Performer Blogs@Sequenza21.com

Jay C. Batzner is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida where he teaches theory, composition, and technology courses as well as coordinates the composition program. He holds degrees in composition and/or theory from the University of Missouri Kansas City, the University of Louisville, and the University of Kansas.

Jay's music is primarily focused around instrumental chamber works as well as electroacoustic composition. His music has been recorded on the Capstone, Vox Novus, and Beauport Classical labels and is published by Unsafe Bull Music.

Jay is a sci-fi geek, an amateur banjoist, a home brewer, and juggler.





1/25/2008
Too personal?

I was in quite a mood on Friday. Exhausted in the morning, but revitalized by teaching (it usually does that). I get excited when I teach. On Friday, my freshmen almost uniformly misidentified a tonic 6/4 chord as a dominant chord in dictation. I was ecstatic. We've been talking about how the tonic 6/4 is not really a tonic functioning chord in most contexts but rather functions as a dominant. They didn't believe me, of course, because why should they? My students are skeptics. I kind of like that because it keeps me on my toes. But anyway, I LOVED that they all heard this tonic 6/4 as dominant. It proved that their ears know things that their brains do not. I didn't scold them about it, far from it. I pretty much congratulated them on biting down hard on a "wrong" answer.

The truth of it is, I'm a human being. I have passions and emotions and I share them with my students. I try to maintain appropriate boundaries, which is what got me thinking today. How far do those boundaries go? Can I not include a certain video on YouTube as a favorite because some of the content is less than professional? Must I be erudite and scholarly all the damned time? Can I not get psyched that I made a compositional breakthrough today? Sometimes I feel that, in order to be a composer in these parts, Thou Shalt Not Have Fun. Everything must be Serious Art and coated in layers of Professionalism.

The thing is, I used to be one of those Serious Ones. It has taken me a while to get comfortable with my compositional self and now I'm just, as we say, lettin' it snap.