All posts tagged: higher education

The reason why higher education values time served rather than competency.

I remember vividly, my undergraduate degree. Semester after semester, I took 20+ credits, balancing private lessons with ensemble work, education courses, and my general studies. On top of that, I worked as an RA and held a few odd jobs over my time in school in order to make ends meet. The accumulation of work often buried me so deeply that I remember finishing each semester feeling like I had made it through the race but didn’t really have anything of quality to show for the work. One of the biggest reasons many of us are over stretched during college is that higher education values the amount of time we are physically in a classroom, rather than our ability to show competency. In Cracking The Credit Hour, Amy Laitinen takes an objective look at the state of higher education. This is a must read for all and here are a few takeaways from the report: The Credit Hour—the unit of measurement that determines competency for college students—was developed in 1906 by Andrew Carnegie. The reason for this …

Thoughts on Why Music Schools Must Embed Context into the Curriculum

Yesterday, I wrote this post, which discusses the role of arts entrepreneurship in higher education. After the post, I started thinking more deeply about the role that context plays in the process of educating our arts students. Higher education helps students go deep in a few subject areas, but mostly, the courses students take provide a big picture overview of many subjects. The odd thing is that the professors teaching the big picture overview courses most likely got their teaching positions because they went incredibly deep in a very specific subject area. Teaching a big picture class is antithetical to the depth of work and research most professors conducted in their studies in order to get the position they have teaching their general studies courses. Instead of big picture classes, our current college students need depth classes with less content so they can take the information learned and connect it to the broader context of our 21st century world. Here are a few additional thoughts on the value of context: We now have unlimited access …

College Loans and Majoring in the Arts

This morning, I read this CNBC article, which discussed the fact that student loans have gone up over 150% in the last decade. The article states that “The average outstanding college loan balance is now $34,144, up 62 percent over the last 10 years.” Like most college students, arts majors (music, drama, dance, visual arts) will need to take out college loans in order to pay for their schooling. Generally, institutions of higher education don’t have a sliding scale for tuition based on projected earnings for each college major. Arts majors need need to weigh the value of the education they are receiving with the amount they will need to pay in order to earn their degree. When I coach artists, a big part of the conversation is about lowering financial risk in order to have more flexibility to pursue the things you love to do. With college becoming more expensive than ever, I encourage you to consider the impact of taking out college loans in order to pursue your art. Here is a breakdown …

Finding your pot of gold: 5 factors to consider when choosing a place to attend college

Congratulations! You are months away from graduation and well on your way to the dream of starting your collegiate career or graduate work! You have received — or are about to receive — letters of acceptance, and now all you need to do is make that all important decision about where you will attend school in the fall.  Here are 5 factors, followed by advice to consider as you choose a place to attend college:

4 Ways to save yourself from a soul-sucking college experience

By the start of the second semester of my masters degree in bassoon performance, I knew I didn’t want to be an orchestral musician.  I was lost.  Everyone was (seemingly) passionately pursuing their degree, determined to land that coveted orchestral position.  The pursuit of perfection and mastery on the bassoon drove me, but without the goal of attaining a job in an orchestra there wasn’t a clear path to a sustainable career.   The realization that my degree path might not be the key to my career success took me to dark places, quickly draining my passion for the work.  The soul-sucking, 21st century, college experience left one thing clear: The next steps in my college education would be on me. If the 21st century college experience is not what you expected, you’re not alone. Many of you are questioning your degree path, the amount of debt you’re taking on, your institution, and your decision to attend college in the first place.  This is not your fault. Universities are going through an identity crisis, trying to preserve their great traditions, while attempting …