Melody

Melody

Photo by MD Duran on Unsplash

For Week 3 of Analytical Techniques, we added the layer of melody to our analysis. The lecture modules described this layer as the reverse of the process we did in Week 2 with Form and Structure—concentrating on the surface level rather than reducing it. We began by looking at the melody Bach used in the fourth movement of his Partita No. 1 in Bb (BWV 825). The Application looked at the fifth movement of Bach’s Cello Suite No.1 In G major, BWV 1007. For the discussion, we read an article analyzing the Presto from Bach’s Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001. The Assignment was to analyze and compose a bass line for the Sarabande from Bach’s Partita in A minor for Solo Flute, BWV 1013.

Read More

Form and Structure

Form and Structure

Photo by Alain Pham on Unsplash

Week 2 of Analytical Techniques, Boston’s first graduate music theory course, uses Schenkerian analysis to look at the layers of form and structure of a piece of music. The lecture modules discussed surface design and how to look for changes within the design using musical character, texture, form, and other subtle clues. Examples from the lecture included Mozart’s Fantasia in C minor, K. 475, an excerpt from Hildegard von Bingen's Ordo Virtutum, Bach’s Prelude in C major from The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Presto from Mozart’s Violin Sonata, K. 526, and Beethoven’s Bagatelle, Op. 126, No. 1. Our discussion board post asked us specific questions about Felix Salzer’s analysis of Mozart’s Fantasia in C minor, K. 475. The Application assignment looked at the construction of Hugo Wolf’s Das verlassene Mägdlein. Finally, our assignment was to analyze the first movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, "Pathétique" for structure and some Roman numeral analysis.

Read More

Harmony

Harmony

Photo by Marius Masalar on Unsplash

For Week 1 of Analytical Techniques, we reviewed analysis of harmony. Concepts covered included: types of chords occurring in tonal music, functions of chords, non-harmonic tones, expressive corrections, the Neapolitan 6th chord, augmented 6th chords, common-tone diminished 7th chords, and chromatic third relationships. On Thursday (March 21) night, we had our first optional Live Classroom in which the instructor walked us through our first application. By Friday, we had to submit a discussion board post. On Saturday, we had our second weekly optional Live Classroom answering questions about our assignment which was due Monday, March 25.

Read More

Analytical Techniques I — Graduate Music Theory at Boston University

Analytical Techniques I — Graduate Music Theory at Boston University

Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash

For the Spring II 2019 term of my doctoral program, I am taking MT600: Analytical Techniques, the required graduate music theory course. Prior to taking this course, students either have to (a) pass a Music Theory Proficiency Exam, or (b) take MT400: Graduate Theory Review, a remedial theory course that does not count towards the 48 required credits. The rest of this post will detail the Proficiency Exam and MT400 but mostly focus on the structure of the MT600 course.

Read More

The Book of Learning and Forgetting

The Book of Learning and Forgetting

In this “Spring Break” between my Psychology & Sociology and Music Theory courses, I decided to read a book recommended to me by my friend, Nick Covington, Frank Smith’s The Book of Learning and Forgetting. Frank Smith is an internationally recognized psycholinguist (a social scientist studying the connection between psychology and linguistics) who founded the whole language approach for reading instruction with Kenneth S. Goodman. In The Book of Learning and Forgetting, Smith traces the history of our current educational paradigm by looking at learning theories.

Read More

Applications of Psychological and Sociological Research

Applications of Psychological and Sociological Research

Photo by Josue Isai Ramos Figueroa on Unsplash

For the final week of our Psychology & Sociology class, we were mostly given the time to write our final paper. There were no assigned readings, just a Live Lecture on the topics covered this term and a Live Classroom to discuss the applications in our classroom of the prompt for our paper. The main thrust of the paper is discussing one or more of the psychological/sociological concepts from the course and how it might reconceptualize our pedagogy. The first concept that came to my mind was self-determination theory from Week 4: Identity, Community, and Music Making, but I also thought about digging more into constructionism, the theoretical framework I used in my research proposal for our Introduction to Research class. I ended up settling on constructionism, but I plan on reading more into self-determination theory during my “Spring Break” next week.

Read More

Critical Theory and Critical Pedagogy

Critical Theory and Critical Pedagogy

Photo by Headway on Unsplash

For Week 6 of our Psychology and Sociology class, we discussed the topics of Critical Theory and Critical Pedagogy. Critical Theory “is the reflective assessment and critique of society and culture by applying knowledge from the social sciences and the humanities” (Wikipedia). It draws on the works of Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, and the Frankfurt School of social theory. Critical Pedagogy applies critical theory to education, and began with Paulo Freire’s book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed. For this week, we had to choose between reading Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed or Michael Apple’s Official Knowledge: Democratic Education in a Conservative Age. We were also assigned a few journal articles, a reading response, and a paper.

Read More

Race, Ethnicity, and Gender

Race, Ethnicity, and Gender

Photo by Brittani Burns on Unsplash

Week 5 of my Psychology and Sociology in Music Education class focused on issues of race, ethnicity, and gender in music education. Similar to my thoughts on motivation and identity limiting participation in music in secondary schools from last week, there are issues related to race, ethnicity, and gender that prevent students from participating in music. Our readings were divided into two groups: race & ethnicity and gender. We also had a Live Classroom in addition to our weekly Reading Response.

Read More

Identity, Community, and Music Making

Identity, Community, and Music Making

Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

This post started out much differently than it looks now. I began writing something that would look more like Week 1, Week 2, or Week 3 of my Psychology and Sociology in Music Education class, but as I kept reading and writing, I wanted to be able to tell you more about what I was thinking and less within the confines of the reading response and the paper. I’ll leave you with some of that first, traditional draft, but then transition to something that better fits what I wanted to write.

Week 4 began looking at education and music education through a sociological lens. This week we specifically looked at identity, community, and music making. We dove into another of our main texts, Sociology for Music Teachers: Practical Applications. then looked at Identity, Music, Schools, and Community. We also had a reading response and a paper due this week.

Read More

Motivation and Creativity

Motivation and Creativity

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

Week 3 of our Psychology and Sociology in Music Education course looked at the concepts of motivation and creativity. We had another slough of readings (from which I learned a great deal!) with a required reading response as well as our second Live Classroom. I’ll discuss a bit of my learning and the implications from the reading in the post below.

Read More

Musical Development

Musical Development

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

For the second week of our Psychology and Sociology in Music Education course, we looked at how the theories we discussed in Week 1 can be applied specifically in music. The readings and lectures sought to address three important questions:

  1. How can we apply developmental theories to music teaching and learning?

  2. What is intelligence? What is talent?

  3. How does an individual's musical ability develop? What is ability? Can we measure ability? What about achievement?

Read More

Psychological Theories in Education

Psychological Theories in Education

Photo by The Roaming Platypus on Unsplash

For Week 1 of Psychology and Sociology in Music Education: Perspectives and Applications, we began reading several chapters from Developmental and Educational Psychology for Teachers: An Applied Approach. These chapters gave us a broad overview of the text; psychological research; theories of cognitive development from Piaget, Vygotsky, and Bruner; and theories of personal and social development from Freud, Erickson, Rogers, Maslow, and Marcia. We also had our first Live Classroom, and we were required to write a response to our readings.

Read More

Psychology and Sociology in Music Education: Perspectives and Applications

Psychology and Sociology in Music Education: Perspectives and Applications

Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash

Today is the first day of the Spring I 2019 term of my doctoral program, and I am beginning a class entitled Psychology and Sociology in Music Education: Perspectives and Applications with Dr. Ronald Kos. I am especially interested after doing some preliminary reading and having conversations about cognitive load theory with my friend and colleague, Nick Covington. It looks like I’m going to have a lot of reading to do these next seven weeks!

Read More

Teaching as a Subversive Activity

Teaching as a Subversive Activity

Over the break between my Fall II 2018 and Spring I 2019 terms in my doctoral program, I have been reading Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner’s Teaching as a Subversive Activity. Postman’s writings were heavily featured in Timeless Learning, a book on rethinking schools as maker-spaces I read between my Fall 1 and Fall 2 2018 terms. Many of the concepts raised by Postman and Weingartner have also arisen in conversations with colleagues and progressive educators. This post will serve mostly as a summary of major points from the book with a little reflection throughout.

Read More

Boston University's Online Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education

Boston University's Online Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education

This year, I began Boston University’s online program for a Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education. This came as a result of our move to Virginia for my wife’s position as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at the University of Virginia. I previously taught for 5 years at Centennial High School in Ankeny, Iowa and 3 years at West High School in Waterloo, Iowa. I hold a Bachelors of Music Education from Iowa State University and a Masters of Music Education from VanderCook College of Music. When we first moved to Virginia in June, there were not any music education positions near the Charlottesville area. The University of Virginia was not able to offer me any positions due to my not holding a doctoral degree. I began thinking, what else would I like to do besides teach high school band? I think I would like to work with future music educators.

Read More

2018 in Review

2018 in Review

Photo by Steven VanDesande Jr on Unsplash

This was a hell of a year for my wife and I! Chloe and I started a new adventure in Virginia: buying a house, starting a tenure track position in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at the University of Virginia, going back to substitute teaching, and beginning a DMA in Music Education through Boston University! This post is a look back at what I wrote on the blog in 2018 as well as a reflection on my own learning and experiences over the year.

Read More

Research Traditions Overview

Research Traditions Overview

Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

The final unit for our Introduction to Music Education Research course asks us to consider six different studies related to our Unit 2 Research Proposal to build an annotated bibliography and a critique. In some of the course modules, it seems there is some ambiguity in regards to the order of assignments in previous versions of this course. In a previous year, the annotated bibliography and critique may have occurred before the research proposal. Regardless, this unit is framed within the context of The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, 1965), its most recent revisions more commonly known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB, 2001) and the Every Student Succeeds Acts (ESSA, 2015), and what our professors are calling the research ecosystem.

Read More

Note Taking Applications

Note Taking Applications

Recently in my Introduction to Music Education Research class, we were asked to write a research proposal by identifying a gap in the current scholarly literature for our research topic. Throughout my doctoral program, I have been using Mendeley to curate my readings. During my masters program, several of us used Zotero for similar purposes. Both have plugins for browsers and word processors for saving and citing research, respectively. For the purposes of writing my masters project and this proposal, I wanted a note taking application that I could use to visually organize my thinking. During my masters program, I did it all on index cards similar to the pictures below. Wanting a digital solution, I turned to social media:

Read More

Maker-Centered Music

Maker-Centered Music

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

For Unit 2 (November 13-26) of our Introduction to Music Education Research course, we designed an introduction to a music education research study we might want to conduct. This developed out of the process outlined in The Craft of Research, an excellent book on conducting and writing about research. Where the texts from Unit 1 (A Rulebook for Arguments and Zen in the Art of Writing) laid out structures for supporting a conclusion and provided inspiration for writing in an engaging way, The Craft of Research guides the reader through the process of selecting a research topic, developing research questions, discovering sources to help answer those questions, and much more. Unit 2 only covers the first six chapters of the text, as we are only proposing a study, not actually conducting research.

Read More

Reflection: VMEA 2018

Reflection: VMEA 2018

This past week was the Virginia Music Educators Association Conference at the Omni Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia. It was a great opportunity to meet band, orchestra, choir, and general music teachers in Virginia as well as attend some excellent clinics over three days at a mountain resort! This post is meant to be a reflection of what I learned and experienced while at the conference.

Read More