The State of Jazz Education
I want to give a teenager an option to avoid going into as much debt as I find myself in as a result of my jazz education. MIT is already pioneering a free online certificate that is merit-based. If an MIT professor gives a lecture online, that information is no less valuable than being in person. Here is a link to a New York Times piece, detailing MIT's humane approach to education. Jazz education needs to start establishing online schools before they start having to lay off faculty. Giving lessons online, students can download and re-watch lectures, then submit questions via email; the teacher can then respond via Skype or email. Technology will continue to change the ways in which we function in all areas of life. I believe technology will offer equal and affordable education as compared to the current system that is now exploiting each generation's desire to better their lives through education.
I understand student-to-student interaction is important. My ultimate dream is, through online teaching and submissions, that teachers would be able to invite standout students to New York City to partake in two years of free live education. With the first few years of college being online and affordable, it also allows students to not feel trapped by a decision they make as teenagers. Many music students might choose a different career path at some point down the line, but after two years, $80,000, and credits that won't transfer, the decision to change their life's direction is difficult for many students within the current system.
The Stretch Movement is about looking to the future and trying to change the way people experience instrumental music. Art and success are not enemies, and we are looking for a way to bridge that gap.
We are Stretch, All are Welcome.
[Special thanks to Jon Crowley, for his assistance in the creation of this article. The views represented in this article are the views of John Beaty alone.]