Back to school


apple-1With Labor Day in the rear view mirror here in the US, it’s time for the traditional start of the school year. Many schools have already begun classes for the 2014-15 academic year, or will do so this week.

The National Education Association tells us that National Teacher Appreciation Day is in May, but it seems that the start of the school year is a more natural time to reflect on educators that have made a difference in our lives.

Many of us are fortunate for a certain alignment of stars that allowed us to experience the wisdom and guidance of teachers that inspired, motivated, and challenged us to pursue our passion of music. Many music teachers wear several hats — in addition to teaching, they are professional musicians, administrators, counselors and role models.

Ernie Jackson, no stranger to this blog and to fellow Sibelius users, is one of those multifaceted teachers. In addition to teaching music technology, he’s a published author, gigging guitarist, Sibelius trainer and all-around musical citizen. Back in April of this year, I lectured at Ernie’s class at Queensboro Community College. Although I don’t teach in a school regularly, I occasionally give master classes or lectures. So when Ernie called me and asked me to give a presentation on using virtual instruments in music production, I readily obliged.


We covered using Sibelius with ReWire and Logic Pro, using sample libraries in each program, and some transcribing techniques (pay attention in your ear training class!).

Beforehand, Ernie gave me a tour of the college’s music building. Lumbering happily through hallways and in and out of classrooms, he addressed each student by name, alternately joking with them and inquiring about their studies.

That's me to Ernie Jackson's left, with his class after my presentation in April
That’s me to Ernie Jackson’s left, with his class after my presentation in April

No doubt many readers of this blog are multi-talented educators like Ernie, mixing their energy, humor, and love of music with a desire to help the next generation succeed. To you, a huge thank you is in order. As you begin anew the annual ritual of early days, long nights, grades, meetings, and concerts — not to mention budget battles — know that your work is cherished, valued, and vital.


  1. Michael Koschorreck

    Thank you, Philip,

    for these encouraging and motivating words, just in time for the upcoming semester!

    Kind regards,

  2. Jamsire

    Philip, thank you for this great mention of QCC in your blog. It was a great honor to host you and we loved it. The semester has begun and I’m looking forward to December 23rd already.

  3. John Hinchey

    Great article! And always great to hear about Ernie!

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