I am currently a Lecturer in Musicology at Washington University in St. Louis, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and Maryville University, teaching the core curriculum in music history at undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as research and writing skills. While a graduate student at Duke University, I designed and taught an undergraduate seminar for non-music majors (“Sound in Sacred Spaces,” one of Duke’s required freshman writing seminars), directed Duke’s Collegium Musicum (early music choir), completed a Certificate in College Teaching, and gained experience as a TA for the music history sequence and for several undergraduate seminars in musicology and ethnomusicology. Additionally, as a faculty affiliate at Saint Louis University, I serve as an occasional guest lecturer on writing and theology and arts topics for courses within the Department of Theological Studies. My teaching has tended to focus on skills in writing and revision, and I am particularly equipped to teach courses in early music since my research (and my performance career as a professional singer) specializes in sixteenth-century England.
In the classroom, I lead students to think critically about music’s place in culture, and the intersections between musical thought, performance, technologies, and ideology. I am committed to fostering students’ expertise and original scholarship through student-led seminars and self-directed research, and to creating an inclusive learning environment that values the diversity of students’ and authors’ identities. My courses place a high emphasis on writing as process and craft, and involve intermediate peer and instructor feedback in the service of extensive revision, and my pedagogy emphasizes performance: musical performance by students in addition to listening, and practice performing the scholarly crafts of research, thinking, analyzing, and writing. In evaluations, students have praised my organization and feedback, and observers have commented on my courses’ intellectual rigor, accessibility, and dynamic discussions.
My preferred mode of teaching centers on student-led discussions and activities, allowing students to invest in their own skill-building and knowledge acquisition. Feedback from colleagues consistently highlights my interactions with students, particularly my ability to lead students in discussion. I also place heavy emphasis on performance in the literal sense, attempting to equip music students with the writing and analytical tools necessary for their college education and, for performance majors, with the music historical training that will be most useful for their performing careers. In the first few classes of my music history survey, after extensive discussion of the ritual underpinnings and musical features of Gregorian chant, I lead classes in singing a service of Latin Vespers in plainchant, giving them experience in the text-focused and repetitive nature of psalmody. I also consider the crafts of writing and analysis to be performance. My courses include metacritical and self-reflective discussion of the writing process, in-class workshopping, and peer and instructor feedback in the service of extensive revision, offering students purposeful opportunities to master academic argumentation.
Finally, I strive to create an inclusive classroom environment and to create opportunities for under-represented groups to succeed. I check in frequently with all of my students regarding their expectations, needs, and concerns, and insist at all times upon courtesy and respect, asking the class to consciously work to create a safe, supportive, friendly, and collaborative environment that encourages disadvantaged and minority students to have an increased presence. I think carefully about identities: mine, my students’, and the identities of the people whose writings they study. Students who are not white males deserve to hear voices that sound like theirs in the classrooms, because these academic classrooms themselves legitimate and inculcate cultural ideas. My white male students themselves need to read and converse with traditionally marginalized groups, so that everybody gains a richer understanding of the subject matter and history being taught. I teach my music history courses with as much preference for composers who are women and people of color as possible, and extensive discussions of the classical canon and the reasons why certain composers and compositions have survived to today (while others haven’t).
I hope that after taking my courses, students have improved their knowledge and skills in writing and analysis. But more importantly, I want them to recognize that music is not merely entertainment but shapes and is shaped by culture and identity, and to have the confidence to bring their own authentic voices and experiences into the fields in which they work and study.
I am happy to share copies of my syllabi and student evaluations upon request.