Re: MFA vs. PhD


Subject: Re: MFA vs. PhD
From: Paul Steenhuisen (steenhuisen@ualberta.ca)
Date: Mon Oct 31 2005 - 21:59:56 EST


  IMO, the Master's can be about formation through practice, and the
Doctorate a transition to professional existence as a composer (ie
creating and learning how to live on a dime).
Most Master's level students simply haven't made enough artwork,
developed their aesthetic views, or know enough repertoire for their
practice to be anything other than transitional (as important as that
is).
While at some point the Doctorate was considered the transition
degree to teaching, the number of jobs declined significantly, and
the last degree became more about gathering more comprehensive
knowledge in the field while furthering one's creative practice. As
the jobs disappeared, it had to be about learning and practice. That
deeper knowledge can be integral to one's development at some point
(though it doesn't necessarily need to be gathered in a formal
doctoral program, depending upon the individual), and the academic
environment can be shaped into something more conducive to creativity
than a survival joe job held when not in school. Worth noting is
that nowhere in the degree paths were there any courses on teaching,
though the process contained many models of what to do and what not
to do.

Paul

>
>>>> gogins@pipeline.com 10/31/05 8:02 PM >>>
>>>>
> Probably you know this, but in general the Doctorate is for
> "research"
> which implies teaching college, and the Masters is for "practice".
> This
> distinction does not always hold sway. In the arts it used to be that
> practioners who were professionals were thought qualified to teach.
>
> I don't really know the reality of the situation in EA -- this is just
> the
> basic idea in the university structure.
>
> Regards,
> Mike
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Chris DeLaurenti" <chris@delaurenti.net>
> To: <cec-conference@concordia.ca>
> Sent: Monday, October 31, 2005 6:40 PM
> Subject: MFA vs. PhD
>
>
>
>> Recently, I was part of a panel that fielded questions from students
>>
> about
>
>> various aspects of sound art, electroacoustic music, and
>>
> improvisation. We
>
>> covered everything from field recording/phonography to doing sound
>>
> design
>
>> for games to the annoying ubiquity of certain MAX/MSP patches.
>>
>> We came to an impasse when a music undergrad asked if she would be
>>
> better
>
>> off pursuing an MFA or a PhD. Apparently both are "terminal" degrees,
>>
> but
>
>> no one could agree. She makes electroacoustic music and is primarily
>> interested in university/college teaching.
>>
>> For folks on the list: do colleges/universities hire MFAs to teach
>>
> sound
>
>> art or does the Ph.D still hold sway? Does one carry more "weight"
>>
> than
>
>> another?
>>
>> I have no experience in the matter - apart from seeing job postings
>> seeking "Ph.D or equivalent (experience)" - and kept mum while the
>>
> sparks
>
>> (some of which seemed to be born of traumatic experience) flew.
>>
>> Perhaps the question (and answers from the wise souls who know) might
>>
> be
>
>> of interest to others on the list?
>> Chris
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
>
>



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