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Stroll the corridors of the Academy of Music Northwest and you may come upon a class of young composers unfolding the intricacies of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire. Next door, a History and Literature class is engrossed in studying analogs to sculpture and architecture and analyzing forms in counterpoint and harmony. Elsewhere, an Ear Training class is singing solfège exercises in various clefs while conducting the rhythms. Each Saturday ends in the Performance Hour, when students perform for each other for criticism and encouragement.
Everywhere in the Academy, I sense the devotion to teaching and learning, and the desire for excellence. Here I find a range of Ph.d and Master’s specialists, ranging from those who focus on motivating the young beginners to those qualified to teach the most advanced student.