So, I've decided to start a blog. I know that the world doesn't need another blog. It especially doesn't need a blog written by me. There are already blogs for every topic imaginable. There are certainly people who are funnier than me, more well-traveled than me, and concerned with more important things than playing the tuba. There are plenty of people that are better musicians, have more knowledge than me, and are better writers. So, now that I have explained why there is no reason for this blog, I'll tell you why I am bothering to start it.
I believe it is my job to train young men and women to be successful musicians. At IUP, most of my students desire to be educators. By now they all know that I expect them to practice as though they are performance majors, but there is more to being a complete and successful musician than being a capable performer.
I feel that over the course of a four-year degree I do an acceptable job of covering the necessary information of general applied musicianship (fundamentals, didactic materials, solo repertoire, chamber repertoire, etc...), but I don't feel like I always address the other situations and issues that they will almost all inevitably run into. 45 minutes a week is barely enough to say hello and hear what the student has worked on for the past seven days. And even though the studio meets for 2.5 hours a week in Tubaphonium ensemble, it always seems like we are scrambling to put our next concert together (even though I always have the best intentions of doing more master classes). I want this blog to be a place to bring up those issues and get my students to think about the things they are going to see in the future.
Also, there are times when I have a conversation with a colleague that sparks a thought that I want to share with my students. However, by the time I see my students next, the thought has left me. Or sometimes I run across an article or video that I think would be profitable for my students to read or see, but I have already cluttered their inboxes with reminders and don't want to send out one more thing to that will only be overlooked. I'd like this blog to be a location where I can point my students to interesting information and music and start some conversations.
Lastly, this blog is for me. I am not finished learning and forming my own pedagogical ideas. Between my family, practicing, preparing classes, reading facebook and twitter, and keeping up with the Texas Rangers and TCU football, I am just as distracted as my students. I'd like for this to be an opportunity for me to focus on what it is that I think will make me a better teacher for my students.
With all of that said, I don't promise anything with this blog other than typos. I hope this will be a valuable growing experience for me and resource for my students.
Author - Zach Collins
Professor of Tuba and Euphonium, Indiana University of Pennsylvania