Our visit to Beijing has proven very informative. Having had the opportunity to meet with and visit a variety of music educators, institutions and alumni living in China, I am struck by the palpable pulse of opportunity and possibility here.
Peter Hessler writes in his new book, Country Driving, that in China “forgiveness comes easier than permission.” This manifests itself in the most remarkable way as our driver navigates his own zen path toward the Great Wall, weaving skillfully through the sea of traffic and deftly communicating his intent to his fellow commuters in a kind of morse code for motorists.
Monday began with an initial meeting with the Rimon administration and faculty. We reviewed our longstanding partnership and addressed issues around curriculum transfer and student recruitment. There is apparently a surge of interest in Rimon’s songwriting program with 150 students currently enrolled. The program is taught by some of the best known songwriters in Israel and some of the graduates of this program have already gone on to successful careers. We held an information session in the afternoon, reviewing the application process and answering questions regarding the audition and interview.
After a 4-hour layover in Frankfurt, we arrived safely in Tel Aviv and made our way to the Melody Hotel. This is part of a larger strategic plan to stay only in hotels that have names associated with music (;JK). We just know there is a mixolydian or phrygian hotel out there somewhere. I am traveling with Greg Badolato VP International Programs, David Mash VP Technology Resources (who is accompanied by his wife Erica) and Myra Hindus VP Cultural Diversity. This is the first stop in a 3 city tour that will include Ramallah and Amman. Our hosts arranged a welcome dinner on Sunday night. It is now Monday morning and we will have our first meeting with the Rimon administration this morning.
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