In an essay opening the monograph Music and American Higher Education1 Douglass Seaton discusses several issues that will have a dramatic impact on music study in colleges and universities in the United States at the start of the new millennium. The author anticipates radical changes in the make-up of the higher education community and describes a constituency of students that is more likely to be older than in previous generations, more likely to be female and likely to be demographically more diverse. Seaton suggests four factors that will shape our enterprise and present new opportunities and challenges for music faculty: an environment that will become increasingly electronic, a system of knowledge that will continue to expand, an increased awareness of cultural diversity and continued acceleration in the rate of change itself. Seaton identifies cooperation with international universities and communities of scholars as one of several catalysts that are prompting new educational models to emerge in response to new situations.

The current study begins an inquiry into the impact of international students in music by approaching the phenomenon from two directions. First, the study will recall the experiences of former generations of American students who have crossed cultural and national boundaries to pursue music study abroad. These students had a profound impact on our present educational system by learning from the European master teachers in private studios and in conservatories. After their studies abroad they returned to the United States prepared to transmit European musical traditions and establish new institutions based on European models. Even after study abroad was no longer a necessity for American music students, the cross-cultural experience remained a vital form of enrichment to their artistic development. For a large number of music faculty in U.S. universities and conservatories, that facet of their education received in foreign institutions adds prestige to their academic credentials. After more than a century of transmitting European traditions to American students, music schools and conservatories are adapting to a new role as hosts for international students. Yet the current status of international students studying music in the United States has been largely overlooked.

The second part of this study will construct a profile of the current population of international students by examining demographic surveys and enrollment trends. As faculty and administrators in American institutions continue to pass on rich traditions, they also respond to the emerging needs of a culturally diverse population of students. The ways in which demographic changes in the student population are changing the academic environment warrant systematic investigation.

Awareness of cultural diversity has had a significant impact on curriculum development as students study and perform music from an increasing variety of non-Western traditions. Even when the focus of study is Western art music though, it is increasingly likely that students and faculty from a broader variety of cultural traditions will interact in the study and teaching of music. While music has the distinct ability to transcend boundaries created by language, there are inherent challenges in all types of cross-cultural education, even in performance studies where much of the instruction is tutorial. Language is an obvious challenge; other challenges include differences in learning styles, communication styles and motivation.

It is appropriate at the outset to acknowledge the place of music within the context of American higher education. Some universities include a school of music that was originally established as an independent conservatory based on European models and was subsequently incorporated into the university. Other music schools and departments originated as part of a College of Arts and Sciences within a university. Regardless of their origin, music schools have flourished in the academic environment. As units within a university, music schools are subject to the same trends that impinge upon the larger community of higher education. It is in this context that we must consider the current status of international education in music in American universities. Furthermore, universities themselves are adapting to new roles in a global system engaged in the production and dissemination of knowledge worldwide.

In Higher Education in the 21st Century: Global Challenge and National Response, authors Philip Altbach and Todd Davis write:

While it may not yet be possible to think of higher education as a global system, there is considerable convergence among the world's universities and higher education systemsAcademic institutions have frequently been international in orientation—with common curricular elements and, in the medieval period, a common language of instruction—Latin. At the end of the 20th century, English has assumed a role as the primary international language of science and scholarship, including the Internet. Now, with more than one million students studying outside their borders, with countless scholars working internationally, and with new technologies such as the Internet fostering instantaneous communications, the international roots and the contemporary realities of the university are central.2


Historical Documents

During the nineteenth century, a cadre of approximately 5,000 American piano students traveled to Europe, especially Germany, for performance studies.3 Their motivation was obvious. They left a developing nation with limited opportunities for artistic development to study with composers, performers and teachers such as Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann and Franz Liszt and other famous pedagogues. Upon their return to the United States, these young musicians formed the core of faculties in nascent music conservatories;4and they had a huge impact on the field through their teaching and their writings. During the nineteenth century, applied music study was offered in independent studies or conservatories, but it was not included in the university curriculum. More than a century later much of the repertoire that these musicians studied and subsequently taught remains at the core of the standard repertoire, especially for the piano. As we will see in the second half of this study, a new cadre of students however, largely from Asia and predominantly female, is pursuing music study in the United States. Whereas their nineteenth-century cohorts traveled overseas for personal contact with composers of new music, today's international students are likely to travel from newly industrialized countries in Asia to the United States to pursue academic degrees that have great value in their home countries.

America's most gifted young pianists, funded by their own wealthy families or generous patrons, crossed the Atlantic to study with German masters who taught in conservatories and independent studios in Leipzig, Weimar and Berlin. The letters and diaries of American students form primary documents recording the pedagogy of such prominent teachers as Carl Tausig (1841-1871), Theodore Kullak (1818-1882), Ludwig Deppe (1828-1890), Friedrich Wieck (1785-1873) and especially Franz Liszt (1811-1886). Although Liszt's reputation as a composer and performer often overshadows his reputation as a pedagogue, pianists continue to proudly trace their lineage to Liszt through one or more of his illustrious students and their succession of disciples.

The writings of William Mason, Amy Fay and Carl Lachmund provide detailed information on how the German masters taught piano technique and musical interpretation. These documents are highly valued for the insights they provide on the celebrated pedagogues of the nineteenth century. For this study, however we will focus on the students' experiences as foreign students. These documents acquaint us with the challenges that music students from the United States encountered in adapting to an unfamiliar environment—learning a foreign language and adapting to the teaching styles of Europe's most celebrated artist-teachers.

William Mason, one of Liszt's first American students, was in Leipzig and Weimar from 1849 until 1854. In Memories of a Musical Life, he records his first impressions upon arriving in Leipzig:

I well remember the feeling of awe mingled with interest with which I looked upon every German whom I met in the streets of Leipsic [sic] on my first arrival in that famously musical city. I looked on even the laboring-men, the peasants as well as those in higher positions, as being Mozarts and Beethovens, and the idea gained such ascendancy that I felt my own inferiority and metaphorically held down my head. This feeling, however, was not of long duration, and changed in the course of a month or two on account of what happened at a concert of the Euterpe Society which I attended. The concerts of this musical society were second only to those of the famous Gewandhaus, and their audiences were made up largely of those who attended the concerts of the latter. At this concert the program was classical and unimpeachable as to the orchestral concerted pieces, but one of the numbers was a solo for clarinet. At my age I was disposed to look down on this as an inferior kind of music, and as decidedly unsuitable to an educated and musically cultivated taste. Therefore, when, to my surprise, this turned out to be the most popular piece of the evening and received the most vociferous applause of the entire audience, I found my high opinion of the select musical taste of the Germans sensibly decreased.5

Mason was neither the first nor the last international student whose experience in a new environment did not meet his inflated expectations. It is significant that the young American altered his naïve opinion of the Germans' musical taste before reconsidering his own bias against solo repertoire for the clarinet. Bias, like many aspects of culture, is difficult to see in oneself. Mason returned to the United States, settled in New York and distinguished himself as a performer, teacher and author after five years of study abroad.

The productive exchange of ideas between master and pupil was usually preceded by a period of formal introduction and orientation to studio rituals. Both Carl Lachmund and Amy Fay write about protocol in Liszt's drawing room. Carl Lachmund described the anticipation that preceded his first lesson with Liszt:

My mind was so preoccupied, trying to picture just what the proceedings would be like, that I did not heed anyone or anything as I walked up the Marienstrasse to the Hofgärtnerei—as the Master's home was always designated—Near the piano stood the Master, smiling as each one greeted and was greeted by him, according to his or her standing of intimacy or friendship.6

Amy Fay wrote in 1873:

I am having the most heavenly time in Weimar, studying with Liszt, and sometimes I can scarcely realize that I am at the summit of my ambition, to be his pupil! But Liszt is not at all like a master, and cannot be treated like one. He is a monarch, and when he extends his royal sceptre you can sit down and play to him. You never can ask him to play anything for you, no matter how much you're dying to hear it. If he is in the mood he will play, if not, you must content yourself with a few remarks. You cannot even offer to play yourself. You lay your notes on the table, so he can see that you want to play, and sit down. He takes a turn up and down the room, looks at the music, and if the piece interests him, he will call upon you. We bring the same piece to him but once, and but once play it through.7

The collected letters of Amy Fay contain some of the most influential documents on nineteenth-century piano pedagogy. Born in 1844 on a sugar cane plantation on the Mississippi River in Bayou Goula, Louisiana, Amy Fay moved with her family to Vermont as a child and began piano studies with her mother. After studying piano at the New England Conservatory in Boston, Amy Fay embarked on a study tour of Germany in 1869 that was to last more than six years from 1869 until 1875 and would take her to the studios of Germany's most esteemed pianists. With no previous study of the German language, Amy Fay struggled to learn the language and customs in order to learn more about how to play the piano. The letters that Amy wrote to her sister Melusina in Chicago during her six years abroad were published in 1881 as Music-Study in Germany. The collected letters appeared in more than twenty reprint editions during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and in German (1882) and French (1907) translations.8Music-Study in Germany remains an invaluable source of information on nineteenth-century piano pedagogy.

In addition to enthusiastic reports on her progress in performance studies and detailed accounts of lessons, Amy Fay's letters include reports of the tensions that seem to be inevitable in cross-cultural education. Communication seems strained between a teacher and student from different cultures. Misunderstandings that might otherwise be considered normal in interactions between a teacher and student are likely to be attributed to cultural bias or national pride. In a letter dated August 6, 1870 Amy told her sister of a fellow student who had become so despondent after some frustrating experiences in Kullak's conservatory that he committed suicide. The incident prompted Amy to generalize about cultural differences in perceptions regarding moods.

Germans cannot understand blueness. They are never blue themselves, and they expect you always to preserve your equanimity, and torment you to death to know "what is the matter?" when there is nothing the matter, except that you are in a state of disgust with everything. Moods are utterly incomprehensible to them. They feel just the same every day in the year.9

During the next two years, Amy's letters reflect her enthusiasm over all that she was learning from Theodore Kullak. A letter dated May 30, 1872 though indicates that cultural or national differences made studying with Kullak especially challenging for the American students.

Like all artists, he is as capricious and exasperating as he can be, and, as the Germans say, he is "ein Mal im Himmel und das nächst Mal im Keller" (one time in heaven and the next time in the cellar)!" He has a deep rooted prejudice against Americans, and never loses an opportunity to make a mean remark about them, and though he has some remarkably gifted ones among his scholars, he always insists upon it that the Americans have no real talent. As far as I know anything about his conservatorium just now, his most talented scholars are AmericansKullak will praise us very enthusiastically, and then when some one plays particularly badly in the class he will say to them, "Why, Fraülein, you play as if you came from America." 10

Amy Fay's impressions of Germany informed the many American students who followed her example and traveled to Europe for advanced studies in piano during the next few decades. In Men, Women and Pianos, Arthur Loesser provides evidence of the popularity of Germany as a host country for international students from the United States.

In the fall of 1888 a correspondent of the New York Sun was astonished at the hundreds of earnest American "ladies" working at music in Berlin. Two years later the pianist Eugen d'Albert was quoted as estimating that twenty per cent of the concert audiences in any German city consisted of Americans; while New York's Musical Courier for November 25, 1891, assessed the American population of Berlin at two thousand, almost all music students. We will state confidently that the females were in the majority among them and that students of the piano outnumbered all other music students several times over. That same volume of the Musical Courier carried regular advertisements of German music schools in every issue: the conservatories of Leipzig, Dresden, Hamburg, Weimar, and Sondershausen all considered it profitable to take regular substantial space in this American journal. After Paderewski's dizzy success, many talented Americans, in the spell of the same old contagious magic, flocked to Vienna hoping to snatch a few lessons from Theodore Leschetizsky, Paderewski's last teacher.11

The American pianists studying in Germany were predominantly female, yet Amy Fay is one of the few women to achieve lasting recognition. While large numbers of American students were traveling to Europe for performance studies at the end of the nineteenth century, the balance in the exchange of scholars was beginning to shift. Conservatories were established in several American cities, and European artists migrated to the United States to build careers in the rapidly growing country. With industrial technologies booming and the piano manufacturing industry at the cutting edge, the United States attracted an increasing number of adventurous foreign artists. Amy Fay returned to the United States in 1875 and established a career as a successful teacher in Chicago. Her sister wrote in a postscript to Music-Study in Germany, that conditions had changed for piano students in the United States and that study abroad was no longer a necessity for serious music students but an appealing option for mature artists.

My sister hopes that no American girl who reads this book will be influenced by it rashly to attempt what she herself undertook, viz.: to be trained in Europe from an amateur into an artist. Its pages have afforded glimpses, only, of the trials and difficulties with which a girl may meet when studying art alone in a foreign land, but they should not therefore be underrated. Piano teaching has developed immensely in America since the date of the first of the foregoing letters, and not only such celebrities as Dr. William Mason, Mr. Wm. H. Sherwood, and Mrs. Rivé King, but various other brilliant or exquisite pianists in this country are as able to train pupils for the technical demands of the concert-room as any masters that are to be found abroad. American teachers best understand the American temperament, and therefore are by far the best for American pupils until they have got beyond the pupil stage.—Not manual skill, but musical comprehension, and "concert style" are what the young artist should now go to seek in that marvellous [sic] and only real home of music—Germany.12

By the end of the century, the relative merits of German and American training for pianists was a debatable topic. Lora Deahl's article in this issue of College Music Symposium quotes sources that reproach German training for emphasizing the development of technical prowess over the cultivation of expressiveness in piano playing. According to an 1896 article by the prominent American pedagogue W. S. Mathews writing for The Musical Record:

[Among the students trained in Germany] you can find quantities of well-trained fingers, and lots of charming exercise-playing, but never in the whole thousands of pupils one single musical playerThe assiduous practice of exercises of any kind gives rise to a style and manner of playing which is exercise-like and not musical. The touch becomes unsympathetic, and playing monotonous, and the whole takes on more and more a distinct character as good exercise-playing and not musical playing.13

The controversy over the relative emphasis on musicality and expression or virtuosity of technique continues among students and faculty engaged in cross-cultural music education more than a century later. The debate continues, but the characters and the circumstances are changing.


Demographic Surveys and Enrollment Trends

Creating a profile of the current population of international students in music requires analysis of data from a variety of sources, all very different from the diaries and journal articles just discussed. The art of data collection has flourished since the dawn of the Information Age. Open Doors, an annual report published by the Institute of International Education (IIE) provides a broad perspective on international students in all fields currently studying in the United States. The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is a service of the National Center for Education Statistics, an agency of the U.S. Department of Education. The IPEDS survey on degree completions collects data on degrees conferred by postsecondary institutions and publishes the results of demographic surveys. Specific information on music students and faculty appears in annual data summaries published by Higher Education Arts Data Services (HEADS). We will consider first the strengths and limitations of these three important data sources.

Since 1955 the IIE has published Open Doors, the most comprehensive set of data on the U.S. international student population. The annual reports provide consistent data on international students by country of origin, academic level, gender, sources of funding, field of study and personal characteristics including visa status based on an annual census conducted by the IIE's research division. The institute surveys over 25,000 accredited institutions of higher education in the United States. Response rates for the annual census have always been high, and in recent years the response rates have ranged from 92.8% in 1992-93 to 97.3% in 1994-95. Open Doors defines an international student as "anyone who is enrolled in courses at institutions of higher education in the United States who is not a U. S. citizen, an immigrant (permanent resident) or a refugee."14 Most international students hold F visas, which are temporary visas granted to students who enter the United States for a temporary stay and solely for full-time study. Statistics reported in Open Doors also include students holding J visas which are granted to visiting scholars and M visas which are issued to students enrolled in vocational training courses in the United States. Since 1985 Open Doors has also provided information on U.S. students enrolled in study abroad programs.

The annual census measures enrollments of international students while a more detailed Individual Data Survey is taken biennially and collects information on the country of citizenship, field of study, academic level, sex and primary source of financial support for each international student15. Open Doors is limited though in offering specific information on music students. In analyzing international students by field of study, Open Doors includes music students in the broad category Visual and Performing Arts using the classifications established by The National Center for Educational Statistics.16 In late 1999 a web-based component of Open Doors17 became available in response to the emergence of a widely disparate community of investigators concerned with student mobility issues and the need to provide the news media with the most current statistics.

The IPEDS system is built around a series of interrelated surveys to collect institution-level data in such areas as enrollments, program completions, faculty, staff, finances, and academic libraries. Survey results on completed degrees are available through an interactive database search product on the Internet.18 The IPEDS survey collects data from 10,600 public and private postsecondary institutions including music conservatories.

Both Open Doors and IPEDS use categories established by the National Center for Educational Statistics to classify degrees according to field of study. The IPEDS survey divides the major category of Visual and Performing Arts into the following subdivisions for music degrees:

Music, General
Music History and Literature
MusicGeneral Performance
Music Theory and Composition
Musicology and Ethnomusicology
Music Conducting
Music—Piano and Organ Performance
Music—Voice and Choral/Opera Performance Merchandising
Music, Other

While the subdivisions could make the information very specific for specialized areas, institutions are inconsistent reporting degrees awarded in music. Some institutions combine all degrees in the general category for music while others report degrees conferred in specialized areas. It is impossible therefore to determine the total number of students completing degrees in Theory and Composition due to inconsistencies in reporting. The important advantage of the IPEDS data for this study is that it provides demographic information by ethnicity and sex and includes a separate category for non-resident alien students. In order to demonstrate the impact of international students in the visual and performing arts, the present study computes the percentages for international students in all fields of study combined and in the visual and performing arts at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels.

The third source of data, the HEADS Data Summaries in Music19 are compilations of data generated by annual reports filed by the 582 institutional members of the National Association of Schools of Music. The Data Summaries provide statistics on student enrollment, faculty salaries by rank and type of institution, administrative processes and budgets for public and private institutions. The summaries provide demographic information on music students at different levels of study, but the surveys do not include a separate category for international students. There is a wide variety in the number of institutions reporting information in the various categories within a survey. Statistics compiled in the HEADS reports are essential to this study since they comprise the only source of information specifically devoted to music study.

There are two sets of surveys in the HEADS summaries that offer demographic information on music students. Chart 27 and Chart 28 provide demographic information about doctoral students. Chart 27 surveys doctoral students who graduated in a particular year, while Chart 28 surveys doctoral students who were enrolled but did not graduate. There is more room for discrepancy among institutions in reporting students who are enrolled than there is in reporting actual degrees awarded since graduate students may stagger their enrollments over several years before completing a degree. Therefore Chart 27 is considered a more accurate profile of the doctoral student population. Chart 61 provides results of demographic surveys of students at the baccalaureate and master's levels. The HEADS summaries divide the students enrolled at each level into two categories: Baccalaureate Professional Degree, Baccalaureate Liberal Arts degree, Specific Master's Degree and General Master's Degree. The present study combines the categories to analyze enrollment trends among students enrolled in baccalaureate and master's degree programs in music. The HEADS summaries do not include separate demographic surveys for graduate students and undergraduate students.

The three data sources described here provide a multi-faceted view of the population of international students in music. Information gleaned from these statistics will enable us to construct a profile of international students currently pursuing music degrees in the United States and to understand emerging trends in student enrollments.

There are currently almost 500,000 international students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities.20 Table 1 shows that enrollments of international students have grown tremendously since the middle of the twentieth century with a period of fast growth during the early 1980's and relatively slow growth during the 1990's. During the same period there has been a tremendous increase in the number of Americans attending colleges and universities so that international students' share of the overall U.S. higher education student population remains relatively low. Despite the huge increase in the number of international students enrolled, their portion of the general student population increased from only 1.4% in 1954/55 to 3.4% in 1998.21 International students represent a much larger percentage (10.4%) of graduate enrollments than undergraduate enrollments (2.0%).22


Table 1. Total Foreign Student Enrollment

Source: Open Doors 1998/99


The impact of international students is considerably more dramatic when considering their enrollments in particular fields of study. The most popular fields of study among international students include Business & Management (20%), Engineering (15%) and Mathematics & Computer Sciences (10%).23 The reliance on international enrollments in particular disciplines where enrollments of American students are very low has prompted questions regarding the justification for allocating public funds to educate students who are likely to return to their home countries with expertise gained in the United States. Some states have even established quotas limiting international student enrollments.24

Music and other arts have not traditionally been popular choices for international students, but that situation is changing rapidly.25 Table 2 shows that in 1998 enrollments of international students rose by almost 15% in the visual and performing arts. The 25,223 international students enrolled in the arts still represent just a little more than 5% of the total international student population. Their growing presence though is a clear indication that the United States has become an important host country for students pursuing studies, especially at the graduate level, in the arts. The role of U.S. institutions in educating international students in the arts is a phenomenon that warrants continued investigation.


Table 2. Foreign Student Enrollments in Visual and Performing Arts

Source: Open Doors 1998/99


Table 3 offers a clearer view of the impact of international students in the arts by measuring the numbers of degrees conferred at different academic levels rather than the numbers of student enrolled. By computing the percentages for international students at the different levels, we can see further evidence that international students tend to come to the United States for graduate study rather undergraduate study. More significant though is the fact that, even at the undergraduate level, international students in the arts comprise a larger portion of the international student population than do international students in all fields combined. International students in the arts are more likely to be female, but in the general population, international students are more likely to be male. The greatest discrepancy in gender is evident at the master's and doctoral levels where males comprise more than twice the percentage of females in the general population while females comprise a larger percentage among international students in the visual and performing arts.


Table 3. Degrees conferred by race/ethnicity, field of study and sex of recipients 1996-1997

Source: Open Doors 1998/99


The visual and performing arts encompass a broad range of disciplines. It is more difficult to determine how many international students pursue music study in the United States. Table 4 shows the high percentage of international students receiving degrees and performance certificates from selected music conservatories. The percentages are computed from data reported in demographic surveys on completed degrees in the IPEDS database. In some cases all of the degrees in some areas, especially performance certificates, were awarded to international students.


Table 4. Degrees Awarded to Foreign Students in Music Conservatories 1995-96

Source: U.S. Department of Education
National Center for Education Statistics,
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System


Further insight into the international student population can be gained by considering Open Doors statistics on the countries of origin. In 1997/98 there were 277,508 students from Asian countries studying in the United States, and they account for more than half of the total international student population.26 Throughout the 1990's the five leading countries of origin for international students have been Japan, China, Republic of Korea, India and Taiwan. Economic problems in Asia have caused significant fluctuations in the flow of international students during the decade, but the number of Asian students in the United States remains very high. Some Asian countries show a decrease in the numbers of students it sent to the United States in the late 1990's.

An increasing number of the international students from Asian countries though are pursuing studies in music, especially at the higher levels of study. Demographic surveys reported in the annual HEADS summaries do not make a distinction between international students and students in various ethnic groups, but a look at changes in the demographic make-up of students pursuing degrees in music in the 1990's reveals significant increases among Asian students. (See Table 5) While many of these students may be Asian-Americans or the children of second or third generation immigrants, it can be surmised from the growing number of international students in the visual and performing arts that a significant number of these music majors are international students. Obviously there is a strong gender preference for studies in music among Asian students. The humanities have traditionally been considered an appropriate area for females in Asian cultures. The decrease in enrollments among Asian students between 1992 and 1994 can be attributed to the Asian economic crisis. Enrollments rebounded quickly and continue to grow.


Table 5. Percentages of Asian Students enrolled in Bachelor's and Master's degree programs in Music


Source: Higher Education Arts Data Services Summaries 1988-1999


The HEADS summaries include demographic surveys of doctoral students that show numbers of students enrolled in degree programs and completing doctoral degrees by instrument or area of specialization. Table 6 shows that in 1998-99 the 210 female students from the Asian and Pacific Island group enrolled in doctoral programs in piano far outnumber doctoral students from other ethnic groups of either sex, and they outnumber doctoral students in all other majors. Asian students pursuing doctorates in conducting are far more likely to be male than female. The survey suggests that gender is an important factor in choosing a major field of study among Asian students. There are also significant numbers of Asian students receiving doctorates in strings and music education. As Table 7 shows the number of doctorates awarded to Asian females in piano has increased by five times over the course of ten years.


Table 6. Demographic Survey of Doctoral Students enrolled in selected major areas of study 1997-98


Table 7. Completed Doctorates in Piano by Asian and Pacific Islander Students 1988-98


Source: Higher Education Arts Data Services Summaries Chart 27-1


The current research documents the increasing importance of international students in music in higher education, and it documents the increasing importance of the United States as a host country for international students in the visual and performing arts. The research provides a clearer profile of international students in music—predominantly female, predominantly Asian, studying at the graduate level with preferences for particular majors, especially piano, that are likely to be determined by cultural concepts that relate gender to music study. It seems especially interesting that the largest number of international students are in piano, an area in which European music from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries continues to dominate the repertoire.

The growing importance of music study for international students is certainly a positive reflection on the quality of education available in American institutions and the value of degrees from American universities. One article on piano education in Japan points out that a common bond among many Japanese musicians who have achieved international success is that, at some point in their lives, they had training either in Europe or the United States.27

It seems unlikely though that the quality of instruction would be the only factor shaping the current trend. The increase in enrollments of international students also suggests economic and social changes in the students' countries of origin. The impact of international study in music must be considered in the broader context of changes that are shaping international higher education. Higher education now includes an international student infrastructure that facilitates the flow of international students and offers instruction in English as a second language. The National Association of Foreign Student Affairs (NAFSA) is a lobbying group with more than 5,000 members in the United States that lobbies for overseas students and international education in general.28 Developments in telecommunications and the greater access to international travel have certainly had an impact. Students are likely to explore graduate programs using the Internet, contact prospective teachers by e-mail and submit application materials electronically. While some characteristics are unique to musicians, international students in music, like their cohorts in other fields, benefit from increased access to information.

Enrollments among international students in music have increased dramatically, especially in recent decades. The trend documented in this study shows that Douglass Seaton was correct in identifying cultural diversity and an accelerating rate of change as factors that are shaping music in higher education at the beginning of a new millennium. A glance at the past has offered a perspective that may help us to understand the present situation better. Music in higher education traces its roots to the adventurous students of the nineteenth century who crossed cultural boundaries to experience first-hand the artistry of European performers and teachers. As a discipline in an academic environment, it also traces its roots to the medieval universities. From the earliest models in Bologna and Paris, universities have been institutions that encourage collaboration across national and cultural lines to explore ideas and to build and disseminate knowledge and, in the case of the arts, creativity. Just as artistic traditions have been transmitted through higher education, today's international students will shape the future of music education in an increasingly global environment.

Current information technology has enabled us to study the rapid demographic shifts in the student population. It is incumbent upon music educators in higher education to continue to examine the implications of cross-cultural exchanges. Future study might include an examination of the factors that determine international students' choice of institution and decisions to return to their home countries or remain in the United States. The high social status of the teaching profession in Asian cultures is one aspect of culture that separates Eastern and Western societies. Asian students who return home will face the challenge of integrating aspects of Western European musical traditions and American teaching methods with their Asian heritage.

The experience of cross-cultural education is likely to impact the faculty as much as it will the students. Both will overcome cultural boundaries through a better understanding of culture and how it impacts teaching and learning. Not only will the curriculum continue to broaden to include non-Western traditions, but teachers and students will adapt to cultural differences in the ways that we pass on diverse artistic traditions. While musicians in higher education sometimes experience dissonance in trying to equate artistic creativity and musical scholarship with modes of scientific research, the international aspect of the higher education is one aspect of the enterprise in which the arts and the academy form an ideal union.

1The College Music Society and National Association of Schools of Music, Music and American Higher Education (Missoula, Montana: College Music Society, 1998), pp. 1-6.

2Philip G. Altbach and Todd M. Davis, eds. Higher Education in the 21st Century: Global Challenge and National Response. Institute of International Education Report Number 29. (New York: IIE, 1999): 4.

3Elam Douglas Bomberger, "The German Training of American Students, 1850-1900" (Ph.D. Diss., University of Maryland, 1991), 2.

4The curriculum and administrative structure of the Leipzig Conservatory served as an especially important model for the earliest American conservatories. See Leonard Phillips, "The Influence of the Leipzig Conservatory on Music in Nineteenth-Century America," Chapter IX of "The Leipzig Conservatory: 1843-1881" (Ph.D. Diss., Indiana University, 1979), 221-39.

5William Mason, Memories of a Musical Life (1901; reprint, New York: AMS Press, 1970), 34-35.

6Carl Lachmund, Living with Liszt: from the diary of Carl Lachmund, an American pupil of Liszt, 1882-1884. Edited, annotated and introduced by Alan Walker (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1995), 12-13.

7Amy Fay, Music-Study in Germany: from the home correspondence of Amy Fay. Edited by Mrs. Fay Pierce (1880; reprint, with a prefatory note by O. G. Sonneck, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1922), 219-220.

8Margaret William McCarthy, Amy Fay: America's Notable Woman of Music. Detroit Monographs in Musicology/Studies in Music, ed. J. Bunker Clark, no. 17 (Warren, Michigan: Harmonie Park Press, 1995), 176-77.

9Ibid., 85.

10Ibid., 170.

11Arthur Loesser, Men, Women and Pianos: A Social History (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1954), 538-39.

12Amy Fay, Music-Study in Germany, 351-52.

13W. S. Mathews as quoted in Lora Deahl, Schumann's Album for the Young.

14Todd M. Davis, ed. Open Doors 1998/99: Report on International Educational Exchange (New York: Institute of International Education, 1999), 195.

15Open Doors 1996/97, 196-197.

16Ibid., 160.

19Higher Education Arts Data Services. Music Data Summaries. (Reston, Virginia).

20Todd M. Davis, ed. Open Doors 1998/99: Report on International Educational Exchange (New York: Institute of International Education, 1999).

21Open Doors 1997/98, 2.


23Ibid., 64.

24Robin Wilson, "Ph.D. Programs in the Sciences Face a Paucity of Americans," Chronicle of Higher Education 45 (May 14, 1999): A14-15 and Robin Wilson, "A University Uses Quotas to Limit and Diversify Its Foreign Enrollments," 45 (May 14, 1999): A15-16.

25Open Doors 1997/98, 65.

26Open Doors 1997/98.

27Shoko Takegami-Ozawa, "The Independent Music Teacher in Japan," American Music Teacher (April/May 1992): 24.

28Philip G. Altbach, Comparative Higher Education: Knowledge, The University, and Development (Greenwich, Connecticut: Ablex Publishing Corporation, 1998), 165.

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