The Schmooze

Could Paul Simon Be Your Professor?

Courtesy of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Paul Simon is best known as a singer, songwriter and guitarist — not a college professor and academic. But Simon, who was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on October 1, had a brief stint in academia, teaching a songwriting class at New York University at the beginning of the 1970s.

This relatively little known aspect of the Simon’s career is discussed by David Browne in his new book, “Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970” (Da Capo Press, 2011).

Browne, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone magazine, tells how Simon taught a weekly seminar in songwriting in the period just after he and Art Garfunkel quietly broke up. “One of my cousins auditioned for it,” said Browne. “He didn’t get in. He was a little too advanced.”

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Could Paul Simon Be Your Professor?

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