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Author Topic: Blues Taught at the College and University Level  (Read 4921 times)

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Offline Bill Roggensack

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Re: Blues Taught at the College and University Level
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2005, 09:39:43 AM »
Everyone trying to outdo each other citing meaningful ephemera to support some highly dubious point or other.

Sounds like another list that some of us subscribe to!  >:D
Cheers,
FrontPage

Online Johnm

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Re: Blues Taught at the College and University Level
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2005, 05:04:19 PM »
Hi all,
I did a presentation last Thursday at my alma mater, Cornell University, for a group combining students from two classes on the blues, one given by the history department and one given by the music department.  I spoke on Blues formal and phrasing archetypes, demonstrating them myself and also playing original recordings for the class.  I also played recordings where the performances diverged from the formal conventions.  I felt like the talk went well, but in fact, the students were a bit hard to read.  For all I know, they may have thought I was fascinating, stupefying or crazy.  Still and all, I was glad I spoke to musical issues, since they are so seldom discussed.  My main hope is that people heard something that they liked well enough to pursue on their own.
All best,
Johnm

Offline cmr

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Re: Blues Taught at the College and University Level
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2005, 11:15:52 PM »
Hi John
I was wondering how your class was received at Cornell.  Its always hard to get a "read" on students.  Sometimes, even after a decade in the university classroom, its almost impossible to tell what students think about my lectures.  It varies from "wow, that cool" to "who gives a hoot anyway" - just get me out of here.  Perhaps you will get feedback from either the history or music departments.  Cheers, Charlie

Offline MTJ3

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Online Johnm

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Re: Blues Taught at the College and University Level
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2005, 10:36:37 AM »
Hi all,
I neglected to mention in my previous post that I am very thankful to my former academic advisor, Professor Richard Polenberg, who is teaching the Blues class out of the History Department, who invited me to adress the combined blues classes at Cornell.  Professor Polenberg's course syllabus is very impressive and includes some source material that is not commonly encountered in discussions of the blues, I think.  Thanks for the points about student groups being difficult to read at times, Charlie.  At the time, Professor Polenberg thought the talk went very well, and I am perfectly willing to trust his forty years of experience as an educator.
All best,
Johnm

Offline markm

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Re: Blues Taught at the College and University Level
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2005, 11:33:46 AM »
I am sure the students found your presentation informative and insightful.  You have such a personable approach that conveys to your audience that you are genuinely interested in them and are hoping they go away with something useful.  I would have certainly liked to have been there.

Mark

Offline waxwing

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Re: Blues Taught at the College and University Level
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2005, 11:56:26 AM »
Wow, John, that's really great. I sure would like to go back to Cornell (where John and I graduated in the same year, folks, as we discovered a few years ago) as a guest teacher. I agree with Mark, your teaching style is so infectious, I don't see how even the most jaded appearing 20 something could not have taken something positive away from your lecture/demo. They certainly should have realized that they were listening to someone who understands the subject at hand from both subjective and objective viewpoints as few others do.

Who was the professor from the Music Department? I still bump into David Borden, of Mother Mallard fame, and now a prof, from time to time. This might be an area of interest for him. Would you believe he used to play piano and traps in our dance classes when I was in grad school for acting?

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

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Online Johnm

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Re: Blues Taught at the College and University Level
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2005, 03:30:47 PM »
Hi all,
The professor from the Music Department, John C., was a young woman from Canada who is evidently a great classical and blues pianist named Francesca--I'm sorry to say I can not recall her last name.  It was the first time the two classes had been combined.  I hope they do it again because it seems it might yield some interesting discussions.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Stuart

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Re: Blues Taught at the College and University Level
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2005, 08:39:37 PM »
John:

I'm sure that your class was great for all those involved. It's hard to gauge (or "read") the students' response when you are only there for one session--there just isn't enough time for teacher-student interaction and feedback. But the fact that you are concerned speaks to your commitment to doing your best for the students, which I am certain you did.

You said that..."Professor [Richard] Polenberg's course syllabus is very impressive and includes some source material that is not commonly encountered in discussions of the blues." If possible, could you pass along some information on his syllabus and materials, when time permits?

I couldn't find any on-line syllabus for the specific Blues course(s) at Cornell.edu, but I did find that Prof. Polenberg is a top-notch scholar and educator. When I get a chance, I'm going to check out his writings on American History.

Thanks Again,

My Best,

Stu

jacksmart

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Re: Blues Taught at the College and University Level
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2005, 09:44:09 AM »
I am glad to see the university is offering this course. It would be
nice if they would employ some of the artists to enrich the topic
with personal appearances.
Jack

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