Form and Structure

Form and Structure

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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.

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Harmony

Harmony

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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.

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Analytical Techniques I — Graduate Music Theory at Boston University

Analytical Techniques I — Graduate Music Theory at Boston University

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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.

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Applications of Psychological and Sociological Research

Applications of Psychological and Sociological Research

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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.

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Critical Theory and Critical Pedagogy

Critical Theory and Critical Pedagogy

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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.

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Race, Ethnicity, and Gender

Race, Ethnicity, and Gender

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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.

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Identity, Community, and Music Making

Identity, Community, and Music Making

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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.

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Motivation and Creativity

Motivation and Creativity

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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.

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Musical Development

Musical Development

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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?

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Psychological Theories in Education

Psychological Theories in Education

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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.

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Psychology and Sociology in Music Education: Perspectives and Applications

Psychology and Sociology in Music Education: Perspectives and Applications

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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!

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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.

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2018 in Review

2018 in Review

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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.

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Research Traditions Overview

Research Traditions Overview

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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.

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Maker-Centered Music

Maker-Centered Music

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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.

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Argument

Argument

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For my Fall II 2018 course in my doctoral program, I am taking Introduction to Music Education Research. For our first unit, we looked at the structure of good argument. Specifically, we were asked to read two books (A Rulebook for Arguments and Zen and the Art of Writing) and two journal articles (Performance Stress and the Very Young Musician and “Knowing Their World”: Urban Choral Music Educators’ Knowledge of Context). Our assignment over this two week period was to analyze the “Knowing Their World” article in the context of the rules put forth in A Rulebook for Arguments. The online modules provided a sample analysis of the Performance Stress article, and our professor paired us up to exchange rough drafts of our analyses. Here is the prompt:

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Introduction to Music Education Research

Introduction to Music Education Research

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Yesterday (Tuesday, October 30), was the first day of my second doctoral course, Introduction to Music Education Research. Unlike my previous course, Foundations of Music Education I: Philosophy and History, this course is structured in three broad units that each have a project to complete by a certain deadline. FME1 had a set of readings and discussions due each week with Live Classrooms and papers sprinkled throughout the term. This blog post will serve as an overview of the course.

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Putting It All Together and Moving Forward

Putting It All Together and Moving Forward

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For our final week of this course, our articles focused on the changes music education scholars believe we need to see moving forward. Our discussion board also focused around the idea of changes we believe need to happen in music education. Finally, we also had to complete a paper, which I will post separately, analyzing our current teaching practices in light of what we have learned in this course.

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Ethics and Music Education

Ethics and Music Education

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When I first read the title for this week, I thought we would be continuing down the path of Week 4 and Week 5 with social justice issues. Instead, we looked more at the “why” of music education. Why do we teach the things we do? Why do we teach in the ways that we do? How might the what and how we teach be excluding other students? There were points raised in some of our early readings this week (Jorgensen and Mantie & Tucker) that really resonated with me, but left me with some unresolved internal conflicts about my own philosophies of music education. Both of Regelski’s articles helped to clarify some of my thinking around those points, which you can read about below.

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