The Schillinger Journey
Started as most journeys do, with a question that appeared to have no answer. The Schillinger System of Musical Composition had been published so the answers were waiting to be uncovered. This would prove difficult. I started a journey that took me from cost to cost in the United States, reaching into Russia and became the most rewarding section of my academic life. This is my journey which continues still. I will share with you at the Schillinger Society what we have discovered thus far.
1985: Lou (Louis) Pine started a journey that would begin the Resurrection of The Schillinger System. From his home in the mid-west, his research took him far and wide. After 25 years of data collection, interviews, traveling and combing through the volumes of notes that Mrs. Frances Schillinger apparently threw to the wind, Mr. Pine was gaining success.
He was one of the only researchers that had interviewed Mrs. Schillinger, or better yet stated, Mr. Pine was the only researcher that had been scolded and interviewed by Mrs. Schillinger. These exchanges occurred during her later years, which Mr. Pine thoroughly enjoyed. Rising from the mist, of these conferences was a developing time line. The books and documents being uncovered were fragments of a life only spanning 47 years.
1986: Philip A. DiTullio was attending Berklee College of Music, in Boston, Massachusetts. I often wondered why the College I was attending had changed its name from the Schillinger House School of Music to Berklee College of Music and why no one wanted to talk about it. This question met with resistance from professors, from the administration and from the college librarians. There was obviously a story here that no one wanted to remember or disclose. I started on an investigating process that would span the better part of 20 years that would eventually lead me to Lou Pine.
The secret was revealed when we discovered the lawsuit “Frances Schillinger Vs. The Schillinger House.” The more I learned about the history of Schillinger House the more I wanted to learn “The Schillinger System of Music Composition.” It became apparent that you could not learn the system through the two volumes complied by Arnold Shaw and Lyle Dowling and finding a teacher would be almost impossible. The next step was to research the Schillinger School program backwards. We searched what tests were given, how they were given and what the grading was, in an attempt to put the pieces together.
Starting with the examination for the Schillinger teaching certification and moving backwards through the lessons in the books and through time. I was transported back to the 1940’s where things became clearer. This was the only way one could study without the benefit of private instruction. Eventually I was able to find a certified teacher in NYC that was able to guide me the rest of the way, though private lessons.
Leading the Charge
As my study advanced, I realized that this was a system worth resurrecting. I began writing my own lessons to teach the works of Schillinger. Just as in years before the interest was overwhelming and the demand for teaching remains high.
Lou and I continued to collaborate, research and promote the system. This long road of research and discovery brought with it many people that were interested in what the system was and how to learn it.
Finally, in 2008, after 25 years of research and collaboration the Schillinger Society was once again formed much in the same way as it had been in the 1950s when Mrs. Frances Schillinger was president. It seeks to teach the courses of Schillinger to the next generation.
The mission is simple: The Schillinger Society is committed to promote research of Schillinger’s life and work. By protecting and maintaining the integrity of the theories of Schillinger it will serve to foster continued exploration and education in the field of the mathematical basis of the arts. We continue on the road of discovery together with the Schillinger Team.
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