October 21, 2009 via The Northeastern Voice
Professors Libby Adler and Richard Strasser come from different corners of the world and different disciplines at Northeastern, but they share both the love and the mastery of teaching.
The two will lead faculty into the TD Banknorth Garden on commencement morning as the 2008 Excellence in Teaching Award winners, as chosen by students.
Here is a brief interview with Richard Strasser:
Richard Strasser is an assistant professor of music industry. He holds a bachelor’s and a graduate diploma in music from the Canberra School of Music.
Voice: Who or what steered you into teaching?
Strasser: Rather than being steered into teaching, I realized at a young age that sheet music and strings were expensive and that teaching guitar lessons could actually pay for these things.
Voice: Do you have a philosophy or principles guiding your teaching?
Strasser: Plutarch once said, “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” To me teaching is about inspiring and empowering future music leaders.
Voice: Briefly, talk about your first experience in front of a class.
Strasser: My first experience teaching in front of a class occurred in Rome, Italy. I was teaching a class about Neapolitan opera and a performance at the palace of the prince of Chiusiano. At once a student raised his hand and said that he was a good friend of that family and we should go to the palace for classes. I soon realized that teaching this course was not about exploring a musical heritage, but a way for students to find out about their relatives.
Voice: If you weren’t teaching, what would you be doing?
Strasser: Performing on the guitar
Voice: What’s the last book or movie you recommended?
Strasser: I recommended to two exceptional students Jim Collins’ “Good to Great and the Social Sectors” to inspire them in their new business.
Voice: Whom would you hire to play you in the film version of your life?
Strasser: Geoffrey Rush. He has a talent at playing mad Australian musicians.