The Creative Process: One Perspective

Don Bowyer • 15 November 2018 • When a composer sits down with a blank sheet of paper, or a blank computer screen, what is the process that leads to a completed piece of music? Further, how does that completed work become a performance? While this process most certainly differs from one composition to another […]

Customer-Driven Education: Who is the customer?

Don Bowyer • 15 November 2018 • Much of the business world moved toward a customer-driven model through the 20th century. Toward the end of that century and into the current one, many universities began pushing to adopt a similar model. While this seems like a sound idea, it is obviously important first to identify […]

Merdeka and Jazz: Freedom, Responsibility, and Jazz

Don Bowyer • 5 September 2018 • Writing this as Malaysia celebrates Hari Merdeka, it occurs to me that the story of jazz, in many respects, is the story of freedom. Early jazz musicians, African-Americans in New Orleans around 1900, would have been the children of former slaves. They understood intuitively what freedom means: the […]

Prepare for Your Future – Not for a Job

Don Bowyer • 14 May 2018 • In my position as Dean of the School of Arts at Sunway University, one of the most frequent questions I am asked by prospective students and their families is “What job will I get with this degree?” My typical answer seems to surprise them: “Don’t train for a job […]

University Ranking and The Arts

By Don Bowyer • 03 March 2018 • Recently, I had the opportunity to complete a survey for one of the university ranking organizations. At the end, there was a box for additional thoughts. These were mine: I believe that the focus on STEM publication makes the ____ university rankings nearly useless as regards arts fields. […]

Public Value of Higher Education

Don Bowyer • 05 February 2018 • What is the purpose of higher education in our world today? Is it exclusively for job training, in which the individual student is the primary beneficiary, or are there other, more public values accrued? To answer this question, consider a sampling of university mission statements from around the world: […]

Arts Education in the 21st Century

By Don Bowyer • 05 September 2017 • With the rapid pace of technological change leading to an uncertain economic future, schools today are expected to focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) on the assumption that these are the paths that will best prepare students for successful futures. Given this worldview, what is the […]