MCLA’s Dr. Christine Condaris, professor of music, spent a busy summer sharing her expertise at two conferences this summer, one in Prague in the Czech Republic, and the other in Athens, Greece.
She first presented “Reworking Music 101: An Extreme Hands-On Learning Approach for Non-Musicians” at the 33rd International Society for Music Education conference in the Czech Republic’s capital city.
Next, as one of the academic members on the board for the Second Annual Symposium on the Future of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics), Condaris headed to Greece to present her paper, “Teaching Creativity: The Value of the A in STEAM” at the Athens Institute for Education and Research.
“We are granted one single semester to cultivate a curiosity about the creative arts and engage non-musicians in a meaningful general education learning experience,” Condaris said. “Yet, when we instruct students pursuing a discipline other than music, we default to the passive teaching mode. How can we ask them to experience music in a mentally interactive way when we don’t allow them to interact?”
In lieu of the traditional lecture-style music appreciation course for non-musicians, Condaris proposes an entirely hands-on experience where students compose, notate, perform, and improvise.
“Their process of making music will be analyzed, discussed, and debated,” she said. “Making the general education music classroom into a safe space to explore and experiment with sound by encouraging experimentation with generating and manipulating sound, these ‘non-musicians’ will gain a greater appreciation for what is involved in musical composition and performance and, ultimately, learn to listen more deeply.”