[Smt-talk] Teaching for free

Victor grauer victorag at verizon.net
Tue Jul 2 12:05:30 PDT 2013

At 03:31 AM 7/2/2013, Nicolas Meeùs wrote:
>Dear Victor, dear all,
>The landscape of tuition-free universities is 
>not as deserted as one may think. See:
>It might be wiser to join one of these project than to create a new one.

Thanks Nicolas. I looked into all the above, and 
what I'm seeing is not the sort of thing I had in 
mind. I'm glad you posted these links, however, 
because new and interesting things are happening 
in education all around us, and they are certainly worth examining.

Most of the links you've provided are to programs 
that, as far as I can tell, provide little more 
than canned lectures, of the sort that used to be 
available in the States under the rubric 
"educational television," a well intentioned 
scheme that went nowhere. They are now more 
elaborately organized into entire programs, 
complete with exams, I'd imagine. But I can't 
think of many things more boring than sitting 
through a pre-recorded lecture, regardless of the 
knowledge and lecturing skills of the professor 
offering it. And I can't imagine anyone learning 
music theory or composition that way. Also these 
are programs put together by large universities, 
using profs from their own faculties, so there 
would be no opening there for someone like me, or 
most likely any of us not already employed by one of these institutions.

It's good to know that several European 
institutions are still offering tuition free 
programs, but that's nothing new. The European 
system is completely different from what's 
available in the States. (The problem in Europe 
is not at the student end, but the faculty end, 
since so many teachers are expected to teach with 
little or no pay throughout most if not all of 
their careers, as I'm sure you're aware.)

What I'd like to see, at least for music, is more 
like a traditional program, where teachers 
interact with their students for the most part, 
with a minimum of lecturing, canned or otherwise. 
This wouldn't rule out remote, Internet-based 
programs. In fact the Internet is especially well 
suited to music instruction, since it's just as 
easy for a teacher to correct an exercise sent 
via email as handed over in person. But I must 
admit I prefer teaching in a traditional classroom setting wherever possible.

What I have in mind wouldn't necessarily rule out 
teachers being paid, by the way. The institution 
I have in mind would need to fund raise like any 
other, and if it were to gain enough support 
could hopefully afford to pay its faculty.

Victor Grauer
Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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