Letters to the editor

Boston Globe Magazine readers respond to stories from recent issues.

We’ve Had Some Work Done

I was happily surprised to see your redesign of The Boston Globe Magazine (March 11). The graphics, photography, typography, and content offer up easy reading and a stylishly hip bit of edginess. Surely, it was time for a change — maybe even overdue. All things considered, good job.

Todd Wallis / Kennebunk, Maine



This new layout is cold and impersonal, and I do not like it. It is too busy and overwhelming. I browsed the magazine three times before I realized that Miss Conduct was still there. Dinner With Cupid also looks very impersonal, although I do like that the daters can have their pictures put up individually instead of forcing them to take one awkwardly together.

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Shannon Sullivan / Medford


I like the new design, except for the photos with Dinner With Cupid. That is the first section I look at, and I had always tried to guess the outcome of the date by the couple’s body language in the photograph. Can’t do that with separate photos.  

Susan Gannon / North Reading



I really like the new format, with one quibble: The body typeface is more readable but a bit old-fashioned looking. I am, however, charmed by the new illustration with Miss Conduct’s column. Keep up the good work.

Michael Willhoite / Cranston, Rhode Island


If you were aiming for a cross between Parade, USA Today, and one of the more garish websites, you succeeded admirably. And if Sudoku gets any smaller, you will need to include a magnifying glass.


Mhairi Paget / Harvard

The Business of Music 

Adam Ragusea is correct; it is increasingly difficult for conservatory and college graduates who major in music to obtain well-paying jobs in their field of study (Perspective, March 4). But the responsible educators with whom I work do not mislead their students into thinking otherwise. The unfortunate truth is that for most music students, just as for their peers who major in art, anthropology, English, physical education, and many  other areas, meaningful work ultimately is found in a non-related field. Until our society is more supportive of its artists, I remain guided by Tennyson’s conclusion: “ ’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

Daniel Carlin

Chair, film scoring, Berklee College of Music

As a composer, I read Ragusea’s essay with amusement and then astonishment. I know several prominent American composers, and with few exceptions, most derive the lion’s share of their income from teaching or related activities. We compose because we are compelled to do so, not because we’re out to make the salaries of investment bankers. I’m sure contemporary composition is none the worse for Ragusea going into radio instead.

David L. Post / Newton Centre


Programs  like film at Emerson College and electronic production and design at Berklee College of Music  take a practical and career-minded approach to arts education that prepares students for life in the real world, not just in the ivory tower. The arts industry is expanding: Revenues from live music grew even through the recession to more than $10 billion in 2011, and recorded music sales held steady at $12.6 billion. Each live show and music recording involves anywhere from a handful to hundreds of musicians, engineers, lighting and mixing experts, performers, crew members, caterers, producers, and stage managers. At Avid, many of our technical experts and marketing and sales professionals earned their qualifications in the video, sound, or musical arts, and their passion has made them successful developing the software and technology that underpin most of the Oscar and Grammy award winners of recent years. When we hire, we look for people with that balance of artistic vision, creative passion, and technical know-how that will drive our success and theirs.

Lee Whitmore

Segment marketing director for education and creative enthusiasts, Avid


Ultimately choosing a different career path than composition does not make Ragusea a “victim”; it makes him a person with a richer variety of life experiences, and for that he should be grateful to both his parents and educators.

Kristine Daniels / Fairhaven

I am studying composition at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, the same department where Ragusea studied. It is ludicrous to accuse one’s professors of deliberately poisoning students’ minds so they think they can achieve unattainable goals. The job of the professor of music is not to decide which students will succeed and which will end up investment bankers. The professor’s job is to teach the student who asks to be taught to the best of his or her ability.

Evan Rees / Bloomington, Indiana


A Letter on Letters

The Summer Arts camp at The Cambridge School of Weston (CSW) is anything but “a generic arts program,” as Andy Levinsky described it in a letter in the March 11 issue. The distinctive courses Toby Dewey’s program offers include mockumentary, fashion design, culinary arts, video production, dance, and rock opera, intermingled with special guests ranging from working artists to well-known musicians for hands-on participation aNd guidance each week. Summer Arts is a full immersion experience that is unmatched in quality and philosophy, centered on the student’s creative approach. Its process is an extraordinary parallel to the CSW experience, where students are encouraged to explore their academic interests and beyond. The program-end Arts Festival is a culmination of artful discovery and creation over five weeks, where attending families are celebrants as well as participants in the experience. We expect the second year of Summer Arts to be anything but generic again.

Jane Moulding  

Head of School, The Cambridge School of Weston

COMMENTS? Write to or The Boston Globe Magazine/Letters, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. Letters are subject to editing.