Sunday, June 29, 2008


University of the Philippines Diliman
"Mabuhay ang Iskolar ng Bayan!!!"

A Blog On The Future of Classical Music
The blog of American music critic and composer Greg Sandow, who also happens to be teaching at Eastman and Juilliard.

Teacher Gabi

My life is one big giant whirl of lesson plans, classes, papers and homework to check, and huge cups of coffee to keep me awake during the day.

I'm hoping things will get better as my efficiency increases. Right now even my weekends are devoted to work.

I'm lucky to be able to take breaks from teaching, albeit the breaks themselves are education or work related, hehe.

Like last Friday, I met with my book club. 'Twas an all girls night out, and I loved every minute of it! Too bad I could not physically bring my book, so I did a "Christian," a la The Emperor's New Sonnet.

(Picture courtesy of Nicole)

The pretty ladies of Ex Libris Philippines
My life revolves around three schools:
RMM, where I teach from 7 a.m. til 2 p.m.
U.P., where I teach three afternoons/evenings a week,
and Ateneo, where I go for M.A. class twice a week.
The Ateneo is a lovely, lovely school! With landscaped surroundings complete with stone benches under the friendly canopy of trees, and an airconditioned library with desks to die for... it's the most student-friendly, conducive-for-studies place I've ever been to.
But my heart belongs to U.P.
Sure, Ateneo has nicer facilities. But that's pretty much about it.
Profoundly intelligent students/profs can be found in U.P. as well as in the Ateneo, but the UP ones are more varied and interesting ;)
And of course, both schools offer quality education but U.P. is considerably less expensive.  
~ ~ ~ ~
Blizzard Entertainment just announced that they will be releasing Diablo III soon.
~ ~ ~ ~
The U.P. College of Music Voice Department proudly presents Giacomo Puccini's opera, MADAMA BUTTERFLY, showing on July 1, Tuesday, 7 p.m., at the SOLAIR Auditorium. Tickets for P100/ P50 for U.P. students with I.D.
See you there!
~ ~ ~ ~
I still get a kick everytime I enter ANX 236... which is "mine" for my designated teaching schedule in UP CMu. I get chills up and down my spine whenever I sit down the piano bench in front of the black Kawaii (which is not perfectly in tune, so it's a good thing I don't have perfect pitch).
Okay, time to go and attend to more lesson plans for the week ahead. *sigh*

. judiefication .
Fellow Ex Libris Philippines member and fellow bibliophile, the one and only JUDIE!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Are music colleges preparing music students for life?

But Can You Balance a Checkbook?
By Colin Holter
Published: June 13, 2008 in the NEW MUSIC BOX 

Yesterday I attended an in-depth session on "Higher Education and the Real World of Practice," two topics near and dear to me. The session, which included both small-group discussions and germane spiels from recognized experts, focused on training university and (especially) conservatory graduates with business acumen, administrative skills, and other "peripheral" skills besides playing technique, theory, and music history. Apparently 85 percent of music majors end up working "in the field," although fewer than five percent are full-time professional performers. These are some pretty telling figures: Most music students will be doing something in music—teaching, administration, and so forth—but not what they went to college to do.

What I don't know is how these numbers vary by institution. My time has been spent mostly in large-ish public universities, including two Big Ten schools. I wonder if the percentages I've seen are representative of such factories—or, by the same token, of conservatories, liberal arts schools, or Ivy League joints. Anecdotally, at least, they seem reflective of my own experience and my friends'.

I'm speaking conjecturally here, but if the session's statistics are valid across the board, I have to wonder how the conservatories, which equip their graduates with (maybe) the best specialized training and (maybe) the poorest generalized training, can justify their programs. Practicing eight hours a day is a great way to become a virtuoso, but it's also a great way to develop an eating disorder, and apparently it makes you only incrementally more likely to sustain a career as a full-time soloist or orchestral player than someone who only put in four hours per day. Conservatory training continues to carry a great deal of prestige among musicians; however, if most conservatory graduates (like most other music graduates) aren't putting food on the table by playing three hundred nights a year, maybe their curricula should be reevaluated accordingly. In any case, more preparation to handle logistical and managerial duties can only help music students no matter where they're enrolled.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Monday, June 9, 2008

Starting my teaching career / On Choices

 This. is. it.

 Tomorrow is the official start of my teaching career. I am lucky to be teaching in two schools, in the first (Regina Maria Montessori) I will be handling the following classes:

 English (Grade 3)
 English (HS II)
 English (HS III)
 Music (Grade 1)
 Music (Grade 2)
 Music (Grade 3)

   I also have teaching load in one CASA (Kindergarten) class and will be handling the choir in RMM as well. And come the second quarter, Asian Civilization (HS II) will be added to my already-daunting load.

   But that's not all!
    I will also be teaching part time in CMu (tuloy na tuloy na, they've even given me a pigeonhole of my very own! *childish squeal of delight*), I'm handling the Diction 1 class (MuPC 101) and will have some voice students as well.

   Also, I'm taking six M.A. units in the Ateneo and will be attending classes in the evening as well as on Saturdays.

  I'm so nervous about tomorrow, I'm practically hyperventilating as I type. I want to fulfill my duties well, but I can't help but wonder... did I take on more than I can handle?

   Oh well, there's only one way to find out.
~ ~ ~

    We RMM teachers attended a seminar a few weeks ago, and it involved us taking personality tests designed to let us know if we are compatible with our chosen profession. 

    And no, I'm not a loner. I'm a melancholic. It's not that I'm anti-social, but I'm a very private person by nature and really prefer to be alone.

    It's a challenge for a melancholic like myself to open up to people, which comes with teaching. This may be youthful idealism speaking, but I think that my desire to teach is greater than my fear of communicating. I hope I can be a successful teacher, without compromising my identity.
~ ~ ~
   There are great tests of character that come every once in a while... they require every ounce of courage and integrity one possesses, and truly necessitates praying for Guidance.
    I had one such test a few days ago. I was given a golden opportunity, as many would describe it... involving getting awarded and recognized in front of a veritable who's who of finance, government and education. 
    But at what cost? I would have to sacrifice my responsibilities, for with my teaching schedule that starts at 7 a.m. and ends at 7 or 8 p.m., it would be impossible for me to do as they asked and yet attend to my official commitments.
    With a heavy heart, I had to decline.
~ ~ ~

"I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference..."

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