Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Music History Listening Journals: The Online Edition

As you may remember, this year I'm participating in a diversity infusion institute in an attempt to be more thoughtful about what I teach and why. Although the process and the meetings have been hard (looking your own prejudices in the face usually is), I've learned a great deal about the way I teach. As part of the course redesign I'm attempting through the institute, I've asked my students to listen to music outside the traditional Western Canon. I provided them a list of recordings from each of the four periods we study (Classical, Romantic, 1900-1945, and Post-1945) and they pick two, listen without expectation (hopefully), write up a response, and then post it on their blog.

This last part is the most radical and potentially most illuminating. I'm forcing them to be accountable for their thoughts and share them with their classmates, who have to comment on at least two other blogs as part of the assignment, as well as, potentially, the entire world.

That's where you come in. They've just completed the first round of listening journals and are busy reading each other's blogs this week. I've set up a portal blog where you can go, see what they have listened to, and read their reactions. Feel free to share the links with friends and comment on any blog posts you find interesting. I think it's going to be an interesting semester.

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