Sunday, February 10, 2013

Social Learning and Viktor Zuckerkandl

The definitive study that made my teaching life possible was the two-volume Sound and Symbol by Viktor Zuckerkandl, a Viennese emigre, fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton, one of the group of intellectuals who founded The New School for Social Research in New York City, of which Mannes is a division.

It is ironic that his findings place the study of music squarely within the concerns of the socially conscious rather than within the self-serving confines of an ever more narrowly defined world of professionalism, whether academic or commercial.

That irony was made palpable in a welcome conversation with the Director of the Music School at the Lighthouse for the Blind.  We were comparing notes about how learning to deal with students with disabilities had radically transformed our  own awareness of the elements of music in the most profound manner.  What a delight to be able to talk about that freely and openly with a colleague.