Living Laboratory Associate Fellows

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    Daniel Blake

    As a music instructor, a concert report has always been a crucial to getting students out of the classroom and into New York’s vibrant music scene to apply concepts learned in class. But I have always felt the assignment, where students are left to find a concert on their own and write a paper by the end of the semester, fell short of its potential. As an educator and musician invested in this topic, I want this assignment to be more than just a paper, but a comprehensive project that leads to an exploration and resulting awareness of how what we study is a living tradition practiced by passionate and fascinating people.

    In reflecting on “place-based learning” as the practice applies to my field, the revitalized concert report assignment has two principal updates: 1) in-class group time where students search for and choose a concert to attend in small groups of 3-4, and 2) a mid-semester blog and presentation where each group member posts content about the venue and artist on Open Lab and gives a short low-impact presentation to the class as a preview of the concert and 3) an interview component where students will contact the artist and request a brief one-on-one conversation whenever possible

    With these updates, I hope the assignment will become a more collaborative and rewarding one. I will be implementing this new approach in my Musical Styles MUS1210 course this coming fall semester!

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