Richard Kessler, Mannes, and New Music Curricula (I)

It always gets my attention when I learn about shakers and movers who are dragging music curricula (kicking and screaming or otherwise) into the current decade, century, and millennium. Richard Kessler at Mannes in NYC is one of them.

I’m grateful to my friend and improv buddy Lin Foulk (horn prof at Western Michigan U) for pointing out the follow article (which you should definitely read):



Improv Quote of the Day: Why isn’t Creativity at the Center of Curricula?

Creativity Graph

(Photo credit: lightsoutfilms)

Creativity, which is nothing more or less than imagining something and then executing it, has been virtually removed from all but the most innovative [music school] curricula. This raises two questions: If the continuing presence of music is the cause of continuing to learn music; if the cause of music is human creativity, why is creativity not at the center of the music curriculum? Why is the act of thinking up music left just to a select few specialists, while re-presenting it, or over-verbalizing about it, is the province of so many?

–Harold Best, Music Curricula in the Future


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Improv Quote of the Day: Improv and Music Curricula

English: Brisbane Concert Band, 1911.

There is no doubt that improv has improved my music program. … Because improvisation is taught, students have more fun and are more motivated. They are more sensitive and creative. They are better musicians. Improvisation should be a part of any well-rounded music curriculum.

– Randy Porter, “A Case for Improvisation to be an Integral Part of Music Education”