Too often do I find assignments in college classes to be outside the topic of the class. For example: take a film scoring class where the assignment is to score a scene with funk music. On surface level, it seems like a reasonable assignment – the class is about writing music for film, and the homework is to write funk music for this film clip. But, as you start with an attempt towards the project, you’ll notice that there are many hurdles.
- How do I write music to movies?
- What DAW should I use and how?
- What is the best way to synch music to film?
- How do I write funk music?
- How do I analyze funk music to understand it more?
- How do I record, program, and mix the sounds?
These questions are usually answered by a “figure it out yourself,” attitude from the teacher that often points the student towards the library or YouTube. While this prepares a person somewhat to being independent, it lessens the need for college education – making it frivolous. Why go to an expensive college in that case what the teacher just asks you to be taught using YouTube for free?
We have talked about this before, but my idea is offering these “meta” classes to help fill in the blanks. I don’t expect there to be classes that teach funk music – but I would like classes that teach form & analysis to amend their curriculum to have students apply the knowledge they’ve learned to take unfamiliar styles of music and recreate them compositionally.
In addition, there should be time in classes to go over the tips and tricks of working with DAWs as well as the process the professor (who should be a professional in their field) maintains their workflow when doing a music project.
It cannot be “do this assignment, figure it out on the way, and I’ll grade you at the end” mentality.
Just thinking out loud.