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--- Mar 24 1999 Go to category
Subject: Teaching question
Category: Teaching
From: Sanjay  Krishnaswamy (Boston! (Well, Somerville))

Dear Mr. Metheny: Thanks for all the great music. I recently converted a friend by bringing him along to your West 57th taping and he's now eagerly getting his hands on Frisell and Shorter albums; I envy him the discovery process (I get hilarious and wonderful emails like, "I discovered this great piano player -- ever hear of McCoy Tyner?"). Your work is really valuable to me. My question revolves around some volunteer work I do for an organization called Citizen Schools which hooks up adults with 8-14 year olds in Dorchester, and teaches them apprenticeship-style. I'm a scientist so I've taught some electronics, basic lab biology, stuff like that. When some of my tutees were flipping through my CDs I discovered that of 15 of 'em, none had ever heard of Miles Davis, John Coltrane or Bill Evans. Now, I personally feel all Americans should at least know the names -- these are people we can be very proud of, and "jazz" is so important for us because I think it's the only place where all kinds of people, regardless of background, come together to make something that's also really for everyone, not aimed at a particular group. More importantly it offers them a chance to hear, and to stay open -- so much is crammed down their throats by the Web and TV. They're ready for it too because a lot of their music contains samples from stuff like "Headhunters" -- it's actually a lot more interesting than the stuff I grew up on (in the late '80s). So I'd like to try teaching some of this stuff but I'm in no way qualified to do so. On the other hand Berklee School of Music is here and it's full of undergrads with nothing better to do! But I have no contacts there. Can you think of a name or two, off the top of your head, of people here who might, if I asked 'em right, help out? I know it's a weird request and that you're very busy but I'd appreciate any ideas you have on what might be done. Thanks again (oh, and thanks for the post-taping packet from Ted Kurland). Sanjay

Pat’s Answer:

hi, i really don't know anyone at berklee, just gary burton, but i don't think he would be the right person to contact for this since he is mostly involved in curriculum. i would think a general call to the school would get you to the person there that could help you get something going. it sounds like a great thing you are doing. good luck with it...