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Let's Pretend School - My Toy Shop

Re-read Emma’s comments regarding federal funding–they are, alas, right on the mark–and you will see why your school as proposed is destined to remain a Pretend school. It would be nice to add some of the courses you suggest, but you have to keep in mind that programs are limited to a certain number of credit-hours that can be required. Since students pay tuition by the credit hour, you’d have to really show some great benefit–almost always a monetary one–for the students to justify their paying more and studying longer to add the extra classes. And no, you can’t just lop off a credit here and there from other courses; there are formulas for how many hours of lecture and how many hours of lab/practicum equal an hour of credit. The accrediting agency is at the bottom of that. If you aren’t accredited, then your students would not be able to transfer to another school if life circumstances forced them to move elsewhere (we know they would never WANT to leave Pretend School of Music!) making your program less valuable.

In my own Pretend School of Music, every student is required to study (private lessons) voice and two instruments, and to choose one of those as a major focus of study. Also to belong to at least one ensemble for each of those three. At least one must be a large ensemble, and one must be a small chamber ensemble (two to eight members) and all must perform publicly at least once per semester. Every student would be required to compose at least one short piece of music (1-3 min.) every semester, and to arrange an existing work from its original form for one of the groups of which he is a member. Use of computer software for composition/arranging would be a freshman-year required course. I like your AV-media course, and would include it as an elective, but not a requirement, since–as you mention–it seems that most young performers are already using it self-taught, and therefore they would not need to sit through a class on it.

.com: ALEX Toys Pretend & Play Let's Pretend School: Toys & Games

Let’s Pretend School by Alex Toys

When I was in school I spent all my free waking hours at the campus Lutheran center, where the coffeehouse (coffee, ice cream, etc.) was located. So did a bunch of other kids, both highly musical and less so. We played/sang solo, formed and re-formed small groups like ever-changing amoebas, wrote our own music, performed each other’s music, improvised, practiced, and every Friday night had an official performance night for which we charged a whopping $1 entrance fee. (That would be like about $5 now. We had to fund the doughnuts, after all. But after a certain sum for the house, the remainder was divided among the performers.) It was wonderful experience, I learned TONS about my own instrument, theory, arranging, etc., and it counted not a bit toward any degree, but it was time well spent. Also there were peer counselors and a pastoral staff available at need without being intrusive. I highly recommend that you include several such institutions on your Pretend Music School campus.

As a music major, I was criticized for my creativity and excitement. I launched my website and YouTube channel in my second year. I was admonished, “please, take your exuberance elsewhere”. Although I was not a composition major, I was writing music every week. My biggest challenge was finding other students who would be willing to perform it for me for a video recording (for pay!). They never had the time, because they were always caught up with the obligatory band practice. Imagine if our pretend school could require performance majors to perform the composition major’s works. I learned so much about composing from the great students who taught me the basics about how to write for their instruments. I never learned that in class.