Saturday, December 1, 2012

R. Murray Schafer’s Maxims

R. Murray Schafer’s Maxims, posted above his desk at SFU.
  1. The first practical step in any educational reform is to take it.
  2. In education, failures are more important than successes. There is nothing so dismal as a success story.
  3. Teach on the verge of peril.
  4. There are no more teachers. There is just a community of learners.
  5. Do not design a philosophy of education for others. Design one for yourself. A few others may wish to share it with you.
  6. For the 5-year-old, art is life and life is art. For the 6-year-old, life is life and art is art. The first year in school is a watershed in the child's history: a trauma.
  7. The old approach: Teacher has information; student has empty head. Teacher's objective: to push information into student's empty head. Observation: at outset teacher is a fathead; at conclusion student is a fathead.
  8. On the contrary a class should be an hour of a thousand discoveries. For this to happen, the teacher and the student should first discover one another.
  9. Why is it that the only people who never matriculate from their own courses are teachers?
  10. Always teach provisionally: only God knows for sure.


Graphic score interpretation activity

from R. Murray Schafer, appears in Hearsing

The class is divided into groups and each group is given the drawing below:  Each group has ten minutes to prepare a performance using the drawing as a musical score.  This could be done with voices or with instruments.  Although quite simple, the shapes in the drawing are very suggestive of different sonic textures and the number and variety or interpretations is unlimited.

Let each group perform their “interpretation” and then explain it.

Labels: , ,