Saturday, April 21, 2012
This past week I had the opportunity to participate in educational outreach clinics with the graduate trumpet ensemble. We spent three days in the Chicago area performing at high schools and presenting clinics about chamber playing. Often times when universities come into schools to perform and teach the real objective is to recruit these students. While recruiting is very necessary to sustain a successful studio I believe it must be of secondary importance when presenting clinics to students. The purpose of our presentation was purely educational and I could tell (with the exception of one school) that students were engaged and interested in what we had to share. To me this is the purest form of music education. Our objective was to pass on valuable information about our experiences with chamber music and aid the students in their own endeavors. I’ve been part of university recruiting visits to schools in the past that left me feeling unsatisfied with the objective of the visit. Students are not impressed when university groups come to show off how well they can play without making the presentation relevant to what is going on in the students young musical lives. The visits must be approached in a most professional attitude with no expectations of anything in return. It sound cheesy but when you feel good about what you are sharing and you have the opportunity to help students learn about something you love that is payment enough. I hope to be part of similar clinics in the future and I look forward to teaching and educating on my own.