Augustana Center for Teaching and Learning
Pedagogy in the Classroom: A Musicians Perspective
One of the unique aspects of my position here at Augustana College is that I teach private lessons, in a one-on-one atmosphere, as well as in the classroom, to twenty or more students. I find myself consistently juggling teaching strategies for both areas. I am always happy when I find a technique that translates well between the two. One of those teaching techniques is the analysis of performances in popular culture.
In voice lessons, vocal pedagogy class, and even Music: The Art of Listening, students are confronted with HOW music is performed. They may make analysis of each performance using different tools, but they must encounter performance before they can do so. In the past I have relied on recordings and DVD’s to facilitate such encounters, but recently I connected to the incredible power of YouTube! Yes, this vehicle of expression and dissemination in popular culture is having a positive impact on how I get students to analyze performance. They can analyze more comprehensively when they hear AND see musical performances. The ability to layer understandings by contemplating the setting, content, and techniques of performance adds depth to student inquiry. The connections they make to what they are studying and how it plays out in contemporary society are made more quickly also. Comparison with traditional recordings (audio and visual) serves to broaden the scope of analysis and leads to better retention of information.
Many may be wary of using aspects of popular culture to introduce or analyze techniques that require grounding in academic understandings, but I find that my students are more receptive and retain such understandings when the information is presented in such a varied form. While we must always be careful to filter the information the internet can provide about topics in our varied disciplines, we should not be afraid to use it creatively and effectively.
Sangeetha Rayapati – Department of Music
Reading Group: Feminism and Composition
Wednesday, March 19, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
In honor of Women’s History Month, this reading group invites discussion of the differences in the ways men and women write. Do differences exist, and if so, what are these differences, and what might account for them? Are some kinds of writing better suited to women than to men and vice versa? What kinds of writing should we teach and why? Can the writing classroom help students find their true voices while also equipping them to succeed?
Seminal essays in feminist composition theory by Mary P. Hiatt, Joan Bolker, and Susan Jarrett offer lenses through which to consider the gender politics at play in our own writing classrooms.
Please read the essays found on the ACTL Moodle site under “Reading Groups” in preparation for this session.
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