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US music educators, across all levels, have traditionally concerned themselves with teaching musicality and musical interpretation as it is mediated by western music notation. Increasingly, digital technologies allow composers, producers, and DJ’s, among other musicians, to demonstrate a kind of musicality without notation as an intermediary; musical sounds can be created and manipulated directly without reference to western notation or traditional music theory. Such practices connect to the ways that humans overwhelmingly interact with music throughout the world, in vernacular and non-Western contexts where notation plays a less prominent role. A natural extension of these phenomena is that music listeners likely also procure musicalities in their abilities to interpret and understand musical sounds directly. Embodied cognitive theory (psychology) and ecological theory (philosophy) have potential for helping us understand such phenomena--but, so far, these alternative musicalities have been under-explored and under-developed within institutional music education and general education contexts.


At the same time, in the last several years, a number of scholars, in a variety of disciplines outside of music and music education (performance studies, media studies, cultural studies, film studies, communications, etc.), have begun to chart this territory. As part of a ‘sensory turn’  across the academy (see the work of David Howes), these sound studies and auditory culture scholars have utilized and developed new theoretical frameworks, beyond traditional musicological/aesthetic frameworks, to explore human experiences with sounds and their meanings, musical sounds included. The work of Jonathan Sterne, Les Black, Michael Bull, and Anahid Kassabian has been especially foundational to this area of inquiry. Such scholars seek to characterize and theorize the concept of sound and sound experiences, viewing them as foundational and integral to concepts of music and musical experiences. 


This interdisciplinary, virtual conference explores how such musicalities and embodied knowledges of sound might bear on education and pedagogy on any level and within any context. Scholars across the disciplines will discuss how sound studies has impacted their work and field, and begin connecting their work to education. The conference will be open to the public.



Rebecca Rinsema, NAU

Session 1: The Interdisciplinarity of Sound Studies: Theoretical Soundings

Jonathan Sterne, McGill

Nina Eidsheim, UCLA

Robin James, UNC Charlotte

Ola Stockfelt, University of Gothenburg

Anthony Kwame Harrison,Virginia Tech, Conversation Guide

Session 2: Theory into Practice in General Education Contexts

Nicole Furlonge, Teachers College, Columbia

Walter Gershon, Rowan University

Kara Attrep, NAU, Conversation Guide

Robert Wallace, NAU, Conversation Guide 

Session 3: Theoretical Soundings: Embodied Cognition, Ecological Theory, Music Education

Pamela Burnard, Cambridge University

David Elliott, NYU

Rebecca Rinsema, NAU, Conversation Guide 

Session 4: The Sounds of Incarceration

Mark Katz, UNC Chapel Hill, Conversation Guide

Alim Braxton, Hip Hop Artist

Session 5: Indigenous Soundings: Environmental and Cultural Landscapes

Jessica Bissett Perea, UC Davis

Trevor Reed, ASU

John-Carlos Perea, San Francisco State University

Chad Hamill, NAU, Conversation Guide

Session 6: Sounding New Instruments and Participatory Methods

John Granzow, University of Michigan

Mathias Hinke, Universität der Künste Berlin

James Humberstone, Sydney Conservatory

Matthew Thibeault, The Education University of Hong Kong

Patricia Green, Western University

Jashen Edwards, Western University, Conversation Guide 

Session 7: Sounding All Abilities

James Leve, NAU 

Performance: Dreams Come True Music Studio, London, ON 

Caroline Blumer, Western University

Allison O’Connor, Dreams Come True Music Studio

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