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Faculty Summer Institute 2014
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Tuesday, May 20 • 9:00am - 9:50am
Embodying Music of Slaves: An Experiential Approach Towards Black Music Performance

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Music educators and performance scholars have long established the importance of incorporating a hands-on approach into the teaching process. Experiential method can help students to gain in-depth understanding of concepts. Additionally, it helps to develop their ability to understand and speak articulately about the concept, instill passion for learning, confidence, and improve self-esteem. In my music classes, I engage my students in a holistic approach in which theory and practice weave through and around each another. Students sing, dance, play games, and complete assignments that are challenging and transforming. My music classroom is live! | In the Fall 2009, I designed a project for my Black Music I (MUS 153) class. The assignment requires students to research and study the life of an enslaved African in the United States of America, Brazil, or Haiti, then bring that character to life through a 2-minute monologue with song. Can or should once-distant sensibilities, in this case slavery, spirituals, and work songs, be melded considering my mid-western students’ radically different social, historical, and racial contexts? What negotiations take place? In this presentation, I will share the results—excerpts from student performances and feedback—and insights gained from the Character Portrayals in which my mostly white students “perform slavery.”

Tuesday May 20, 2014 9:00am - 9:50am
Humanities Room
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