Problem-Solving Pedagogy: A Foundation for Restructuring, Updating, and Improving Undergraduate Theory and Musicianship Curricula
Author(s)Simonelli, Michael T
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AbstractThe goal of this thesis is to provide the ideological and practical foundation for an improved approach to undergraduate theory and musicianship pedagogy. I will discuss the structure of conventional theory programs and explore problems inherent to traditional curriculum design. Problem-solving pedagogy, an approach rooted in creative composition and improvisation, will be presented as a complement to traditional theory pedagogy. Balancing problem-solving pedagogy with a more traditional pedagogical approach will provide a practical foundation for improving undergraduate theory and musicianship curricula.
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TUTTI! - Music Composition as DialogueMichael Coghlan; Nathalie Dupuis-Desormeaux (2018-05-28)As an engineer, when I could not comprehend a physical phenomenon, I turned to mathematics. As a mathematician, when I could not link sciences to humanity, I turned to music. As a music composer, I no longer see things, I see others. The novel method of music composition presented herein is a first comprehensive framework, system and architectonic template relying on the ideologies of Mikhail Bakhtin's dialogism as well as on research in auditory perception and cognition to create music dialogue as a means of including and engaging participants in musical communication. Beyond immediate artistic intent, I strive to compose music that fosters inclusiveness and collaboration as a relational social gesture in hope that it might incite people and society to embrace their differences and collaborate with the 'others' around them. After probing aesthetics, communication studies and sociology, I argue that dialogism reveals itself well-suited to the aims of the current research. With dialogism as a guiding philosophy, the chapters then look at the relationship between music and language, perception as authorship, intertextuality, the interplay of imagination and understanding, means of arousal in music, mimesis, motion in music and rhythmic entrainment. Employing findings from Gestalt psychology, psychoacoustics, auditory scene analysis, cognition and psychology of expectation, the remaining chapters propose a cognitively informed polyphonic music composition method capable of reproducing the different constituents of dialogic communication by creating and organizing melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and structural elements. Music theory and principles of orchestration then move to music composition as examples demonstrate how dialogue scored between voice-parts provides opportunities for performers to interact with each other and, consequently, engage listeners experiencing the collaboration. As dialogue can be identified in various works, I postulate that the presented Dialogical Music Composition Method can also serve as a method of music analysis. This personal method of composition also supplies tools that other musicians can opt to employ when endeavouring to build balanced dialogue in music. If visibility is key to identity, then composing music that potentially enters into dialogue which each and every voice promotes 'humanity' through inclusivity, yielding a united Tutti !
Music and Healing: Progress Towards ElysiumCoghlan, Michael; Wilson, Catherine Elizabeth (2017-07-26)This dissertation explores some of the many roles music, as a healing and nurturing art, plays in support of health and wellness. The fundamental question is how does music nurture, revive, animate, and inspire us to lead healthier and richer lives? Historical and modern sources, ranging from ancient philosophical works to reports of laboratory-based investigations, suggests that music is a remarkably positive and therapeutic element in the development of happier, healthier individuals, and well-adjusted societies. This study is the outcome of three deeply personal impulses: a) the experience of one who has personally benefited from music as a healing balm; b) the performer's desire to better understand the positive reactions, both emotional and physical, of audiences to specific musical selections and genres; and c) growing evidence that society is weakened and dulled (nor can foot feel, being shod) by the loss of the collective experience of live music due to the proliferation of digital technologies that facilitate access to a complexity of recorded music choices. There is compelling scientific documentation that experience listening to and creating live music when very young is especially beneficial. If the positive seeds of music are not planted in youth, the continued disintegration of the long-standing cultural musical institutions that serve a vital role in maintaining the social fabric is threatened.
The dissertation documents the authors own response to the diminution of opportunities for participation in live music: the establishment of Euterpe, a non-profit
charitable organization that presents live interactive classical and jazz performance programs for children in the public school system. The work is captured and analyzed in several ways: video recordings; art work produced by the children during Euterpe programs, and analysis extracted from previously published Qualitative Research Studies which were designed by leading scientific researchers in the field.