"Your task is to write a fictional first-person account of a performing arts learner in an earlier time period. Your goal is to imagine how it would feel to be taught by an educator of a different era, supporting your conclusions with evidence from the historical record. Even though it is in the voice of an individual, your essay should be well organized and beautifully written, with footnotes that support the events and practices you depict. Examples might be: a memoir from an elderly retired performing artist, describing her training as a pupil of a famous teacher in a European cultural center; a letter from a 19th-century teenager describing his school in rural America; a letter from an early 20th century Swarthmore College student to a dean or a faculty member describing her attempts to learn dance. Research the period and document specific pedagogical details, using readings from a few sources, such as Mark’s A History of Music Education in America; Rainbow’s Music in Educational Thought and Practice; Judith Tick’s Music in the USA; biographies, memoirs by and/or contemporary accounts of distinguished artists from the 17-20th centuries." -- Tom Whitman
As you think about your research...
- BE CRITICAL: Not all sources are created equal, whether in print or online. Ask questions like who wrote what you're reading, is it peer-reviewed, what sources are they citing, and so on. Two useful sites are Scholarly vs Popular Resources and Evaluating Information Found on the Internet.
- BE CREATIVE: Some searching will lead to dead ends, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's an end after all. Those gaps of research are often where interest lies. In other words, don't rehash other's research, but rather use theirs to bolster your own unique take.
- BE THOUGHTFUL: If you discover a citation that might be useful for a classmate's project, tell them about it.
- BE PROACTIVE: Your research may lead you to materials of interest which are not held in the Tri-College Libraries. Allow yourself time to request materials from other libraries through our Interlibrary Loan Services.
- BE PATIENT: Research is a fluid process. As you research, your questions will evolve, and that is an excellent sign. If, however, you ever get stuck, ask for help! Your professor and music librarians are always happy to help you think through your process.