I’m beginning the process of looking for college work, and something strikes me as odd: the most important classes in music departments are not taught by the most valued or experienced faculty members.
Any music department will have theory and ear training courses required of all majors. Since these courses are required, departments surely consider them more important than those courses that are not required.
But the ear training and lower-level theory classes are most often farmed out to grad students, adjuncts, or very junior faculty members. The tenured folks teach optional seminars related to their area of expertise.
I suppose this irony extends across the entire American education system: elementary school teachers are “more important” than college professors–since everyone by law must attend elementary school but not college. And yet the prestige is in teaching college–not kindergarten.
But, returning to academia, are ear training and basic theory considered so boring by tenured faculty that teaching them strikes these faculty as odious? I know I’m young and naive; but teaching these “grunt” courses the past three years has been a total thrill for me. Doing it for the rest of my life would be a pleasure. I would assume that others interested in music as I am would feel the same way.
But they don’t.