10.31.2010

Operation E.W.U.: Mid-Quarter Update




I thought I'd give a little update on how grad school has been. Posts in the past have only attested to the high degree of business, without the messy details. A little summary should do me some good and may prove interesting.
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Lieberman
1. Music for Humanities:
It's been such a good thing to have this challenging assignment my first quarter. Not only does that mean subsequent quarters should be less tied up to grading and lesson planning, but I find that I can command a classroom and administer tests and enjoy myself. Not to say that the challenges (and there are many) do not weigh me down and eat up all my time, but at least I know now that I truly love to do this and I'm on the right track in my desire to become a teaching professor. I come to this class with certain assumptions and certain visions which obviously must vie with reality. One of those is that students will actually read their books or even have one in their dorm rooms. Another is that upon seeing how bad their grades are on the first two tests they will start reading the books, or at least figuring out how they retain information. That's what school is about to a large extent; figuring out how you work, who you are as a student. Some are doing better than others. We have gotten into the Classical era, which is a lot more familiar and forgiving to the ears. I had a String Quartet play Eine kleine Nachmusik and this week Jane Ellsworth and I give a demo of the rondo from Mozart's Clarinet Concerto. 
2. Symphonic Choir:
Singing wonderful Christmas medley by R.V. Williams. Directing and teaching parts to the guys. Singing with the orchestra. Trip to New York in May. Not much time to warm up or go over parts in class, so a lot of practice room time.

3. Music of the Classical Era
Jane Ellsworth is not only extremely erudite and knowledgeable, but extremely fun. She bubbles with excitement about the everything from Shobert's gruesome death to Hungarian versions of Orfeo ed Euridice, and don't get her started about the American Haydn Society or anything about the clarinet. Truthfully I was not excited about the Classical era. Everything seems too cute and light and once you read An Evening in the Palace of Reason, there's no going back. This class, however, has truly opened my eyes and ears to the wealth of living, breathing beauty that is in this era. I was especially interested in the transitional Rococo and Empfindsamkeit eras, especially the later in CPE Bach and Georg Benda. My final paper for the class is focusing on a rhetorical analysis of a keyboard sonata by Benda. Lots of reading, but I love this idea of "bibliographic control"! More on that below.

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Dou
4. Research and Bibliography
Another Ellsworth special. Trips to the library. RILM. JSTOR. SUMMIT. ILLIAD. Chicago style (so close to MLA, yet so different!). My final annotated bibliography assignment is gaining bibliographic control of Soviet piano prelude music, especially Shostakovich, Zaderatsky, and Kabalevsky. Tons and tons of reading.

5. Contemporary Ensemble
I'm actually not in this class. I'm simply the honorary second piano part for La Rocca's Divertimento which I've already mentioned. Lots of fun.

6. Reading-mobile
I'm trying to take the bus to school. It just takes a bit of foresight and getting my bottom out of bed. Big money saver.
There's the layout of my week. Extremely busy, but, as Jess always tells me, I'm kicking serious butt and doing things I love. Even the less than wonderful things are teaching me such wonderful lessons. Plus we might spring for a mini fridge! Yum! Look for more updates later!

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