Education to the Mainstream", 2006, in Visions of Research in Music Education

    The whole article is here.

    It's difficult to believe that some people can genuinely throw artistics standards straight out the door for the sake of whatever little political fad they're following. I will be thankful when I finish this d***** degree program, both for the higher pay bracket and the release from Purgatory on earth. Please pray for me that I don't pull my hair out in my overzealous joy to rush headlong into the green fields of "multiculturalism". Cheers, comrades!
  • ".....perhaps garage band guitarists, self-taught keyboard and drum-set players..."

    What, no garage schola directors!?!? They're the real wave of the future, right?
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  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    What a commentary!
  • Charles in CenCA
    Posts: 2,416
    All I can say belatedly, Rogue, is "caveat emptor." Boston U. was among the first of established, credentialed colleges to "sell their soul" publicly in the choral and mus. ed. periodicals. I personally know colleagues who've spent thousands in pursuit of a sheepskin from such an established institution, as they are convinced that initials following a comma after their name, will place them among the front-runners for next-rung of the ladder gigs. A valuable fact I learned, almost from day one, is that earning a Masters is, verily I say, a glimpse and precursor of the gauntlet one must go through to really earn the doctoral degree (see Ruff, Rev. Anthony, OSB.). The more valuable fact I learned earlier than that is that, in nearly all musical realms (be it jazz to choral) a doctorate (even from a venerable institution) does not guarantee that the recipient has evolved as a musician to a more valuable degree Can you say "Roger Wagner" or "Paul Salamunovich?" Or Scott Turkington, AOZ or Jeffrey Tucker?
    One pursues the doctorate because one loves the academic pursuit, period. For a pay grade advancement?
    I can name that tune in two notes that edifies both sides of my equation's coin: "Mike O'Connor."
    Now that's someone I can honestly dub "Dr. Mike," as opposed to say,........"Dr. Jerry."
  • rogue63
    Posts: 404
    Oh Charles, I entered the whole thing with no illusions about becoming a master musician. BU was selling a relatively cheap and convenient product---a long-distance, online Master's degree that doesn't interrupt work or family---and I have purchased it, every silly inch of it. I'd LOVE to pursue graduate study in sacred music, but my finances and family responsibilites simply won't permit that, and besides, I've learned way more on these forums in the past year than all of my graduate study and most of my undergrad. And yes, a young man with a family to feed will subject himself to a lot for the sake of "pay grade advancement". Diocesan schools pay more for teachers with M.Ed than for those with just Bachelor degrees, no matter how good your Latin is or how quickly you can quote paragraphs from Sacrosanctum Concilium or "Spirit of the Liturgy". However, I won't really consider myself "educated" until I'm able to get to a Colloquium or a Chant Intensive (next year, hopefully...).
  • Beth
    Posts: 53
    Unfortunately I have had the pleasure of experiencing this quote in my brief education experience at the local state school here.
    It's all well a good to be inclusive and not appear snoby by allowing a broader perspective of what actual musicianship is. UNTIL..... I have to sit in a semester of ear training with Music Ed. students who can either barely tell the diff between a major and minor 6th or just cannot match pitch. But think they have it goin on because they "gig" at the local tavern. The teacher of the ear training class was intelligent himself. He trained with Nadia boulanger in Paris and took a composition class with Messiaen at one point. He was sooo inclusive that even if someone could not match pitch, he would gloss it over as okay you are doing your best we are all learning from each other. He would regularly have us "mediate" before singing solfege! Oh my, I skipped the class so much I should have just dropped it.
    This school I attempted to go to (had to leave the "music department" or would have progressively gotten less musical) regularly graduates wannabe rock stars and very poor musicians through their music Edu. program. What's more unbelievable is that their 4th semester(final level) theory class, did not have text book and were still exploring writing in root position with out any formal guidelines. We were told just to feel it out.
    It's scary to think this music department has accreditation at all. What's worse is they place these people in local grade schools/ middle schools for internships.
    Sigh,,,, wish I had something more positive to contribute.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    "It's difficult to believe that some people can genuinely throw artistics standards straight out the door for the sake of whatever little political fad they're following."

    If music class is offered in a school environment as an 'education', it should offer children something worthy as an education. The children should learn basic concepts and elements of music at least so that they can use them as tools to discover the beauty of music, not rendering music as a mere entertainment. Of course not everyone becomes a serious musician, but at the same time not everyone joins the rock band either. I believe music was a major discipline in early civilization with other core disciplines such as pilosophy, math , rhetorics. These days music has been put aside as an 'extra class' that the children think this is a some sort of entertainment class, and science and math are emphasized more than as their survival tools. Robbing the humanilty side of mankind, as making them become deaf and blind to the beauty and making them the master of technology, I wonder what we are trying to achieve.
    I think the popuar concept in music education that music equals entertainment, and not bringing them to the higher level of music and discovering the beauty, is one of the main cause of the problems of the music in our liturgy.
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  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    Perhaps there are three separate but related issues here. One is that of balancing ability with potential in selection. Another is the purpose of taught (or undergraduate) education. And finally there's the drive to increase the number of graduates and post-graduates. I can't but feel that the third of these brings pressure to bear on the other two; that before the days of mass higher education it could be assumed that those who'd jumped through the hoops to get to university were capable of benefiting from academic challenge, and that the selection process could take the time to really identify those with potential who could show evidence of committment. In my own country, the government has a silly target of putting 50% of the population through higher education. The result has been a dilution of standards and large numbers of people with significant levels of student debt, and a degree that won't get them the money they need to pay it off this side of middle age.
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  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    Hrumph!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,824
    I just spent the morning "organing" at four masses. Dang, I'm tired!

    I find that the local colleges have some pretty high standards in the their music departments. To obtain a certification in music ed, this state requires you to take a test which requires the correct identification of played intervals, passing a significant music history component, and answering theory questions. If you don't pass the test, you don't get the certification.
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    What kind of theory questions? And at what level can the successful teach?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,824
    These are PRAXIS tests from Educational Testing Service which are required in this state for K-12 teacher licensure. I no longer remember specific questions, since it's been too many years.
  • This school I attempted to go to (had to leave the "music department" or would have progressively gotten less musical) regularly graduates wannabe rock stars and very poor musicians through their music Edu. program. What's more unbelievable is that their 4th semester(final level) theory class, did not have text book and were still exploring writing in root position with out any formal guidelines. We were told just to feel it out.
    It's scary to think this music department has accreditation at all. What's worse is they place these people in local grade schools/ middle schools for internships.
    Sigh,,,, wish I had something more positive to contribute.


    There are, unfortunately, many people in the realm of music education (especially) that do not belong there. I personally knew people when I was in music school who were MusEd majors because they had "played first chair viola in [their] high school orchestra," or something similar to that. Sure, we all had personal reasons for wanting to pursue our degrees, but some of these people didn't even have a clue what teaching was. I also knew people who chose to pursue MusEd because they just weren't good at anything other than playing their instrument (or at least that's what they were told). Sometimes, that's a valid reason, but to choose a career because one is simply "not good at anything else" is probably not going to be the best reason in the long run. The real tragedy here is that those types of people listed in the quotation above are the cause of substandard music education in our schools.
  • "Musicing" comes from Christopher Small's Very Important Book _Musicking: the meanings of performing and listening_ (Hanover: Wesleyan University Press, 1998), which I blush to admit I have not read. "To music is to take part, in any capacity, in a musical performance, whether by performing, by listening, by rehearsing or practicing, by providing materials for performance (what is called composing) or by dancing."- (p. 9). As a neologism to describe something which has not yet been examined as a whole, and for which no singe word or term exists, I have no problem with it. (Likewise, Edwin Gordon's "audiating" /= "hearing")

    I have issues with popular music studies. Overall, the practitioners seem to be not as nice people as those who study the older canon. Likewise, the field is eyeball deep in gender studies, with its problematic social effects. As one who once fancied himself an Americanist, I was appalled at the level to which the New Musicology had overwhelmed AmeriGrove 2nd ed. (>2 pages on "Sex" in a geographically limited dictionary? What, musicians nowhere else have intercourse, or sex, or gender, or whatever it is they have??)

    I have to meet the scholarly needs of everyone, whether I find their specialty worthwhile or not. My scholarly interests are certainly not everyone's cuppa. We tend to be especially appalled when Western Civ. breaks down in our own creative backyard, but none of that is limited to music. When it happens in church, we blame it on Vatican II, when it's just another symptom of the broader disease. As for the lack of basic skills, "we" (i.e., everyone not involved in classical music) live in a post-literate music culture. The music which makes money and fame does not require notational skills. We even think we can perform quality church music by having people listen to recordings of their part until they memorize it. We call chords by their roots and components, without reference to function ("F7" not "V7/Bb"), as if we could describe words without grammar. It sounds OK, so it must be OK.

    Hang on; 20 years from now, we'll be nostalgic for the Good Old Days when we could whine about such trivia.
    Thanked by 1irishtenor
  • rogue63
    Posts: 404
    Thank you, Jeffrey; a more damning commentary I could not have imagined. I did not know the provenance of the term when I wrote that rant six years ago, but I am not surprised. I hope you are badly wrong about "20 years from now", but I am afraid you are too prophetic.

  • Reval
    Posts: 150
    I can't even stand the word "concertize". Blech thrice-fold to "musicing".
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    We even think we can perform quality church music by having people listen to recordings of their part until they memorize it. We call chords by their roots and components, without reference to function ("F7" not "V7/Bb"),

    That's so funny as it's so true. I had a little te d' te over at PTB recently with Paul Inwood and a couple of others over the mention of the use of a "secondary 7th." They were at once seemingly saying that didn't mean a secondary dominant, nor a compound 7th, but in the next breath described this notion as both those two things. What was ironic was that the piece in question, Ruff's midday prayer psalm didn't employ a secondary dominant, even tho' one fellow claimed its nomenclature was rooted in the diminished triad(s) of viidim (don't know how to superscript here) which is only one note's difference between a dominant or a 2ndary dom7.) It made me crazy trying to understand what they claimed they were taught. I felt like the consumer in the Python sketch about ordering an argument or a contradiction. But we are concomitantly in the era of Common Core, so how does one arrive at the answer to the equation, "blech(x3)=???
  • Reval
    Posts: 150
    But we are concomitantly in the era of Common Core, so how does one arrive at the answer to the equation, "blech(x3)=???


    I will have to ask my parochially educated little ones! No doubt they can write a paragraph or two about it.
  • Realize that someone working in musical education will be either teaching grade school students, choir, or band. To be able to discuss music with their students, they would need to know these musicians and genres. Not sure why the complaint. Music education is more than teaching the 3Bs.

    Also, multiculturalism is simply facing the reality of life in these United States. We are becoming less of a white, Protestant nation and these immigrants have
  • Has anyone else encountered this term? "Musicing"?

    You might try spelling it correctly ;-)

    Gentl. instructed (1713) "A man must have… a faint idea of future torments to be fiddled and musick'd to hell."

    Jermingham letter 1788: "reading, drawing, and musiking"

    Pycroft Agony point (1861): "Frenched, musicked, and deportmented"
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,282
    SEVEN YEARS
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  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,043
    It seems related to the German "musizieren" - to make music or engage in musical activity.
  • Lol, Adam!!
  • SEVEN YEARS


    For most grad students, that means he's just about ready to finish the degree.
  • jcr
    Posts: 28
    This term (musicing) reminds me of something an English professor and colleague told me at lunch. Such words prove that "any noun can be verbed. In the "educational profession one encounters such words as "certificated" instead of "certified". I'm afraid that my colleague had not, at that time anticipated all of the possibilities that the internet and "texting" would soon provide.
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,542
    Three years
  • Three years


    Dissertation defense will be scheduled 'any time now'.