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[Detail] Louis Armstrong, Carnegie Hall, New York, N.Y., ca. Apr. 1947

Historical Issue Analysis and Decision Making: Designing a Curriculum for Young Musicians

In the July 2, 1947, issue of Down Beat, William Gottlieb wrote an article about what he said was the only school in the country with the primary goal of training working musicians.

  • Why would the editors of Down Beat include an article on a high school music program?
  • If you were designing a high school program for students who want to become working musicians, what would you include in the program? For example, how many classes a day would be devoted to the traditional curriculum (English, foreign language, math, science, and social studies) and how many would be devoted to music classes? What kinds of classes would be included in the music program?
  • Read Gottlieb's article on the Metropolitan Vocational High School program. According to Gottlieb, why did the school decide to start a music program in 1940? Do you think this was a good response to the problem identified by the school's principal? Why or why not?
  • How does the program described in the article compare to the one you outlined? Do you think the school made sound decisions about the curriculum? Explain your answer.