Music teacher is jailed for pupil rape

The victim was 13, the teacher in his 30s. He got her pregnant.

A court in Salem, Mass., sentenced Joshua Garsteck to a term of seven to eight years.

Report here.


In other news: Music teacher is arrested in Zionsville, Ind., accused of molesting a 12 year-old girl.

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  • I’m really starting to sense some sort of odd blameless-kid-raping parallel between the culture of classical music and the Catholic church — and I keep thinking it’s rooted in the attitude that both seem to have in common sometimes: I Am The Mediator Between You And The Sacred Force Of Creation, Now Do As I Say.

    This is a HUGE part of the reason why I think classical (and some other) musicians need to get the hell over ourselves and stop seeing what they do as the single most uplifting exercise in the history of the human race that can Change Lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and Improve The World!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I do think that art is incredibly important, but … I don’t know. The ego-stroking really is a perfect breeding-ground for this sort of stuff. The minute we enshrine a group of people as go-betweens for mere mortals and the motivating energy behind the universe that gives life all meaning, shit goes haywire. I prefer Doc Severinson’s statement that musicians are troubadours and clowns, and Michael Morgan’s comment that, “It’s not brain surgery. No one will die if we stopped in the middle.” Even those of us who are rightly appalled at this constant stream of stories of abuse need to confront how that self-elevating talk is contributing to it. We’re not sacred priests, we’re not all that special, and there are many things that give life meaning, of which our endeavor is only one.

    We need to put our chosen activity into a much healthier perspective. Nothing we do is worth ruining a life or even giving someone a bad day. We bang levers, pull strings, and blow into pipes.

    • And we holler. (Mustn’t forget the singers.)

      Janis, this is very well-said. (So well-said that I wish I’d written it!)

      I Am The Mediator Between You And The Sacred Force Of Creation, Now Do As I Say I shuddered when I read that: it seems overwrought – and it is, as you argue – but it really captures the combination of genuine devotion and self-importance that one finds in so many performing arts teachers. (Very much including the majority that don’t actually abuse their students.)

      And that attitude, of course, comes directly out of idea that what they – we – do is the single most uplifting exercise in the history of the human race that can Change Lives!!! and Improve The World!!!

      We do need to get over that idea, but it’ll be hard, and collectively we may never manage it. That’s because so very, very many classical musicians depend on that idea as consolation – compensation? – for the combination of hard work, low pay, and rejection by the wider culture that typifies the entire field.

  • The “In other news” section has another music teacher from Zionsville, IN accused of molesting a 12 year-old girl. That’s the same city that the former Subway spokesman Jared lives in, and he’s been accused of sex with underage girls as well.

    What the hell is in the water of Zionsville, Indiana?!

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