Bach and Instructional Design

Every year thousands of music majors graduate from universities around the world. The path to a music degree is a surprisingly difficult road for many. The academic study of music is merciless, annually exposing hundreds of blond-haired, blue-eyed, Andrew Lloyd Webber-loving sopranos to the mathematics of music theory. This introduction is a rather rude awakening for the young girls who just last summer laid in beds with their Les Mis CDs and dreamed of majoring in karaoke. In many ways, university music departments each fall semester are much like exercise clubs in early January. It was always somewhat entertaining to watch the newcomers pop energetically through the door each morning, knowing that in just a few weeks’ time most of them would have stopped coming altogether. Five romps per week through melodic dictation and perfect fifths at 7:00 am are just more than most would-be musicians bargained for.

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