Abstracts & Bios
Friday, June 16 (4:00-5:30pm): Canons
Western Hegemony in Thailand’s Music History Curriculum
While decolonization of the Eurocentric music history curriculum has received much attention in the United States, on the other side of the world canons of compositions made up mostly—if not entirely—by white European and American male composers are still the norm in music history classrooms. In Thailand, canons that reinforce the legacy of white privilege are central to music history teaching in most music institutions, arguably without a vivid sense of cultural subordination among Thai practitioners and educators. I argue that the domination of Western classical music canons in Thailand’s music history curricula is a result of Western hegemony that has been deeply ingrained in the country’s culture, values, and social norms.
This paper examines the impact of white privilege and power on the teaching of music history in Thailand’s higher education music institutions. It seeks to shed light on how Western hegemony is maintained and reinforced through such soft power as music at a time when the political shadow of colonialism remains contested. The paper combines an archival approach, based on course descriptions and syllabi, with an ethnographic study including class observations and interviews with educators and students.
Nee Chucherdwatanasak has recently received a PhD in historical musicology from the University of Michigan. Her research primarily focuses on contemporary classical music in the United States. Her dissertation identifies and interrogates the struggles, contradictions, and power dynamics that occupy the US contemporary classical music scene. Chapter topics include entrepreneurial education in music academies, new-music ensemble Roomful of Teeth, community engagement programs at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and the challenge facing orchestras during the pandemic. Nee has also explored contemporary classical music in Southeast Asia. Her master’s thesis discusses cross-cultural approaches in the orchestral music of Thai American composer, Narong Prangcharoen. She received a Graduate Certificate Program in Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Michigan.
Toward a People’s History of Western Music?
While course offerings in areas outside of the canon of Western art music have vastly expanded across the US and Canada in recent years, the survey of Western art music remains a staple in many departments and schools of music. At large, public institutions, in particular, a two- or three-semester survey is often enshrined in the curriculum as an adjunct or service component to the performance and education programs that enroll the most students. In this paper, I argue that this ubiquity can be transformed from an obligatory holdout to a new terrain of struggle in transforming the music history classroom.
Taking my cue from Alejandro Madrid’s “critical approach to the canon” (2017), I propose a music history survey that counterposes the intellectual history of Europe with its material history, emphasizing the hermetic episteme of the canon and the structures of imperial, class, racial, and gender domination as mutually constitutive. I offer my experience experimenting with this approach as a contingent faculty member at three large, comprehensive schools of music and advocate for a “case-study” based approach to the survey (Haefeli 2023) as a strong model for addressing such themes. Finally, I outline the case for new resources that teach the times, places, and even some of the music traditionally associated with “the canon” in the spirit of class analysis that has proven so powerful in Howard Zinn’s classic People’s History of the United States (1980) and the works it has inspired.
David Salkowski is a Lecturer of Musicology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he teaches across the Music & Culture curriculum (musicology and ethnomusicology). His research focuses on music and religion, with an emphasis on the Russian Empire, its borderlands, and its diasporas. His work has appeared in Twentieth Century Music (2019), Cambridge Opera Journal (2023), and the edited volume Sacred and Secular Intersections in Music of the Long Nineteenth Century (2022). Additional teaching interests include American popular music and global music history. Salkowski completed his PhD at Princeton University in 2021 and taught at Montclair State University and Kennesaw State University before joining the faculty at University of Tennessee.
European Art Music is an Ethnic Music: Fraying the Edges in a Music History Classroom
D. Linda Pearse and Sandria P. Bouliane
European art music’s idealization results from a pedagogical, performance, and music historical tradition that emerged in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Traditional historiographies demarcate strict boundaries that suggest fixed European identities and generate narratives of European art music that are often imperialist and oblivious to its ethnic contexts. As a result, Western Europe’s dominance and religious orientation are both assumed and unquestioned; the entanglements of its music with the world beyond its fluid borders are rendered invisible.
Along with other scholars, we challenge this approach by showing that early European music was messy, fraught, and complex in its social interactions and meanings. In this presentation, we will discuss the concrete application of strategies developed within our experiential teaching practice, drawing on the existing theoretical frameworks of historiography and decolonization, and informed by influential pedagogical approaches. We consider two case studies that explore the intertwined histories of the troubadours and the Qiyan (11th–13th centuries), and music’s multifaceted participation in encounters between Europeans and Ottomans (late 16th century).
We collaborate within a network of anglophone and francophone scholars at three universities. We aim to fray the edges of what is often a clearly delineated object, revealing early European art music’s cultural complexity and showing its entangled ethnic identity. We elaborate practical strategies to map this terrain.
D. Linda Pearse is Associate Professor of Music at Mount Allison University. With her extensive experience as a performer and instructor of early European art music and its histories, Pearse draws on combined artistic and musicological methodologies. Her prior work on intercultural collaboration and decolonial music pedagogies brought together historians, artists, and cultural knowledge keepers to test theoretical insights within collaborative experiential artistic environments (SSHRC, Insight Development Grant, 2015–17; and SSHRC, Indigenous Research and Reconciliation Connection Grant, 2018–20). These projects resulted in both performative and peer-reviewed outputs. She brings both performative and research-based methodologies and perspectives to explore intercultural encounters within collaborative contexts.
Sandria P. Bouliane is Assistant Professor of Musicology at the Faculty of Music of Université Laval. She has conducted research on cultural borrowing and transfer between the Canadian and American music industries and has participated in various interdisciplinary research groups focusing on “cultural life.” These assets led her to become the principal investigator of the project “La vie musicale au Québec: pour un décloisonnement de l’histoire, 1919–1952” (SSHRC, Insight Development, 2020–2022), where she aims to facilitate the integration of a diverse set of musical practices in which the contributions of women, the working classes, and Indigenous people or communities associated with various diasporas will be better represented. The same preoccupations guide her teaching, as she was asked to redesign the curricula of the classical music history courses in the Faculty of Music. In addition to her francophone network, she draws on approaches from popular music studies, interdisciplinary research and critical historiography.
Tuesday, June 20 (4:00-5:45pm): Herstories and Community
Teaching Music Herstory: Women and Music through Ephemera
History courses often include work with ephemera but music history classes have not always been able to successfully adopt this practice given our emphasis on coverage. And though we seem to be moving forward as a field, music history curricula still generally focus on male composers and the patriarchy’s role in music making. It is important for our students to understand how history is constructed and just as important for them to learn how to apply their knowledge and construct history themselves. But what if we could not only discuss the role of women in music history but show students their role in context while teaching them how about the construction of music history? Use of ephemera to discuss gender in music aligns with the AAC&U’s High-Impact Practice of Diversity and Global Learning, allowing students to understand “difficult difference” contextually. It also allows students the ability to work hands-on with material and “do” history.
In this presentation, I will discuss methods for introducing discussions of women and music through ephemera such as postcards, sheet music, concert programs and Playbills, and magazines. I will provide tips for accessing such material, both physically and digitally, and ways to engage students with it through sample discussion topics and in-class assignments, including having students create their own ephemera. I will also show ways that these lessons can be adapted for other music history topics such as race and ethnicity and how it they can be used in tandem with coverage rather than against it.
Reba Wissner is assistant professor of musicology at Columbus State University and co-chair of the PSG. She holds a BA in Music and Italian from Hunter College of the City University of New York, an MFA and PhD in musicology, from Brandeis University, a graduate certificate in higher education administration from Northeastern University, and a graduate certificate in Instructional Design from University of Wisconsin – Stout. She holds Level 1 and 2 Credentials in Universal Design for Learning from UDL-IRN. She has published on pedagogy in the Journal of Music History Pedagogy, Engaging Students: Essays in Music Pedagogy, College Music Symposium, and several edited collections with a forthcoming article in Teaching History: A Journal of Methods. She was the 2022 recipient of Columbus State University’s Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award and named a Governor’s Teaching Fellow at the Louise McBee Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia in 2022.
The Sisters On Screen Music Festival: A Case Study of Community Engagement in the Classroom
The Sisters On Screen Film Festival was a class project undertaken by the students of a Women in Music seminar in 2019, resulting in a three-day event that screened three films for the local community.
Collaborating as a class, the students determined the festival’s goals and themes, as well as criteria for selecting the films to be screened. Assigned to groups, the students were responsible for researching one of the three films and developing a “pre-screening talk” to engage the audience in a critical viewing of the film, enhanced by an interactive activity. All three screenings drew good audiences, and both student and audience feedback to these events was positive.
The aims of this project included: 1) to involve students in a collaborative, team-based process with “real world” application; 2) to develop and practice public speaking skills; 3) to use the medium of popular film as a platform to spark discussion and engagement with curriculum content; and 4) to engage students in public musicology and knowledge mobilization by curating an event for the local community.
This presentation offers The Sisters On Screen Film Festival as an example of a curriculum-integrated project that can provide students with “the high-impact practice of community-based and service learning in the performing arts” (Hayford and Kattwinkel, 2018, 224). Drawing from feedback collected from both the audience and participating students, it outlines the student-perceived learning outcomes achieved through this process and considers both the benefits and challenges of a community engagement project of this nature.
Michelle Boyd is a musicology instructor at Acadia University, where she teaches courses on music history and musicianship and directs the Acadia University Singers. She was the recipient of the 2018 Acadia Associated Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching. A graduate of both Acadia (BM) and the University of Toronto (MA and PhD), she has presented her research at both national and international conferences, and her work has been published in American Music, 19th-Century Music Review and the Canadian Music Educator. Her video lecture “The Larks Still Bravely Sing: Musical Settings of ‘In Flanders Fields’” received a Harrison McCain Emerging Scholar Award and is featured on the Society for American Music’s 2019 Digital Lectures Series on YouTube.
Reconceiving Music Appreciation Through Historical Thinking
Derek Katz and Stefanie Tcharos
UCSB’s music appreciation course has been redesigned as part of a project supported by the Mellon Foundation Engaging Humanities initiative. These redesigned courses enact research-based frameworks that draw on theories about learning, knowledge creation, and institutional change to demonstrate the relevance of liberal education. This presentation will present a heuristic outlining this framework and explain how it was applied to this new course.
The new course is centered around music and communities, exploring music as a practice that connects people through multiple modalities. The course design is grounded in dialogic, asset-based teaching. Starting from understandings of musical community practices grounded in students’ own experiences, students are encouraged to reinterpret these perceptions by “thinking historically.”
The course uses threshold concepts to articulate ways of thinking and practicing. Each course unit explores how contemporary practices of musical communities are rooted in deeper histories. This inquiry is enhanced with visits from local practitioners (including amateurs, students and professionals), who demonstrate their practices and share their experiences and their roles in shaping musical communities. As they build new epistemological tools—through critical readings and reflections, through classroom and section activities, and live presentations—students can apply knowledge by using historical case studies to interpret their own lived experiences.
This course is intended to be a bottom-site of community transformation at different levels, challenging student assumptions about musical communities in the classroom, demonstrating a student-centered teaching approach in the department, and modeling a process for curricular transformation for the institution.
Derek Katz is an Associate Professor of Music History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His scholarly work started in Czech music and more recently concerns musical communities and middlebrow culture in the interwar United States. His book Janáček Beyond the Borders was published by the University of Rochester Press in 2009. He has also worked extensively in public musicology and audience enhancement. He has written for The New York Times, the San Francisco Opera, the Teatro Real Madrid, and the Bavarian State Opera, and spoken at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. He also collaborates with the San Francisco Opera Guild, the Ives Collective, and the Hausmann Quartet. He was a Faculty Fellow in the UCSB Engaging Humanities Program in 2020-2021. He is an enthusiastic amateur violist and chamber music player.
Stefanie Tcharos is an Associate Professor of Musicology at University of California, Santa Barbara whose research focuses on early modern music, with broad expertise in the critical history of opera and related vocal traditions, theories of genre, historiography, and social and cultural history. She has published articles, reviews, and book chapters on 17th-and 18th-century opera and the serenata, and is the author of Opera’s Orbit: Musical Drama and the Influence of Opera in Arcadian Rome (Cambridge, 2011). She has served on the Governing Board of the Society of Seventeenth-Century Music, and the Editorial Board of Eighteenth-Century Music. She co-directed the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music at UCSB, was a past co-editor of Cambridge Opera Journal, and a Faculty Fellow in the UCSB Engaging Humanities Program in 2019-2020.
Wednesday, June 21 (4:00-5:30pm): Collaboration
Community, Collaboration, and Care in Practice
Colleen Renihan, John Spilker, Trudi Wright
In light of the toxicities of academic labour during the past few pandemic years (see Plotnikof & Utoft, 2022; Smythe, 2017), specifically the necessitated isolation of our work during this period (Gao & Sai, 2020; Newcomb, 2021), collaboration and community have never been more important. But collaboration is not straightforward in academic culture; in addition to the institutional and disciplinary de-valuing of collaboration in the academy, there are very real challenges of any collaborative work in the humanities.
In this collaborative paper, we will share insights into both the challenging and rewarding aspects of co-designing and co-editing a pedagogy collection (Sound Pedagogy: Radical Care in Music) in our field during such a turbulent period. In the spirit of Carol Gilligan’s ethics of care, we wish to lay bare the details of our collaborative journey, thus resisting the traditional (artificial) distinction between public and private matters, and living through conflict and difference. Ultimately, we argue for collaboration and care as tools of resistance that might counter the continued disconnection, emotional exhaustion, and divisiveness of academic culture.
Then, in extending the conversations that the PSG began together during a Pedagogy Friday conversation in Fall 2022, we will discuss how aspects of collaboration are key to a pedagogy of care. By drawing on specific aspects of our individual teaching practices, we will explore ways that our learnings about collaboration have informed our approaches and tools for teaching in the pandemic years.
Colleen Renihan is Associate Professor and Queen’s National Scholar at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. She has published articles in The Journal of the Society for American Music, Twentieth-Century Music, Music, Sound and the Moving Image, The Journal of Singing, University of Toronto Quarterly and others. She is the author of The Operatic Archive: American Opera as History (2020).
John D. Spilker is an Associate Professor of Music and affiliate faculty in Gender Studies at Nebraska Wesleyan University. He has transformed the study of music history through a transdisciplinary case-study approach that prizes care pedagogy and intersectional equity. His research on dissonant counterpoint and Henry Cowell is published in American Music and the Journal of the Society for American Music.
Trudi Wright is Associate Professor and Director of the Music Program at Regis University (Denver, Colorado) where she investigates and analyzes music history with her students. Her scholarly work and publications focus on teaching and learning techniques, community singing, and the relationship between American labor and musical theater.
Collaborating with Undergraduates on Research, Writing, and Publication
Esther M. Morgan-Ellis, Abigail Cannon, Grey Smith
Undergraduate Research (UR) is a recognized High-Impact Practice, engagement with which has proven to boost success and retention among all students but especially those from “demographic groups historically underserved by higher education” (AAC&U). While UR in the humanities usually takes the form of individual thesis projects, it is also possible to engage a team of students—an entire class, even—in conducting and publishing original research. If such a project is carefully designed, each student can contribute according to their strengths.
In each iteration of a small special-topics class at a regional state university in the Southern Appalachians, students undertake a collaborative research project that culminates in a peer-reviewed publication. Each project is designed by the instructor, who identifies an appropriate research question and methodology in advance. Over the course of the semester, students complete assigned research and writing tasks and participate in frequent class discussions concerning the status and direction of the project. At the end, students select how they want to be credited on the publication—as co-authors, in the acknowledgments, or not at all.
This presentation will incorporate the perspectives of the instructor and two students who participated in the most recent iteration of the project. The instructor will outline two versions of the project, each of which employed research methodologies suited to undergraduate participation. Then the students will reflect on their experience with the most recent project, explaining how the research and writing stages unfolded and detailing their unique contributions and learning outcomes.
Esther M. Morgan-Ellis is associate professor of music history at the University of North Georgia, where she also directs the orchestra and coaches the old-time string band.
Abigail Cannon is a Junior pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Musical Arts with a minor in Appalachian Studies at the University of North Georgia.
Grey Smith is a Junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Appalachian Studies at the University of North Georgia.
Thursday, June 22 (4:00-5:30pm): Texts (1)
Music History Texts in the Modern College Classroom
J. Peter Burkholder, Danielle Fosler-Lussier, Sara Haefeli, Esther M. Morgan-Ellis, Kristy Swift
In this interactive panel discussion, authors of recent and forthcoming texts that engage student learning in music history will explain how their work
- addresses the needs of different populations of learners;
- critiques content, methodologies, and narrative language;
- employs historiographical processes;
- explores how written texts inform, reflect, and respond to pedagogy and performance;
- makes materials accessible;
- narrates people and topics that engages with relevant current transdisciplinary socio-cultural issues concerning ethnicity, gender, labor, race, sexuality, socioeconomics, and social justice;
- puts musicians, musics, and musickings in dialogue with the canon;
- reflects collaboration with colleagues, editors, publishers, reviewers, and students; and
- supports diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Collectively, panelists will propose how written texts are relevant in a post-pandemic world in which compounding levels of information across mediums and platforms are available within seconds. They will explain how their volumes can be used to learn about musicians, musics, and musickings through written language. Employing self-reflection, they will disclose the specific criteria they used to choose from myriad possible subjects. Then, they will address the challenges of narrating music as social practice by acknowledging the ways that their volumes mediate and represent cultural, disciplinary, individual, and their own personal values. Positing ways that students may be empowered by learning about the complexities of telling stories about music through language, panelists will conclude by demonstrating how texts may be used to teach students how to make choices, employ language for storytelling, receive feedback, and solve problems in creative ways.
Individually, each panel member will introduce topics for discussing the place of music texts in the modern classroom. One member will talk about the different backgrounds and interests of current music students in a rapidly diversifying school of music; the needs of each population; and how an approach driven by threshold concepts can serve these needs. One will consider the intricacies of collaborating with colleagues to author a text representing multiple perspectives and voices; share how their volume can be used across class sections; and suggest ways that it grants autonomy to instructors. One will discuss the survey as a metaphor, helping students map the territory of music; their attempts to make their textbooks’ coverage and repertoire more inclusive; the importance of narrative, of telling a story; and making conflicts part of that story, from arguments about taste and value to differing interpretations of history. One will share how a textbook can support a case study approach that is more flexible, critical, and skills-oriented than a traditional lecture-oriented pedagogy as music-historical cases can contain difficult musicological “problems,” play with rich and complex ambiguity, and inspire further student inquiry.
Participants and panelists will dialogue about the benefits and limitations of texts within our information-rich and hyperlinked culture. The discussion will explore the past role of textbooks and the future role that newer texts might have in music history classes, especially as the discipline of ethno/musicology continues to undergo radical change.
J. Peter Burkholder is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Musicology at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and author of the four most recent editions of A History of Western Music and Norton Anthology of Western Music. He has served as President of the American Musicological Society and of the Charles Ives Society, and his scholarship on Charles Ives, modern music, musical borrowing, and music history pedagogy has won numerous awards and has been translated into six languages.
Danielle Fosler-Lussier is Professor of Music and Director of the Imagined Futures Graduate Professional Development Initiative at Ohio State University. Her most recent book, Music on the Move, is freely available online from the University of Michigan Press. Her current project describes the interaction between government and civic groups in building an infrastructure for musical life in the United States. From 2020 to 2022, she served as Vice President of the American Musicological Society.
Sara Haefeli is an associate professor at Ithaca College and has revolutionized the study of music history using a case study approach. She is author of Teaching Music History with Cases: A Teacher’s Guide, co-author of Writing in Music: A Brief Guide, and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Music History Pedagogy. Haefeli’s recent publications also include studies of Caroline Shaw and John Cage.
Esther M. Morgan-Ellis is Associate Professor of Music History at the University of North Georgia, where she also directs the orchestra and coaches the old-time string band. She is editor and lead author of the open-access music appreciation textbook Resonances: Engaging Music in Its Cultural Context. She has contributed a variety of writings to the Journal of Music History Pedagogy and currently serves as Co-Chair of the AMS Pedagogy Study Group. Her musicological research concerns participatory music-making traditions of the past and present.
Kristy Swift is Assistant Professor Educator of Musicology at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Her forthcoming monographs are Thinking About Music History: Textbooks and the Canon and Music History Resources: A Teacher’s Guide. She is currently chair of the Teaching Music History Conference planning committee and a member of the Society for American Music Education Committee.
Friday, June 23 (4:00-4:30pm): Music and Race
Teaching Music and Race: A Social Justice Approach
In the summer of 2020, the U.S. was gripped by a wave of social justice protests in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. Since then, academics in a range of disciplines have searched for new approaches to research and pedagogy, aiming to acknowledge and in some way redress inequities within our subjects.
The work of acknowledging the inherent biases of music as a cultural product began with the “new” musicology of the 1990s, which opened the field to the contributions of women, LGBTQ+ people, and people of color, but did not fundamentally change the pedagogy of music history. In the wake of the social and cultural disruptions of the 21st century, it can be argued that we need deeper pedagogical engagement with the ways in which music is used to both enforce and challenge ethnic and other social divisions.
This presentation will propose one possible approach to these issues. It concerns a course that I developed and taught for the first time in the Spring of 2022, entitled Music and Race. The course incorporates elements from several models of social justice education, including the Intergroup Dialogue Model from The Program on Intergroup Relations of the University of Michigan, and the anti-bias framework of Learning for Justice, a project of the Southern Law Poverty Center. The course uses small group discussions and musical case studies to explore issues of race, ethnicity, identity, justice, and power in cross-cultural perspective. Potential applications for the music history sequence will also be explored.
Born in Mexico City, Mexico, Adriana Martínez holds a PhD in Musicology from the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester. As a specialist primarily in American music, broadly defined, her research and teaching focuses on the role that music—folk, popular, and classical—plays in the formation of national identity in Latin America and the United States. Currently she is preparing a scholarly monograph tentatively entitled Musical Encounters: Music, Politics, and Identity in the United States-Mexico Borderlands, which attempts a comprehensive look at the role of music in the U.S.-Mexico encounter at the borderlands. Dr. Martínez has presented her research at national and international conferences, including those held by AMS, SAM, IMS, and IASPM. She is also an active singer. She is Associate Professor of Music at Eureka College in Eureka, IL, where she teaches music history, music theory, and voice.
Friday, June 23 (4:30-5:30pm): Pedagogy of Writing
Writing as Practice/Writing as Craft: Teaching a Sustainable and Joyful Writing Practice
Julie Anne Nord
Artists need space and time to play in order to create their best work. Alternatively, the pursuit of perfection breeds anxiety, stifling creativity. While music students prepare for the judgment and joys of the “product” of performance, they engage in a scaffolded experience of music making. From daily practice and the pleasure of spontaneous music making, to formalized rehearsals and lessons, musicians play with music—individually and in community—with determination and joy. What if we taught writing this way?
In her 2018 Jigsaw post Kimberly Hieb identifies student writing as among the “most authentic forms of preparation for the ‘real world.’” Citing limited time and resources, she concludes that “every writing assignment must be productive.” While her advice for focused, scaffolded, peer-reviewed assignments is pedagogically sound, I challenge our acceptance of notions of “productivity” over “craft” and the sense of play and practice our students embody in their music making.
I propose we teach writing as an embodied creative process wherein students learn to read as writers (much as they listen as performers) and write vulnerably to listen, personify, and reimagine (Santoro, 2019). Embedding regular writing in our curriculum gives students the “light, air, time, and space” (Sword, 2017) to discover writing not as a product to be evaluated, but as a means of inquiry, knowing, transformation, and community (Santoro; Sword). Playful practice fosters sustainable writing habits, as students develop their craft of articulation and expression. Privileging process over product centers students as people, resisting colonialism, capitalism, and neoliberalism.
Julie Anne Nord is a doctoral candidate at the University of Western Ontario and a Writing & Communication Advisor at the University of Waterloo’s Writing & Communication Centre. Her research, which is supported by a Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship, considers Richard ‘associative orchestration’ as musical expression within his concept of Gesamtkuntswerk. In writing pedagogy, her research focuses on empowering students to develop their own writing voices and healthy, embodied writing practices. Julie holds degrees in musicology and horn performance from McGill University, the University of Victoria, and the University of Michigan, as well as piano pedagogy and horn performance certificates from the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Kinesthetic Activities for Research and Writing
Especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, use of technology in the classroom is ubiquitous. The constant presence of technology comes with many benefits, but also raises questions of how to encourage student engagement and motivation. In search of answers, it is common for teaching and learning discussions to focus on how to boost engagement using digital tools, such as social media platforms, word clouds, QR codes, live polls, and other software that students can easily access using various devices. Taking a different approach, this paper presents kinesthetic activities, which involve tactile and physical movement or manipulation, as another option to engage students and teach threshold skills in the college classroom. These activities were designed to help teach research and writing skills—often uninspiring to students—focusing on finding sources, navigating databases, evaluating source quality, supporting statements with evidence, and structuring a research paper. Working together in partners and small groups, students were highly engaged with their peers; the significantly reduced or complete removal of technology in these activities encouraged communication and contributed to a positive classroom climate. Gamification features motivated students, and the combination of tactile, visual, and some writing helped increase conceptual understanding and retention of threshold, transferable skills. The discussion of each activity will involve a breakdown of preparation time, in-class structure, grading time, and any use of technology. An analysis of perceived outcomes related to skills gained and classroom climate will invite questions and begin discussion.
Elizabeth Massey is an adjunct instructor at Towson University. Her research interests include nationalism and its relationships to religion, gender, and race; performance practice and reception; semiotics and intertextuality; and both historical and current popular music. Massey is an active member and webmaster of the Pedagogy Study Group of the American Musicological Society, and she completed intensive teacher training programs though the Teaching and Learning Transformation Center at the University of Maryland, where she also received a fellowship award for her teaching. Massey earned her Ph.D. in Music from University of Maryland in 2022. She holds a M.M. in Musicology and a M.M. in Bassoon Performance from The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, and a B.A. in music and history from Gettysburg College.
Monday, June 26 (4:00-5:30pm): Creativity and Ungrading
Picturing Music History: Creating Children’s Books in the Classroom
Allison A. Alcorn and Julia Grella O’Connell
In relatively recent years, musicologists have joined the ranks of academics who believe ideas are better when shared; ownership of ideas is less important than positive outcomes for students, and one can take pride in seeing their original idea evolve through the contributions of others. The AMS Pedagogy Study Group Facebook page has played a significant role in facilitating this development and forms the backdrop for this paper, featuring a children’s picture book project that originated with one musicologist posting their book project in the Facebook page, and another musicologist seeing it and utilizing the ideas and structures for a similar project at their own institution. The original idea was a capstone project in which students researched and wrote picture book biographies of black musicians with a connection to central New York State. The next project applied the idea to picture books about symphonic music by historically marginalized composers and added a collaboration with the university’s School of Art for the illustrations as well as an exhibition of the books, title art pieces, and the depicted symphonies. Books were donated to several community partners, thus expanding the assignment to work as a multigenerational teaching tool outside the classroom. This paper will detail both projects as assignments that can help students find their voices in contributing to equity, access, and representation in music, engage in public musicology, and celebrate the positive outcomes of scholarly, pedagogical, and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Allison Alcorn is Professor of Musicology at Illinois State University, where she works with the Honors Program and serves as Director of the ISU Music in the UK study abroad program as well as coordinator of the Music History, Theory, and Composition Area of the School of Music. She is past editor of the Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society and now sits on the Journal’s Editorial Board. She was the 2022 recipient of the ISU Teaching Scholar in Residence in the area of Engagement, working with the role of curiosity in student success and applications to the music history classroom. Her latest research focuses on music and children’s picture books, in both representation of diverse composers in classical music and in the presentation of musical instruments.
Julia Grella O’Connell’s research focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century British and African American music and culture. She has published articles in the Journal of Musicological Research, the Journal of Women and Music, and the Italian-American Review. Her book Sound, Sin, and Conversion in Victorian England won the 2019 Diana McVeigh Prize for Best Book on British Music, and her chapter “British Wagnerism, George Moore, and Popular Print Culture at the End of the Long Nineteenth Century” is forthcoming in Opera and British Print Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century (Clemson University Press, ed. Fuhrmann and Mero). As a mezzo-soprano soloist, she has performed throughout the United States and Europe, and co-founded the research-driven chamber music ensembles the Risorgimento Project and the New York Victorian Consort. She received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and teaches at SUNY Broome.
Want Students to Be More Creative? Stop Grading Them
When students know their work will be evaluated, criticized, and graded, they are far less likely to be creative. Grades seem to be an essential part of the educational system, but they can actually thwart learning goals. Rather than shaping students’ inner growth, grades more likely shape their outer behavior. Instead of encouraging intellectual risk-taking and individuality, grades encourage obedience, compliance, and uniformity. Grades undermine creativity because they 1) create a power differential that undermines a sense of partnership and trust; 2) shape significant disparities between white and minoritized student populations, due to biased normative standards and stereotype threat; and 3) incite anxiety in many students.
Given the evidence that grades are a clear deterrent to creativity, risk taking, and internal motivation, we must find a better way to inspire students to take intellectual and creative risks and to give them meaningful feedback. In this paper, I describe how simply giving students agency over their work inspires creativity. I explain how I use reflection exercises through multiple stages of research and writing projects that allow students to both set goals and ask for meaningful feedback. I also describe how students can assess their own individual work, as well as how they can use self-reflection and peer evaluation as assessment tools for team-based projects. Without the fear of a bad grade from the teacher, students are far more likely to pursue research projects that better reflect their own authentic academic interests and to present their results in more creative ways.
Sara Haefeli is an associate professor at Ithaca College and has revolutionized the study of music history using a case study approach. She is author of Teaching Music History with Cases: A Teacher’s Guide, co-author of Writing in Music: A Brief Guide, and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Music History Pedagogy. Haefeli’s recent publications also include studies of Caroline Shaw and John Cage.
Adventures in Ungrading: The Inside Story
Ungrading is a relatively new buzzword, but the concept of assessing students without using grades has been a topic of academic discussion ever since grades invaded the schooling system between the mid-19th and early 20th centuries. Proponents of going gradeless argue that letters and numbers reduce student learning by prioritizing achieving high marks rather than the learning process itself. By shifting away from the “fixed mindset” of grades to the “growth mindset” of learning, students have more agency over their education and become more invested in the process. Critics say that grades provide a standardized method of communicating proficiency that is meaningful to the students, the instructor, and other relevant parties, such as scholarship programs, employers, or graduate schools.
This presentation begins with a summary of the research on ungrading, which has been touted as an inclusive pedagogical model that particularly benefits those who have been marginalized by the traditional grading system. I will then share my challenges and positive experiences with this practice in online and face-to-face music courses over the past three years and the feedback I have collected from students. I plan to leave ample time for questions and discussion from those curious about the practice. Attendees will depart with a handout of resources they can use to design their own ungrading adventures.
Alisha Nypaver teaches in the Music Studies Department at Temple University. Her primary research interests are in public musicology, pedagogy in higher education, and how music functions in society. Her dissertation explored the phenomenon of teaching music through YouTube and why traditional college professors invite YouTubers into the academic realm to teach their students.
Tuesday, June 27 (4:00-5:30pm): Texts (2)
The Musician in Society: A Post-Disciplinary Framework for the Undergraduate Music Classroom
Blake Howe and Brett Boutwell
A convergence between the methods and objects of historical musicology and ethnomusicology is afoot in scholarship, but stubborn structural barriers inhibit its implementation in the undergraduate classroom. Legacy courses, frequently taught by untenured and contingent faculty, may come saddled with built-in frameworks that stymie efforts at disciplinary boundary crossing. Such is the case with both the area-studies framework that often structures surveys of “world music” and the diachronic one that guides most overviews of western notated music, many of them still misbranded as “music history” in course catalogs. The Musician in Society, a forthcoming textbook from W.W. Norton, aspires to give music scholars of diverse methodological backgrounds a flexible, modular structure for examining the cultural practice of music-making without the limitations of either an explicitly geographical or chronological framework and without a wholly presentist or historicist perspective. In this presentation, the book’s authors (who also teach a course based on this approach) explore its value for the post-disciplinary music classroom.
Each of the book’s chapters examines a role that individuals play vis-à-vis other people in a musical network—for example, the roles of the listener, teacher, instrument maker, performer, disseminator, or patron. Each chapter’s role is explored across eight independent case studies spanning time and place; instructors are free to pick as many or as few as they prefer without compromising the chapter’s pedagogical utility. Taken individually, the case studies offer snapshots of cultural particularity; juxtaposed, they allow instructors to explore cultural difference and similarity in a non-hierarchical, non-tokenistic framework.
Blake Howe is Paula G. Manship Associate Professor of Music at Louisiana State University. His research interests include the music of Franz Schubert, intersections between music and disability, and film music. He has published on these and other topics in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Music Theory Spectrum, The Journal of Musicology, and the Journal of Music History Pedagogy. At LSU, he teaches courses on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century music, film music, performance practice, and German lieder. He also teaches “The Musician in Society,” a course unique to LSU that is required of all of its first-year music majors.
Brett Boutwell is Associate Professor and William F. Swor Alumni Professor of Music at Louisiana State University, where he teaches music history. He was the recipient of a student-nominated, university-wide teaching award for his course American Popular Music, which he developed for the general-education catalog at LSU. His dissertation advisees in the field of musicology are the recipients of grants and prizes from the Institute for International Education, the Southern Chapter of the American Musicological Society, and LSU. His research, mostly on modernist and experimental music since 1945, has appeared in the Journal of the Society for American Music, Modernism/modernity, Contemporary Music Review, American Music, Mitteilungen der Paul Sacher Stiftung, and the Grove Dictionary of American Music. He is the former President of the Southern Chapter of the American Musicological Society.
Teaching with Open Access Musicology
Daniel Barolsky, Louis Epstein, Anna Wittstruck, Trudi Wright
The first issue of Open Access Musicology (OAM) was released in 2020 and the second issue will, by the time of the Teaching Music History Conference, have been published (expected spring 2023). OAM is the first peer and student reviewed open access resource dedicated to providing recent music scholarship to undergraduate students. In particular, essays are written in a style that is accessible to more general audiences and focuses on topics that lead to transferable questions about issues relevant to current students. Moreover, the range of topics encourage the critical evaluation of existing divisions between musical subdisciplines and invite readers to cross between these divisions.
We are presenting a panel discussion that explores how instructors have been using essays from OAM in the classroom (in-person and virtual). In particular, we will explore how instructors integrate individual essays into different course topics or use them to supplement more traditional texts and what unusual or unexpected issues these issues amplify or critique. Additionally, our panelists will examine the process behind and benefits of the student review of submissions, the ways in which students take ownership of the production of knowledge, actively contribute to learning resources, and can reflect on their writing and research through the review process. Furthermore, we will examine in what ways OAM both responds to and influences curricular shifts in music history, addresses rising costs of textbooks at a time when students increasingly struggle to pay for materials, and how the online platform for OAM, fulcrum, responds to the increased need for student accessibility. Panelists will reflect myriad perspectives on OAM’s utility at a range of different institutions and for different class topics. Finally, we will discuss how these OAM fits within and contributes to the constantly changing world of open access publishing. (For a recent assessment, see Scott, Rachel E., and Anne Shelley. “Music Scholars and Open Access Publishing.” Notes 79, no. 2 (2022): 149-178.)
Daniel Barolsky is a Professor of Music at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin and the co-editor and co-founder of Open Access Musicology. When not corralling his three young children, singing in the choir, baking bread, and learning to ride a unicycle, Daniel teaches courses on musical writing, disembodied voices, and music historiography. His recent research examines music history pedagogy and studies in performance and analysis. He is currently working on a project that explores musical mistakes.
Wednesday, June 28 (4:00-5:30pm): Activities and Techniques (1)
Teaching Music Research by the Jigsaw Method
Lynn M. Hooker
The blog of the AMS Pedagogy Study Group calls itself The Jigsaw, after a pedagogical strategy devised to promote cooperation in the classroom. The jigsaw classroom sorts students into small groups, asks them to become experts on an assigned topic, and then re-sorts them into other small groups to share their expertise with their classmates. Thus far, however, the Jigsaw blog has not considered the use of this technique in the music history classroom, and the Journal of Music History Pedagogy has only done so once, in 2012. This presentation demonstrates two uses of the Jigsaw technique in teaching music history research: the introduction of digital research tools and the critical examination of a variety of music notation, as it has appeared in a wide variety of documents from diverse creators and locations. I argue that the structure provided by the jigsaw technique is a powerful tool for illustrating music history as an active process, one where students take ownership of their own learning.
Lynn M. Hooker is a musicologist and ethnomusicologist who studies music, identity, and labor in nineteenth- to twenty-first-century Central Europe, particularly Hungarian and Roma music and musicians. She serves as Associate Professor of Music in Purdue University’s Rueff School of Design, Art, and Performance, where she teaches music history, world music, and introductory writing courses; she was previously on the faculty of Indiana University in Hungarian Studies, Folklore and Ethnomusicology, and Musicology. Her writings on popular, folk, and classical music and modernism, race, and theater have appeared in Musical Quarterly, Ethnomusicology, The Cambridge Companion to Operetta, and Twentieth-Century Music, and her book Redefining Hungarian Music from Liszt to Bartók was published in 2013 by Oxford University Press. Her current project addresses the transformation of Hungary’s “Gypsy music” industry in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
The Value of Role-playing Games
This talk describes the value of using role-playing in teaching aesthetic debates from music history. Each debate is among 4-6 students per group. For example, using a topic such as nationalism and music in a 20th-century music history class, students in each group played the roles of Heitor Villa-Lobos, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Aaron Copland, William Grant Still, and Collin McPhee; wrote a fictional dialogue; and acted it out for the class. The class discussed the historical accuracy and thoughtfulness of each presentation and voted on which group was best. I will present two or three of the numerous possibilities a teacher can use for hypothetical conversations such as those between critics or composers, from varied times and places, and of different backgrounds and ethnicities. The approach draws upon teaching principles from Mark Carnes’s Minds on Fire (2014) and contextualized by Gilbert Highet’s The Art of Teaching (1950).
Dr. Sharon Mirchandani is Professor of Musicology and Chair of the Department of Music Composition, History, and Theory at Westminster Choir College of Rider University where she teaches a wide variety of courses including American Music, American Identity; Music Since 1900; Music and Gender; Music Historiography; Music, Humor, and Ambiguity; Intro. to Musicology; and Optimism in American Musical Theater. Her research focuses on 20th- and 21st-century American music and women composers. She is the author of the biography Marga Richter published by the University of Illinois Press, and articles in Women of Influence in Contemporary Music, Women and Music in America Since 1900, the Grove Dictionary of American Music, Choral Journal, New Historical Anthology of Music by Women, The Hymn, and Journal for the International Alliance for Women in Music.
Teaching Early Music in a Liberal Arts Environment: The Medieval Motet Project
I teach at a very small, all-male liberal arts college in rural Indiana at which very few students major in music. I received my training at a large state school in the conservatory model, and my biggest challenge has been adjusting my courses of Western European music for a class of non-majors. I cannot assume any musical literacy or prior knowledge of Western Art Music. This has positively affected my teaching as I’ve readjusted my curriculum to a liberal arts education. I’m able to frame historical narratives more critically and apply more interdisciplinary approaches. In this presentation I will detail some of the challenges I have encountered in my survey course for European Music Pre-1750, and how I have met those challenges—with varying levels of success—by experimenting with different kinds of assignments and exam metrics.
In the fall 2022 semester I created the “Medieval Motet Project” assignment, in which students chose a tenor from any existing song and then wrote their own original duplum and triplum texts. They also submitted critical notes explaining how their motet texts followed (or departed from) the thirteenth and fourteenth-century motets covered in class. I was very pleased with my students’ creative responses to this assignment; despite not being able to read music, they were able to understand the poetic and cultural impact of the genre. I hope to receive feedback on how I can improve assignments like these and get similar levels of engagement in my other classes.
Mollie Ables is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Wabash College. Her research centers on Baroque Venice, particularly musicians’ networks at sacred institutions. She works with network visualization and other Digital Humanities platforms, which are outlined on her website: musiciansinvenice.com
Archival Work in a Small-College Setting: A Wartburg College Case Study
Molly C. Doran
In my capstone course for music majors at Wartburg College, students spent a week enjoying experiential learning in the Wartburg archives. A small college located in rural Iowa, Wartburg has limited archival materials. The collection includes numerous items related to the history of the music department, however, and invites projects centered on institutional history that can provide meaningful learning experiences. Students dug into materials related to their favorite ensembles and learned about not only the history of Wartburg’s musical groups and how they have changed over time but also how the collection reflects an active process related to institutional identity. Our archival work stimulated conversations about the relationship among ensembles, college culture, and institutional identity and politics. Students related questions about the ensembles and their documentation to broader concepts of historiography; these questions will become the starting points for a music ethnography project about an ensemble of their choice.
Molly C. Doran is Assistant Professor of Music at Wartburg College, where she teaches musicology and piano. Her current research examines issues of ethics, trauma, performance, and gender in twenty-first-century opera productions. In her dissertation, completed in 2021, she examines representations of women’s suffering in nineteenth-century French opera, combining critical analytical approaches from musicology, performance studies, and trauma studies, to demonstrate how operatic performance today can signify forms of witness bearing. She regularly presents at internationally recognized conferences and recently published an article on maternal trauma in productions of Gounod’s Faust in Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture. She has a number of other projects in progress. Her work has been supported by numerous awards, including a prestigious Chateaubriand Fellowship to support research in Paris. Molly currently lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa with her husband Nathan and her children Vivienne and Jack.
Thursday, June 29 (4:00-5:45pm): Challenging Academic Paradigms
Lil Nas X as Romantic? Toward Culturally-Responsive Music Electives
Within the core curriculum of the liberal arts, aesthetic appreciation has a whiteness problem. Subject-based Western music electives, taken primarily by non-music majors to fulfill a fine arts requirement, remain bastions of hermetic study that perpetuate fallacies of art’s autonomy from gender, race, and culture. While calls to decanonize and decolonize music studies by dismantling the history-sequence paradigm have yielded curricular reform for the music major, the question remains: what does critical work look like for music classes outside the major? Can we move past what Virgil Thomson called the “music appreciation racket”?
This paper takes up Alejandro L. Madrid’s call to develop critical, not additive, “transhistorical” teaching approaches, applied to core-curriculum courses. Using the example of a course I teach called “Romanticism in Music,” I explore ways to integrate culturally-responsive pedagogical structures and content into subject-based electives. Having divested from canonical content acquisition and chronological surveys, I select case studies that center gender- and racially-marginalized musical contributors, and that frame aesthetic, cultural, and philosophical concepts of Romanticism through representation and relevance. I incorporate anti-racist, democratic classroom practices and question-based learning by prioritizing small-group work, student-led discussions and reflection, and opportunities for students to bring forward musical examples that connect to class topics. Building on work by Sara Haefeli, Louis Epstein, Melanie Lowe, Julia Chybowski, Loren Kajikawa, and Margaret Walker, I argue that musicology within undergraduate curriculum become a place for students to ask questions of their relationship to music and to the world around them – regardless of their major.
Anna Wittstruck is Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Orchestra, at University of Puget Sound, where, in addition to conducting the orchestra, she teaches any course she’s asked to teach (so far: musicology, music theory, conducting, and an interdisciplinary writing seminar). She also directs the West Seattle Symphony Orchestra. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Princeton University with certificates in orchestral conducting and creative writing, and her PhD in musicology from Stanford University, where she wrote her dissertation on neoclassicism in interwar music-dance collaborations. Before moving to the Pacific Northwest, she spent two years as Stanford’s Interim Director of Orchestral Studies, conducting the Stanford Symphony Orchestra and Stanford Philharmonia, and teaching music history and conducting. Her research on gender and embodiment, which she has presented on at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society, is forthcoming in Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture.
Teaching Hip Hop: The Conclusion of Respectability in the Classroom?
Academia, and the humanities in particular, is pushing diversity initiatives, specifically through calls to include Afro-diasporic and hip hop culture in the curriculum. As a non-Black woman of color who has benefited from this particular attempt towards diversity, I wrestle with the problem of teaching disrespectability politics in an institution of respectability, namely, teaching college courses on hip hop and its “ratchet” discourse and politics of irreverence (Chepp 2015). In exploring this topic through the medium of a conference paper, I use the phenomenological approach of Frantz Fanon (1952), bell hooks (1992) and Jennifer Nash (2014), as well as my own personal experience as an educator, to ask such questions as: Is the act of teaching disrespectability in an institution of respectability a colonial act? Is theorizing disrespectability an act of concluding, assuming a post-respectability politics reality? Does placing hip hop into a syllabus and confining it to theoretical frameworks quicken hip hop culture’s conclusion? In asking these and other questions, I hope to uncover the complicated, and potentially problematic nature of teaching Black popular culture, specifically American hip hop, in institutions of higher education.
Larissa earned a PhD in Musicology from the University of Pittsburgh in the spring of 2022 and in the fall of 2022 joined the Music and Africana studies faculty at Gettysburg College. Her specialty areas include queer theory and the musical film, Black feminist theory and North American popular music, and opera in the era of MeToo. She has been published in Women and Music, Lateral, Notes, and the Ethnomusicology Review. Her book, Fragmented Identities: Alter Egos in American Pop and Hip Hop, theorizes how pop and hip hop artists become critical interpreters of the politicized affects surrounding contemporary electoral politics when performing through their alter egos. Her book is under advanced contract with the University Press of Mississippi. She is a two-time awardee of the Andrew W. Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship and her work on Janelle Monáe was awarded the 2021 Randy Martin Prize by the Cultural Studies Association.
Borrowing Their Glasses and Standing in Their Shoes
Diversity and inclusion take on new meanings when teaching a class full of students from different parts of the world. What happens when you have a group of students with no majority nationality or race? What are the challenges they face? What might they teach their classmates and professor? Assumptions about students’ backgrounds or skill sets are bound to be proven wrong, and diversifying the topics of study may be met with gratitude even when no complaints were voiced. Listening to international students’ perspectives and experimenting with creative assignments can lead to surprising conclusions and enriching directions of study.
Karin Thompson completed her PhD in musicology from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is an associate professor of music at Andrews University where she teaches courses in music history. She has lived in various places in the United States and abroad that have further stimulated her interest in languages, culture, and interdisciplinary studies in the humanities. Her research interests include early music performance practice, topics pertaining to immigrant communities, and studies involving the visual arts.
How to Teach Music Copyright Without a Legal Issues Course
Katherine M. Leo
From Led Zeppelin to Dua Lipa, recent high-profile music copyright lawsuits have proven that legal awareness is critical to the artistic and professional success of twenty-first-century musicians. While university music programs across the U.S. offer legal issues courses, several institutions remain committed to other curricular initiatives; their degree programs are already filled with other essential skills and knowledge; or current faculty believe they lack necessary expertise to deliver such courses. Among programs that address legal issues involving intellectual property, courses are often required only for certain majors and the content is isolated from core musicianship sequences. Without creating another course and inflating degree requirements, how might all music majors engage copyright?
This presentation proposes three solutions to incorporating copyright into undergraduate musicology courses common across music majors. Framed according to sources and modes of discussing copyright, it proposes three separate lesson designs: on evidence and transcription in forensic analysis; on authorship, borrowing, and creative process; and on copyright duration and orphan works. Each lesson is paired with practical bibliography aimed to provide an undergraduate-level introduction to foundational copyright concepts and issues as they intersect with musicological inquiry. In each example, students actively engage a variety of documents and hone their critical thinking skills by identifying core values and developing well-reasoned assertions about musical analysis, creative process, and public policy. As a result, any music major can acquire frames for interpreting copyright and understanding its place in music industries while cultivating their own positions in relation to music as intellectual property.
Katherine M. Leo, PhD., J.D. is assistant professor of music at Millikin University, where she teaches a variety of courses in western music history, ethnomusicology, and music copyright. Dr. Leo’s research investigates US music and legal histories, with emphases on matters of authorship and originality as well as musical style and similarity in federal copyright law. This research is most notably featured in her monograph, Forensic Musicology and the Blurred Lines of Federal Copyright History (Lexington 2021). As a music industry historian and specialist in early-twentieth-century popular musics, Dr. Leo also writes and presents on topics such as the US piano roll industry, Duke Ellington, the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, and Paul Whiteman. Dr. Leo also serves as a forensic musicologist in copyright infringement matters.
Friday, June 30 (3:30-5:45pm): Activities and Techniques (2)
OER Teaching Repositories as Supplement to Graduate Pedagogy Training
Samuel Teeple and Madison Schindele
As demonstrated by recent high-profile labor actions across US universities, graduate students provide a growing amount of essential teaching labor. Too often, however, first-time instructors report feeling unprepared for entering the classroom as independent instructors. Recently, musicologists have argued for coursework in music history pedagogy as a necessary addition to graduate training (Knyt 2016, Granade 2018). As graduate student instructors, however, we experienced a gap between our preparatory training and the labor demands of the classroom. While most pedagogy courses have students create syllabuses and practice lecturing, first-time instructors are also required to produce dozens of teaching materials their first semester, like slides, activities, tests, and assignments.
In this paper, we offer our solution to this issue: the GC Music Teaching Hub, an online repository of OER teaching materials created by and for graduate students. Built on the WordPress platform, the Teaching Hub hosts student-designed documents made publicly accessible through a Creative Commons license. Although this began as a student-led project, the Teaching Hub is now directly incorporated into extant departmental training. By hosting a public-facing space in which new instructors can share their own teaching materials and access the work of others, graduate departments can ease the transition into classroom teaching, promote familiarity with open access principles, and offer students a pathway to publish their pedagogical output as a corollary to research. After two years, we have experienced a shift in how we discuss and conceptualize teaching as graduate students, from individualized pursuit to collective concern.
Samuel Teeple is a musicologist whose research focuses on the relationship between music and German national identity at the turn of the nineteenth century, with special attention to questions of race, gender, and class. As a PhD candidate in historical musicology at the Graduate Center, he is currently writing a dissertation entitled “Jewish Berlin and the Musical Formation of Germanness, 1780–1830.” Prior to arriving at CUNY, Teeple earned two master’s degrees in music history and tuba performance at Bowling Green State University and a bachelor’s degree in tuba performance at Eastern Michigan University. He also teaches as an Adjunct Instructor of Musicology at the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College and serves on the development team of the GC Music Teaching Hub, an online repository of open educational resources developed by graduate student instructors within CUNY music classrooms.
Madison Schindele (she/her) is a doctoral student in Musicology at the Graduate Center and an adjunct lecturer at Queens College. Her research centers on German opera and art song through lenses of cultural disability studies and feminist theory. She is pursuing a certificate in Women and Gender Studies while at the Graduate Center and holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Goldsmiths, University of London.
A Case Study in Achieving Learning Objectives by Replacing Traditional Listening Activities with Interactive Listening and Authentic Assessment
In this talk, I discuss and demonstrate my working solution to teaching critical listening and writing in the music history survey using interactive listening activities and authentic assessment in lieu of traditional listening assignments and quizzes.
Using the tool “FeedbackFruits,” available on my institution’s LMS, I have replaced assigned listenings with interactive listening activities. Students follow a video of a recording plus score with annotations that stops at key points to ask questions that measure students’ comprehension. With their responses, my tutors (i.e., TAs) and I can better plan class activities based on how well students have understood the objectives of the listening.
I reinforce the historical concepts behind the listening through authentic assessment. Thrice in the semester, I select a piece that we have not studied but exemplifies key concepts from class. I then provide students with a prompt to compose a program note that discusses how the piece relates to the relevant concept from class. They thus identify and apply concepts from class to a new piece, while writing in an accessible and realistic format.
This approach allows students to actively engage with listening, master key concepts (both technical and cultural), and engage in authentic assessment. It also allows for more detailed and engaged class discussions, as students are better prepared for class, and it enables me to expand and diversify the repertoire we cover. I hope this approach might inspire other teachers and to receive feedback on how to continue to refine this approach.
John Gabriel is a Lecturer in Musicology at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne, where he teaches the nineteenth century music history survey and a wide range of electives on music broadly defined in relation to gender, politics, and global cultural entanglements, including the recent newly-designed class, “China in the Western Musical Imaginary” which spanned topics from the late Middle Ages to today, genres including art, religious, and popular music, and concluded by challenging the West-China dichotomy through the lens of the global history of music. He has previously taught at the University of Hong Kong and the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. Outside the classroom, his research focuses on German and Czech speaking Central Europe from the fin-de-siecle to the early Cold War.
Experiential Learning: Discussion Questions that Direct
Creating engaging discussion questions is an important part in students directing their own learning. It enables them to take ownership over the materials presented and make their own connections to their already established knowledge. Designing the best discussion questions can, however, be difficult because the instructor may be too directed or leading in their questioning to allow for this individuation.
A useful theory for designing questions is the experiential learning cycle. For this teaching demonstration, I will be using the 5-stage model developed by Pfeiffer, J.S. and J.E. Jones. Beginning with an experience, questioning follows a systematic path from 1) sharing thoughts about the experience, 2) interpreting what the experience could mean, 3) generalizing that interpretation to other topics or issues, and 4) applying this generalization to other topics or issues. To demonstrate this, I will be modeling a lesson from my music appreciation class where I have students listen to musical works that may challenge their current listening patterns or experience. Focusing on 4’33’’ by John Cage, I will lead a discussion group through the experiential learning cycle with appropriate questions for each stage of the cycle. Due to the experiential learning cycle, students are often able to connect the ‘silence’ of Cage’s piece to a variety of other practices, musical works, and aesthetic concepts. After this, I then present the current literature, allowing them to enter into it with their own thoughts and intuitions to differentiate between arguments that are convincing or unconvincing.
Christopher Culp (he/him) is currently an adjunct professor at D’Youville University teaching Intro to Music and Musical Theater courses. He also works full-time in training the HIV prevention/care workforce in CDC Effective Interventions. As if that wasn’t enough, he also teaches clarinet lessons to all ages. He has always been interested in teaching as a collaborative process—he just never decided on what topic(s) he would teach.