Today was supposed to be Convocation Day of the first graduating class of community music students in Laurier’s BMus. They have been with the program longer than me, and I’ve spent most of my last three years learning from them and their leadership, curiosity, ambition, kindness, commitment, and genuine enjoyment in each other’s company. A beautiful exemplar of a community of musicians who lift each other up and strive to make good change in the world through music. The community music specialization teaches musicianship, leadership/facilitation, and critical thinking. In students’ final year, they complete a capstone project: a music initiative… Read More »BMus Community Music Class of 2020 💥
So thrilled to announce that I’ve accepted an appointment to join the music faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University. Here’s the official announcement. I’ll be helping build the undergraduate program in community music, the first of its kind in Canada, and I think perhaps also across North America. I am so excited to be a part of this! This was my first Instagram post in 2012, of Maureen Forrester Recital Hall at WLU. This was also my first music conference early in my PhD studies. Looking back, that seems like an auspicious start!
I am thrilled to announce that I’ve begun working with Sing for Life, an Edmonton-based organization that provides performing arts opportunities to marginalized communities. Sing for Life operates a choir and music lessons at a federal prison, as well as a choir for men who are socially and economically disadvantaged. I’m going to be piloting a new program: family music classes for moms in conflict with the law. The classes will be for moms and their children aged 6 and under, and we’ll sing name songs, action songs, and songs for eating and sleeping and bathing. Our hope is that… Read More »new adventures in music classes
I was in Kananaskis at the Fine Arts Council conference of the Alberta Teachers’ Association. I gave two workshops on vocal and movement improv, and we had a grand time. In the first session, I introduced participants to the fundamentals of circle-singing–the improvisation technique of Bobby McFerrin (here’s my favourite Bobby McFerrin video about the pentatonic scale). My group of music and drama teachers were so amazing! No one had sung in this style before, and by the end of the session, we were free-form grooving and experimenting, with one participant improvising a whole song! In the second session, I… Read More »taking the risk in vocal improv
I defended my thesis at the end of August, and handed in the final document a week later. I think that, technically, I’m not a doctor until my convocation in November, but unofficially: I AM A DOCTOR!! And I am a doctor who now lives in Edmonton, Alberta. I just had my childhood piano delivered from my parents’ house to mine today. My new studio needs work, but it’s looking promising: Not quiiiiite homey yet, but with a little love and a lot of work, I think this will make a fine studio. I also have plans in the works,… Read More »you may now call me dr. dee
Big changes in my studio. I will be defending my ph.d. in August this summer, and then relocating to Edmonton, Alberta (apparently the most up-and-coming city in Canada). I will continue to teach privately through my studio in Toronto until early August, and will likely re-open my studio in Edmonton once we are settled, teaching in person and via skype, while also continuing my academic and artistic work. Feel free to contact me for more information or to stay in touch. Have a great summer!
Next week, I’m leading a music lab at the Ontario Science Centre as part of their ‘Science of Rock’ special exhibit. Come join in the fun! The music labs last about 40 minutes and you have three chances to participate in the week: Tuesday, Aug 19 at 12 pm and again at 2pm Thurs, Aug 21 at 12 pm only I’d love to stack the audience with some singers, so please join in! Feel free to tell others too! I’ll be touching on some physiology of the singing voice as well as some acoustic principles. Everyone will then learn a… Read More »Join my mass choir at the Ontario Science Centre next week!
I’m launching a series of 4 drop-in group singing classes on Wednesdays, July 23 to August 20. Affordably priced at $10/session, but you must register! I also currently have a few spots left throughout the summer for private lessons on Monday afternoons. For information on both, see upcoming.
So Pete Seeger passed away on Monday at the age of 94. I, like so many millions of people, have been deeply affected and influenced by his music and his commitment to building a more just world through music. I never met him, but I have had the pleasure of singing and teaching his music. I frankly don’t have much to say that could add to the many amazing tributes that have been published, from the New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and the CBC, to name just a few. There’s a fantastic documentary on CBC’s program Ideas that lets… Read More »Pete Seeger: The Man of a Million Small, Powerful Actions
I went back to school this week to begin the 3rd year of my Ph.D. in Music Education, and I was often cheerfully greeted with “Happy New Year!” In this corner of the world, September feels like the real start of the year. Whether you are in school, have kids in school, or have simply been conditioned through previous years of school, we approach September with the fresh optimism of beginners, even with a longing for a summer that has slipped by. This beginnings-time-of-year was underlined for me this week: I had several new voice students begin at my voice… Read More »beginning and beginning again: six strategies in starting with a new voice teacher