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The teacher becomes the student.

The more I’ve composed, and the more I’ve taught music, the more I realize that there’s just so much interesting stuff out there to learn, a lot of which intersects with music composition. Psychology of creativity, business administration, critical theory, aesthetics, higher education administration–these are all things that sound terribly interesting.

Cassie’s work at NDSU affords me a half-tuition waiver, so this spring I decided to become a bison. An entire degree seemed like a bit much given the rest of my workload, but some of our graduate certificate offerings seemed like a good place to start. The most logical, I reasoned, was the graduate certificate in Publishing, which is offered through the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Science working through the North Dakota State University Press. Even though NDSU’s press is a literary press, the business side of things and the publishing process would be the same as it is in music publishing. After all, everything I know about publishing music is from 1) trial and error or 2) things I read on the internet.

I had to check my transcript, but even though I defended my dissertation in May of 2014, the last seated class I took was Dr. Ken Stephenson’s Bartok, Prokofiev, Chicago in the summer of 2013. So, seven years after being a student, here I am again, this time with experience from the other side of the classroom.

So we’re over halfway through: here’s how it’s going. For starters, it’s the first time I’ve been in a class in a while where I haven’t been in charge. This is great, in some ways it’s like a mini-vacation in the middle of the day. Make no mistake, it’s real work. But it’s nice to follow instead of leading for a bit.

There’s a ton of reading:

It looks like a lot, but it doesn’t seem like a lot. Maybe part of it is because it’s real, actual work. These are live projects. The poetry acquisitions project will result in us picking one of those books of poetry to publish. The novel will be printed with my edits. The advance review copy needs someone to proofread it. Everything we do in class matters.

My graduate project for this class involves creating an online music publishing boot camp.

This has made me think of quite a few things, to come later.