The sounds of silence

Music 240 Applied Guitar

Quinnipiac University is a school associated with a strong sense of pride. We have fine educators, inquisitive students, and a truly beautiful campus. But we are lacking in morality and consistency. Studies of math, science, literature, history and communications are pounded into our minds daily, willed or not. But when it comes down to it, students with a passion for music are being deprived of a fair music education.

As freshmen here, we were delighted to hear we would be able to take up a music minor. To complete a music minor, a student had to take the required eighteen credits, complete with two semesters of applied guitar that would incorporate all the music notation, scales and principles that we have learned in different classes and a full year of theory.

This semester, a class walked into Tator Hall 120 and started learning about the guitar under a brilliant musician and thoughtful man, Professor Landolfi, who told us to address him simply as “Sonny”. The environment was comfortable, and within a month we had learned numerous scales, reading exercises, arpeggios, and various pieces from Segaria to Clapton depending on our individual abilities. When we went to register for classes, we found something quite peculiar; the course was only to be offered for one credit. Immediately we went to Sonny and former Director of Music, Professor Sam Costanzo, who had no knowledge of the credit change and thought that there was a misprint. From there we went to check things out with numerous advisors and staff who told us that they had changed the credit amount.

We have tried to voice our opinions. Seniors are concerned that they will be two credits shy of graduation. “I’ve worked so hard on this minor for three years and without the extra credits my minor will never be completed. We’re trying to make the music program more reputable and this is taking a huge step backwards,” said junior Krissy Georgiou. Junior Justin Pylypiw said, “Originally I wanted to major in music and when I came to QU I was happy that they had the minor. Now they are taking it away and it’s all very upsetting.”

Senior Alexis Mante said, “I chose to minor in music because of my love for music but I had a lack of knowledge in the field and wanted to further my education. The guitar class is exactly what enticed me to choose this minor so I could apply the theory to the guitar.” But no one is as upset as Sonny. “As the adjunct guitar instructor here at Quinnipiac for the past five years, I am being told my students will no longer be able to pursue a music minor with a guitar component. As a member of the class of ’71, I am very disappointed because I can’t imagine the Quinnipiac of old would hold such a shallow view of music education. I have been told many times by deans and assistant deans and staff how popular the guitar program is. My fellow alumni would also be disappointed to know that the Director of the Music Program was forced to step down by the Administrators of the Liberal Arts Department, since Professor Costanzo is held in such high regard.”

Why do we fight? Because times have not changed since when Thoreau said, “the best thing a man can do for his culture when he is rich is to endeavor to carry out the same schemes which he entertained when he was poor”.

Senior David Blanchard said, “It disgusts me how Quinnipiac regards music in their education and how they are willing to sabotage students with music minors in the middle of their completion. Thank you Quinnipiac for leaving a sour taste in my mouth just before graduation.”

“When I voiced my concern, I was criticized by administrators,” said junior Sara Gorelick. “I was told that I had enough credits, and that I shouldn’t worry about my fellow classmates. I have lost all respect for those administrators for telling me to be selfish. For the first time here, I have felt like an ID number and a huge check.”