Re: Performance vs. Education

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Posted by Patrick Sheridan on August 26, 1999 at 09:02:33:

In Reply to: Performance vs. Education posted by John Visel on August 25, 1999 at 21:58:47:


Thanks for the question! If I had to do it over again...there is NO WAY that I would get a performance degree. I've never taught in the public school system. HOWEVER, if the level of committment that one has for making a career in performing is not high enough to practice enough to become a great enough player to succeed as a performer regardless of the course of study...a performance degree isn't going to help it! I've had a student that went to ASU and got his degree in microbiology and is now studying at Peabody with Dave Fedderly. He was one of Sam Pilafian's best students...not a performance major...not an education major. But a very viable degree should he choose not to OR fails to find a career as a performer.

I agree with Jay B. and the rest of the posted opinions on this in philosophy. I only offer my hindsight as another opinion. I went to Northwestern and ASU and studied with Perantoni and Jacobs. What I learned to become a great player came from them and TIME in the practice room. No degree program gave me that. I look at a performance degree as a cop-out..."I need more time to practice and I don't want to study very hard..." It is a worthless piece of paper and I've done nothing but try to justify it everywhere I've gone since I got it.

I repeat...if I had the chance to do it over...I would never have gotten my performance degree (undergrad). I would not have changed my teachers nor my practice habits...but I would not have chosen to waste four years of my time to have nothing to show for it when I finished. I would have succeeded as a player AND been a better teacher had I taken some time to study the ART of teaching. I didn't need a degree program to teach me to practice. 2 1/2 cents...

Good Luck, John!

All the best,

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