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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
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Discussion Starter #1
There was a local FB page asking about teachers. A bunch of names were thrown up and I was one of them. I chimed in and said no matter who you go to for a teacher see if they have an education degree. Then someone jumped in (must have been a friend of another teacher) and said, John Coltrane didn't get a degree and you think he couldn't teach and just because joe blow has a degree from a podunk college they might not know anything. I have said nothing. I had a 3.8 GPA for 2 years at Berklee (he probably didn't know that) and Ive performed in stadiums for 50000 people at Cardinal Football Games when the cards were in ST Louis. So I'm staying silent. I've taken quite a few lessons from non ed people and its varied from good to terrible. Same probably goes for ed degreed people. Who knows. I was surprised at the flamer. K
 

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There was a local FB page asking about teachers. A bunch of names were thrown up and I was one of them. I chimed in and said no matter who you go to for a teacher see if they have an education degree. Then someone jumped in (must have been a friend of another teacher) and said, John Coltrane didn't get a degree and you think he couldn't teach and just because joe blow has a degree from a podunk college they might not know anything. I have said nothing. I had a 3.8 GPA for 2 years at Berklee (he probably didn't know that) and Ive performed in stadiums for 50000 people at Cardinal Football Games when the cards were in ST Louis. So I'm staying silent. I've taken quite a few lessons from non ed people and its varied from good to terrible. Same probably goes for ed degreed people. Who knows. I was surprised at the flamer. K
Well, as someone who never got my Ed degree I can see how this person might be bent out of shape. The degree doesn't matter. What you know, how you teach and how you play is what matters.......
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Steve, i know you and I know your methods. You have ideas on all the areas of playing/teaching. So you have a system and a program that has worked for many students. I agree , an ed degree doesn't guarantee any of that. But I guess i've had lessons from some "name" players around here and they had no clue compared to how you teach. The lessons I had range from I should smoke, drink and Play vat i hear (heavy german accent) to , Lets hack through this flute etude together (she wasn't any better than me) or same teacher (you have a good ear, just go listen to lots of good players) , or gosh you are much better at alt than I am how do you do it (from the biggest name I took from ). So, these people might have been well meaning and nice people but they didn't have a systematic warm up, tech routine for playing the sax and then basis for improvisation, you get my drift.

My Idea of an ideal teacher (who I model after a guy I am studying with now) is someone who, no matter where you are on the playing spectrum can make suggestions on ways to get a steady practice routine that leads to improvement. In many regards there really isn't any magic bullet to get around hours and hours of tone work, scale work, learning changes work. etc. So a good teach just like a good physical trainer helps you to do the exercise right and motivate you /or hold your hand as you do the work.

Anyway, Steve. I get your point. I can see how my post left out very good teachers who may or may not have the degree. K
 

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I wouldn't worry about it. There are a few folks with chips on their shoulder about music education. The other 90% respect education as a valuable teachers credential. Plus, I'm not sure John Coltrane or Bird or the obsessed virtuoso would make a good teacher, even if they lived long enough to heed the call to teach.
 

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I had a middle school director once tell a student of mine that they shouldn't take lessons with me, they've had 'bad results' with me.

I had to ask what those 'bad results' were. At the time several of the top students in the high school her students feed into were all mine and had been since they were in her middle school band! The root of the issue was that the director was trying to get the students to take lessons with a personal friend of theirs. I did lose the student at the time because the parents wanted to make the director happy, but they soon came back feeling they got more from lessons with me, so yeah, I felt a bit smug about it!

I also don't like when parents gripe about the cost of lessons, I feel like I undercharge really. I get the argument that they can take lessons with a local university student cheaper, but the old adage of you get what you paid for applies. Would you rather learn from the student who is still learning how to teach, or from the educational professional who has an established system to help you improve and succeed?
 

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Someones knowledge and ability to teach something has NOTHING to do with whether or not they have a degree.

Saying they should take a lesson only from someone with an education degree holds no merit to me.


I am a scratch golfer, and help my friends out ALL THE TIME. They all say to me, that I teach them far better than the guys they've taken lessons with at country clubs.... and I don't have a degree to teach golf. I can play with the best of them, and understand the golf swing and all thats involved in playing good golf from the mental side to the mechanical side. Most important, I can get those thoughts across to those who want to learn from me.

Knowledge and the ability to teach have nothing to do with degrees.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013-
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Someones knowledge and ability to teach something has NOTHING to do with whether or not they have a degree.

Saying they should take a lesson only from someone with an education degree holds no merit to me.


I am a scratch golfer, and help my friends out ALL THE TIME. They all say to me, that I teach them far better than the guys they've taken lessons with at country clubs.... and I don't have a degree to teach golf. I can play with the best of them, and understand the golf swing and all thats involved in playing good golf from the mental side to the mechanical side. Most important, I can get those thoughts across to those who want to learn from me.

Knowledge and the ability to teach have nothing to do with degrees.


That's right!

I only go to providers who have the best ratings on line!

Those "schools" only teach you how to take people's money!

Who needs credentials when you can prove that you have personal testimonials from supporters?

Degrees are for thermometers!

Doctorate Schmotorate!

Why waste 8 years of your life when you could start work in the field right away with the right attitude?
 

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Forum Contributor 2016, Distinguished SOTW Member
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Steve, i know you and I know your methods. You have ideas on all the areas of playing/teaching. So you have a system and a program that has worked for many students. I agree , an ed degree doesn't guarantee any of that. But I guess i've had lessons from some "name" players around here and they had no clue compared to how you teach. The lessons I had range from I should smoke, drink and Play vat i hear (heavy german accent) to , Lets hack through this flute etude together (she wasn't any better than me) or same teacher (you have a good ear, just go listen to lots of good players) , or gosh you are much better at alt than I am how do you do it (from the biggest name I took from ). So, these people might have been well meaning and nice people but they didn't have a systematic warm up, tech routine for playing the sax and then basis for improvisation, you get my drift.

My Idea of an ideal teacher (who I model after a guy I am studying with now) is someone who, no matter where you are on the playing spectrum can make suggestions on ways to get a steady practice routine that leads to improvement. In many regards there really isn't any magic bullet to get around hours and hours of tone work, scale work, learning changes work. etc. So a good teach just like a good physical trainer helps you to do the exercise right and motivate you /or hold your hand as you do the work.

Anyway, Steve. I get your point. I can see how my post left out very good teachers who may or may not have the degree. K
I understand your point. The bottom line is there are good and bad teachers that don't have degrees and there are good and bad teachers that have degrees. I guess when I think of all my teachers in my life, the public school teachers obviously had ed degrees but all my private sax lesson teachers didn't have degrees that I know of. My classical teacher did probably but I don't think any of the jazz guys did.
 

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Just look at this foolishness:

"In all states, you will find that a basic requirement to become a certified public school teacher is to earn at least Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university. Depending on specific state requirements, high school teachers may also be required to have majored in a specific subject area related to the area they wish to teacher. Many aspiring elementary school teachers who know from early on they want to teach, decide to earn their Bachelor's Degree in subjects such as Early Childhood Education, Liberal Arts, or Education. In most cases, many degree options give candidates the ability to complete a teacher preparation program alongside with a degree. The greater majority of states require their teachers to complete an accredited teacher preparation program prior to becoming certified."

Someone should tell these folk that knowledge and the ability to teach have nothing to do with degrees!
 

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Forum Contributor 2016, Distinguished SOTW Member
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Just look at this foolishness:

"In all states, you will find that a basic requirement to become a certified public school teacher is to earn at least Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university. Depending on specific state requirements, high school teachers may also be required to have majored in a specific subject area related to the area they wish to teacher. Many aspiring elementary school teachers who know from early on they want to teach, decide to earn their Bachelor's Degree in subjects such as Early Childhood Education, Liberal Arts, or Education. In most cases, many degree options give candidates the ability to complete a teacher preparation program alongside with a degree. The greater majority of states require their teachers to complete an accredited teacher preparation program prior to becoming certified."

Someone should tell these folk that knowledge and the ability to teach have nothing to do with degrees!
Are you being sarcastic or serious?
 

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This is garbage, sorry. You either can teach or you can't, and a piece of paper doesn't prove it either way.

It's like saying "Don't hire that guy for your gig, he doesn't have a jazz performance degree!"
 

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I’ve studied with a lot of fantastic teachers and I have no idea if any of them had education degrees.
Jimmy Guiffre, Bill Pierce, Jimmy Mosher, Dave Holland, Bob Moses, Jeff Stout, John McNeil, Dominique Eade, and the list goes on and on... some that played saxophone and others who knew nothing about saxophone.
I personally taught for over 2 decades.

A good teacher is a good teacher.
 

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I've always thought that the way people become good teachers is to have had really good teachers. The best teachers have teaching as their ideal. It seems more likely that those who've studied at a university or college level will have been exposed to great teachers, but I know that's not a given -- I've played with a lot of people over the years who had music degrees but couldn't really play. I presume that the same is true of people with education degrees.

So, meh. Proofs in the pudding, which is the students -- it's all about them.
 

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I dont think you can really make a judgment either way, but all things being equal I would say that a teacher trained to teach is far more liekly to make progress with any given student, at least at first.

I have a lot of knowledge in some boring technical areas, but I am generally a terrible teacher. Ive never learned how to teach so if the person I'm training thinks like me I can connect and make progress, but if their brain works differently to mine we generally both get frustrated and progress is a struggle. On the other hand my wife has had lots of training on how to teach and is much much better at it than me, she has numerous strategies available to her and can find a way to get information across, but like any teacher if she is tasked with teaching something that she doesnt have a depth of knowledge in, there is also only so far she can take a student.

I guess I'm saying that being a great performer is no guarantee that you can effectively transfer that knowledge to others. You will have success with some students, but not others. Learning how to teach will help, but on the other hand if you dont also have a depth of knowledge and experience to pass on, there is only so much you CAN teach too.

My main takeaway from this thread is just dont go taking peoples social media comments too much to heart, there is really nothing to be gained from it. Opinions are like ********s, everyone has one. Silence is probably the best policy.
 

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I've never had a saxophone lesson from someone with an education degree.

I've learned music stuff from people who had an education degree. My high school band director. But he knew jack all about playing saxophone.

I don't agree with your advice Keith in this instance. Even a little bit.
 

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Interestingly, it's my understanding that Joe Allard, one of the best saxophone teachers who ever lived, enrolled at the New England Conservatory of Music, but his teacher Gaston Hamelin (principal clarinet, Boston Symphony) convinced to leave after only three months, and instead to continue to study privately and flee-lance. I wonder if Allard ever even had one class in music ed.?

I do think a degree in music education can enhance an already good teacher in that they learn about education theories and how to work with different students. That being said, I'm pursuing a music performance degree in flute right now, and I feel sorry for the ed majors because they can't study nearly as much actual MUSIC as I do in my program. You've got to admit our system is a little weird considering that EINSTEIN wouldn't be qualified to teach science in a public school if he were alive today.

The reason to get an education degree in our system has more to do with being able to meet state requirements in terms of working in public schools (probably a bulk of working music teachers)- where you have to have a working knowledge of different instruments, how to pull off teaching marching band, etc.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
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Interestingly, it's my understanding that Joe Allard, one of the best saxophone teachers who ever lived, enrolled at the New England Conservatory of Music, but his teacher Gaston Hamelin (principal clarinet, Boston Symphony) convinced to leave after only three months, and instead to continue to study privately and flee-lance. I wonder if Allard ever even had one class in music ed.?

I do think a degree in music education can enhance an already good teacher in that they learn about education theories and how to work with different students. That being said, I'm pursuing a music performance degree in flute right now, and I feel sorry for the ed majors because they can't study nearly as much actual MUSIC as I do in my program. You've got to admit our system is a little weird considering that EINSTEIN wouldn't be qualified to teach science in a public school if he were alive today.

The reason to get an education degree in our system has more to do with being able to meet state requirements in terms of working in public schools (probably a bulk of working music teachers)- where you have to have a working knowledge of different instruments, how to pull off teaching marching band, etc.
Exactly right. The degree itself has more to do with the legality of teaching in an institution of some sort.

It doesn't signify how much knowledge/ skill you have.
 
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