Podcast episode- An interview with two of my own “August Rush”‘s

Since my last post was the most popular of my blog ever, I thought I would follow up with a podcast with two of my students from my “Alternative Music” class. The two students I talk to in the episode really shed some light from a student’s perspective on the dilemma we are now facing in music education (and have been talking about in the blogosphere for some time now). When you hear in their own words how excited they were when they were given a chance to own the learning, I think you will be moved as I was- here are two average students, one who struggles to pass his classes (and our high-stakes FCAT state test) not from lack of talent and intelligence, but from not being engaged. I hope you enjoy listening to the episode as much as I enjoyed making it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts after you have listened!

Here is the link:


It’s at podomatic, the same service that Joe and Darren from mustech.net use (although I’m neither the talented orator that Joe is nor am I the gifted technician that Darren is 🙂 ) While you’re there, why not click on the badge to add it to your itunes podcast library?

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One Response to Podcast episode- An interview with two of my own “August Rush”‘s

  1. tjweller says:

    Hi Owen,

    Happy New Year!

    This August Rush debate is really interesting, and hearing the perspective of your two students. You have to wonder if Jimi Hendrix’s guitar teacher every commented on his pick holding. In that same vein, did anyone bother telling Dizzy that you shouldn’t puff your cheeks when you play trumpet?

    I heard a wonderful comment from James Barnes at Midwest this year that was triggered by the two students talking about “playing by ear”. He said that Bartok never had to guess what note came next, he knew. It is very unique to hear budding musicians who have this kind of intuition of what to write based upon their preference for sound – not only in terms of taste, but in quality. Without much training, they know what comes next. I was impressed with the care and determination they demonstrated in the rest of the creative process.

    The other thing that just really impresses me is your concern for them as not their teacher, but as their mentor. Your ability to give them direction on a path that best suites them (not chosen by you) will ultimately pay dividends for them long term. They are assimilating a lot of basics through direct immersion, which is great.

    Your teaching is a wonderful inspiration and model for the rest of us to follow!

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