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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000523.txt from 1998/04

From: Lee Hickling <hickling@-----.Net>
Subj: Re: Engineer-musicians
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 12:27:58 -0400

I think it was Kevin Bowman who wrote (but quotes of quotes can mix one up):
>>There are
>>a couple of interesting things I have discovered: 1) a surprisingly large
>>percentage of engineers are also fine musicians, and 2) the analytical
>>I use for engineering are closely related to the analytical skills I use in
>>teaching students.
Or maybe it was he who said:
>In my experience, you can probably generalize that to include scientists -
>and the "harder" the science (i.e., the more mathematical) the higher the

Anyway, since my granddaughter has been studying chemical engineering at
Alfred, I have been surprised to hear how many musicians there are there,
how good some of them are, and what a high percentage of them are
engineering students. She is a very accomplished pianist and singer, and
played clarinet in high school, and she tells me that the liberal
arts/humanities students, whom one might think a priori would be more
artistically inclined, are a small percentage of the members of the
orchestra, choir and so on. From talking to friends who majored in
engineering or one of the sciences, I think it's safe to generalize about it.

That's interesting .... and to me, counter-intuitive. But maybe that's only
because of my own experience. After scraping out a bare C in calculus my
freshman year, I ran to the English department to protect my grade-point
average and keep my grant-in-aid, and wound up a newspaper reporter who
played the clarinet and sax for kicks and occasionally for money.

Lee Hickling <>

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