Received Truth vs. Discovered Truth
Traditional Conservatories are generally structured to teach students to play how they are told to play. The students receive and apply the musical ideas they are given. This has led to a surprising degree of uniformity among these musicians. At the Duruflé Academy, we incorporate philosophy, rhetoric, critical thinking, and other Enlightenment principles into our studies so that students can discover their own unique approaches to music.
TEacher-student vs. mutual learning
Learning in all schools, including music schools, has largely been structured in a top-down manner with the teacher being the focal point. While teacher-student relationships are essential for a well-structured education, it is equally important to learn from conversations with peers. It is also important for teachers to always be learning from their students. This free flow of ideas from musician to musician—as colleagues, not rivals—forms the cornerstone of an ideal learning environment.
Factory Syllabus vs. Holistic Artist
It is becoming more and more common in subjects outside of music for curricula from various classes to be integrated in such a way that ideas from one topic can easily be applied to another. This is especially true in the humanities, and there is no reason the same principle cannot apply to music. Rather than teaching separate and totally independent classes for various subjects, we aim to integrate these topics in a way that allows for better mental connections. This helps contribute to a better holistic understanding of music as a doctrine and as an art, and facilitates more meaningful ways of applying learned skills to the art.
Objective Perfection vs. Personal Perfection
Universities are great at teaching students one specific way to do things. Students often graduate with similar strengths and weaknesses in a broad sense because classes are assumed to fit all students and do not cater to their individual needs. The Duruflé Academy meets students where they are and personalizes curriculum around their needs. Regular teacher rotation and the encouragement of peer-mentality helps students develop into the best version of who they truly are and not what the university wants to mold them into.
Competition vs. Collaboration
Fundamentally, music is not a competition. Unfortunately, due to the uniformity of music students in today’s world, a spirit of competition and rivalry is all but inevitable. This spills over into the realm of economic competition as well, and all of the stresses associated with all of this kills motivation and contributes to burnout. We believe that the world is not too small for a limitless number of great musicians. Instead of jockeying for advantage against each other, we believe it is better to foster a spirit of collaboration and camaraderie among students. Musicians can accomplish more together than they can apart, and the atmosphere we strive to maintain reflects that.
Using Technology to facilitate community and Learning
From our very founding, our approach to teaching and facilitating learning has been deeply rooted in modern technology. Collaboration at any scale has never been easier than it is now, and by incorporating technology into our learning environment, we are preparing artists to thrive in the modern world. When we founded the Academy as a Discord Server during the COVID pandemic, the technological nature of our structure was borne out of necessity. That necessity has evolved into an innovative application of technology into musical study in ways never before imagined.