Re: Playing your own music... Just a though

Subject: Re: Playing your own music... Just a though
From: David Prescott (
Date: Wed Sep 07 2005 - 10:57:36 EDT

Just to pick up on what Katharine says... I do not mean to appear contentious, and I understood Jef's comments in their context, and I'm sure that you are all wonderful teachers.

I, too, worry about this. I do not teach music, but I am a living example of how a music professor allowed me to crash and burn in 1980. My circumstances were such that I could not switch music schools, and so I stopped. At the time, I felt that my musical life was too important to leave in the hands of music professors. Of course, I never told my professors that because by that point it seemed they would not listen... and that's my point. I know better, now, of course, but it's too late to go back and so I am reduced to an avid listener.

I have made a career out of working with individuals whose mentors allowed them to crash and burn. I agree with others that this can be a powerful tool, but the research (Canadian, by the way) in my field of mental health is very clear that the best outcomes come from a warm, empathic, rewarding, and directive approach. Crashing and burning can be quite directive, but in the absence of warmth and empathy it can becme abusive quickly. While I'm sure that everyone on this list is warm and empathic, it can also be easy to lose these qualities and easy to forget the vulnerable positions that students can find themselves in. In my estimation it's not the fault of professors so much as it is basic human frailty.

And so from my perspective having been hurt by harsh treatment by profesors who had a thousand ways to justify it, I urge very great caution.

All the very best,

David Prescott

-----Original Message-----
From: Katharine Norman <>
Sent: Sep 7, 2005 12:58 AM
Subject: Re: Playing your own music... Just a though

jef chippewa wrote:

> At 18:34 -0700 9/6/05, Katharine Norman wrote:
>> I beg to disagree.
> [...]
>> people differ
>> crashing and burning only works for some, if any.
> since it works for some, as you yourself admit, the method shouldn't
> be so simply dismissed. in any case,

I don't 'admit', I accept the possibility as one has to - personally I
don't think it's worth the risk of permanent scarring.
I realise there was some flippancy involved.

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