Today I’ll give a seminar at SUNY Stony Brook, tomorrow at Curtis. Nice to get these gigs where I get to meet a bunch of young composers.
Sometimes when I visit another school the students have zillions of questions and comments for me, and we spark off into a great discussion. Sometimes, though, everyone clams up, and awkward, well-meaning smiles are all we can manage. I’ve seen that happen with guest composers who come to speak with my students also, and I can’t really say why things go smoothly or not. Usually it just takes one good question, even just one good word, and the whole class takes flight.
If I find an answer, I’ll be sure to create an app for it, because it would definitely come in handy.