Books That Inspire 2003

The Musician's Soul
James Jordan

In teaching music students I struggle between parameters of encouragement and constructive criticism. Dee Fink, Director of OU's Instructional Development Program, refers in another way to these parametrical teaching sides as “The Guide on the Side” as opposed to “The Sage on the Stage.” Historical traditions in music performance instruction weigh in heavily on the “Sage” side through anointing students with “inspiration” from gifted teachers who have “it.” In an art form that espouses the development of self-expression, this traditional method of teaching poses an interesting dichotomy. During my 25 years of classroom experience I have been moving from teaching the “what” to the “who” and my nominated book reflects the desire to continue the journey toward helping students to find their own “it.”

Author and Westminster Choir College Conductor, James Jordan in The Musician's Soul, weighs in with nurturing expression by creating an environment safe for revealing your inner self. Vulnerability, openness, study in solitude to find your center and the relationship with your community are life lessons for all. The Musician's Soul carves a pathway to losing and finding yourself in the inspirational wake of being and doing.
William Wakefield
Professor of Music
Director of Bands
School of Music