Read this: “Rock Me, Maestro” from The Chronicle of Higher Education

A professor in college told one of my education classes we shouldn’t bother teaching popular music because the students will know more about it than we teachers would. As you can probably tell, I didn’t take his advice. My students might know more lyrics or more current songs than I do, but I know how to analyze them and place them into context, but I had to learn how to apply my classical knowledge on my own. Dr. John Covach from the University of Rochester Institute for Popular Music wants that to change.


“What will the new undergraduate music degree look like?” is the question posed by Dr. Covach in his latest op-ed piece for the Chronicle of Higher Education. Covach relates his own “Jekyll and Hyde” existence to many high school students working in the classical vein during the week only to spend their free time playing popular music and seeing no way to merge the two while pursuing a music degree.

The article is a compelling argument for the inclusion of popular music in university programs that already exist. I particularly like that Covach focuses on the musical opportunities available to musicians when they leave college. While most schools focus on the classical and jazz canons, those jobs are declining.

Going back to my college experience, the only popular music class I took was a politics class on the lyrics of Bruce Springsteen. Hopefully the blowing winds of change will land Bruce and the rest of his pop music buddies alongside the other great “B” composers – Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms.

While most people reading this will agree with me, please go read Dr. Covach’s article here, if only to get another view on the stats page at the site to prove that people are interested.

images (1) @MattWarrenMusic

Read this: “Rock Me, Maestro” from The Chronicle of Higher Education

One thought on “Read this: “Rock Me, Maestro” from The Chronicle of Higher Education

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