Departing San Diego

by Jeffrey Carter

I’m at the airport in San Diego, in the tiny commuter terminal en transit to LAX and then home by 6 p.m. tonight, God willing.

The annual meeting of the National Association of Schools of Music is now history.  Much of this conference focused on advocacy, with some retention thrown in too.  I spent most of my time in the sessions on the nuts and bolts of NASM reporting and membership, and on the self-study process that we will complete in just a few months’ time.

NASM is a voluntary association of schools and departments of music.  We all subscribe to certain standards of curriculum, program design, facilities, library holdings, and the like.  Every ten years we engage in a substantial self-study, after which we are visited by a team of evaluators.  Their report, along with our self-study, is forwarded to a Commission on Accreditation.  That commission reviews all the information and determines whether or not we meet the national standards.  If we do (and we certainly think we do right now!), we are re-accredited for another ten years.

Right now?  The full-time faculty in the Department of Music have completed their writing.  I’m editing, filling in gaps, providing my own portion, and preparing a first full draft of the self-study.  The faculty will review this, along with students.  We’ll prepare the final copy, provide hundreds of pages of accompanying material and documentation, then send all of this off on January 1.  The visitors arrive on February 10.  By February 13 this is all done, and then we await their report.

Meanwhile, we have miles to go before we sleep!