Composersâ€™ natural allies areÂ performers, listeners.
And Studio Teachers.
Kids study their instrument around the world in formalized settings, then finish up with a degree or two from Conservatory or University.Â Â Their studio teacher, with whom they study one-on-one, personifiesÂ their instrument, and serves asÂ a siphon for the selection ofÂ pieces the student will spend many practice-hours on.
Though itâ€™s true that great swatches of â€˜educational musicâ€™ are weak, forgettable, composing repertoire works forÂ developing musiciansÂ can beÂ a strategicÂ ( if occasional)Â goalÂ for alert composers.Â Â Having a piece selected for an organizationâ€™sÂ state-wide, national or internationalÂ repertoire listÂ meansÂ aÂ tangibleÂ boost forÂ that work.Â AndÂ a useful spotlight for the composer.Â Â Â Â
It also meansÂ that someone musically sophisticated is paying attention not just to the virtuoso, but to the buddingÂ performer.
My article â€œEmbracing New Musicâ€ In the current issue of American Music TeacherÂ magazine invites the teacher-performer to take a fresh, positiveÂ look at recent worksÂ they and their students will enjoy spending time with.Â (The music excerpts are all by composers other than myself.)Â Â
It recapitulates the ebb and flow of interest in newer music over the past century,Â andÂ also probes the reasonsÂ why studio teachers might be reluctantÂ to include very-new works for study as repertoire — meaning something the student will spend many hours on,Â not just sight-read.Â Â All of this is presented positively,Â with the sense of excitement at the potential of a major discovery.
Included is a sidebar on the issue of how a composer gets â€œbrandedâ€.
Read it, thenÂ comment.Â Â