Dr. Bob completed the Smithsonian Folkways Certification

Monday, June 29, 2015


Dr. Bob completed the Smithsonian Folkways Certification course in World Music Pedagogy this June, 2015. The workshop develops pathways for teaching music of the world’s cultures through listening, participation, and performance experiences. The course included extended lessons on the music and culture of Botswana, Jamaica, India, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Turkey, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Java, and Bulgaria. The program was held on the campus of the University of Washington in Seattle and was directed by Dr. Patricia Campbell who chairs the ethnomusicology program at UW and is also the chair of the Board of Smithsonian Folkways. Highlights of the musical experiences offered at the workshop included playing marimba music from Zimbabwe, Senegalese drum rhythms, steel drums, and Javanese gamelan. Particpants also learned salsa dancing and sang folksongs from around the world. Numerous classes were dedicated to learning about the audio resources available through Smithsonian Folkways. A comprehensive view of music education akin to the African concept of ngoma was presented in which history and values are transmitted through singing, dancing, playing, and storytelling. All participants presented a Smithsonian Folkways lesson on the last day to demonstrate an understanding of an effective music and culture curriculum unit. These lessons featured recording and transcriptions from the Smithsonian Folkways collection and connections to co-curricular areas and national standards. Participants developed written lesson plans which demonstrated strategies for helping students through attentive, engaged, and enactive listening, creativity, and the integration of music and life. Having completed this professional training to gain knowledge and skills relevant to teaching music, the arts, and cultural understanding via the Smithsonian Folkways recording collection, participants are now certified by Smithsonian Folkways in WORLD MUSIC PEDAGOGY. Dr. Bob’s participation in this program was supported by the Mississippi State University Department of Music and partially funded by a grant from the 2015 Schillig Special Teaching Projects Program. The Schillig program provides financial support to encourage new ideas for improving undergraduate teaching. Faculty in the MSU Department of Music have approved the addition of a new course to be taught to all music majors called WORLD MUSIC.

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