Course Portfolio

PMU412 / MUS4613 PALLIATIVE CARE — As a direct outgrowth of my research developing performance-based models for bedside interventions with end-stage palliative individuals, these courses were also conceived as a contribution to the performance-oriented range of MaHRC offerings more generally. These courses endeavour 1. to socialize students to the goals and numerous models of palliative care from both medical and sociological perspectives, 2. to heighten student awareness of empirically-evidenced challenges confronting the palliative care discipline and the relevance of performance-based music in addressing these challenges, and 3. to develop understanding and experience applying/adapting stage performance skills to hospital, home, and hospice-based palliative care contexts.  Structure: 1. Survey of foundational research by Mount, Kübler-Ross, Cassell, Larkin, Meier, Vachon, Saunders, et al. 2. Masterclass 3. Reflective journal and analytical writing/presentation 4. Guest lectures / Panel discussion with palliative care professionals 5. Practicum (optional).

TMU105 KEYBOARD HARMONY  — The structure of this course is aligned with two key pedagogic perspectives held by the theory division: 1) Keyboard specialists have a unique need/ability to understand fundamental 18th-century theoretical concepts by performing representative practical exercises at the piano, rather than by score analysis alone. 2) Keyboard specialists, in their professional work, will be expected to proficiently discern essential harmonic structures and improvise ensemble accompaniments competently. With a view towards developing intelligent musicianship skills and awareness (including historical awareness), this course emphasizes thorough-bass (continuo), as the most effective means to develop theoretical understanding simultaneously with skill in collaborative improvisation. Structure: Technology-enhanced active learning model emphasizing group collaboration via weekly “Activity Sets,” each of which has an explicitly stated objective and itemized steps. Working in groups of 3-4, students contribute to the completion of each activity by occupying one of the four following roles (rotating weekly): Performer, Editor, Composer, Process tracker. The greatest challenge in developing effective pedagogic design for this course has been to reconcile the need for a standardized skill-attainment level with highly variable aptitudes. Feedback from students has been instrumental in guiding me towards developing the collaborative model currently in place.

PMU3/457 ORGAN IMPROVISATION — This course aims to develop facility with both modal and tonal organ improvisation applied to a variety of forms and historical styles. The fall term explores modal improvisation in canonic variations, free theme + variations and toccata, emphasizing the use of plainchant melodies as source material. The winter term explores tonal improvisation, including embellishments of hymns/chorales and counterpoint in a variety of historical styles. The formulation of assignments draws on two texts: Lionel Rogg (Geneva Conservatory) “Cours d’improvisation modale ou libre” and Naji Hakim (CNR Boulogne-Billancourt, Royal Academy of Music, London) “Guide pratique d’Improvisation” Structure: Masterclass format & weekly assignments roughly grouped into three repeating units per term: I. Themes (character, melodic structure/contour, harmonization) II. Development: (melodic, rhythmic, harmonic, contrapuntal ) III. Form: (In this course — free, binary, ternary).

PMU288 HISTORICAL KEYBOARD IMPROVISATION / CONTINUO — With a view to developing sensitive and confident continuo playing skills and performance practice knowledge, this course aims to provide practical training in the improvisation of figured-bass accompaniments at the harpsichord, as well as literacy with predominant structures, styles, and ornamentation found in the canon of improvisatory repertory (French prélude, Italian/South German toccata, English/Dutch toccata, North German canzona, Spanish motet intavolation with glosas). This course was conceived 1. to address the need for a sustainable source of continuo players for Historical Performance ensembles within the Faculty of Music, 2. as a contribution to the Minor in Historical Keyboard, and 3. to respond to student interest in a continuation of TMU105. Structure: This course alternates weekly between masterclass (performance and study of prepared repertory) and continuo workshops (group study and performance of figured-bass accompaniments). Continuo playing is emphasized in the winter term, and includes collaboration with invited student soloists.

PMU388 HARPSICHORD AND ORGAN  — Practical grounding in organ and harpsichord, focusing on essential techniques and performance practices grouped into eight units: I. Organ: Bach Trio Sonatas; II. Organ: North German Pre-Baroque and Harpsichord: French Baroque; III. Organ: French Baroque and Harpsichord: Italian Pre-Baroque; IV: Organ: Bach chorale preludes and Harpsichord: Bach suites; V: Organ: Bach prelude & fugue; VI: Organ: Mendelssohn sonatas and Brahms chorales; VII: Organ: Widor and Vierne symphony movements; VII: Organ: Messiaen. Emphasis is placed on developing a versatile technique with a variety of instruments, adaptation from piano as needed, and proficiency with national styles, ornamentation, registration, and console management. Structure: Masterclass format. Each unit targets the development of a particular combination of repertory, technique, and/or performance-practice skill. The curriculum also intends to contribute to developing overall versatility, kinaesthetic awareness, strength, flexibility, coordination, focus, and musicianship.

PMU460 ORGAN PEDAGOGY — Analysis and development of pedagogic design principles relevant to studio instruction of introductory-level organists with existing, advanced keyboard proficiency; development of a clear teaching philosophy, skills in strategic repertory selection, and basic principals of establishing a private teaching practice. This course provides weekly organ teaching experience with a rotation of pianists enrolled in TMU105Y1 and/or the Minor in Historical Keyboard. Structure: Supervised applied instruction, viva voce analysis, reflective writing, discussion. Student volunteers receive instruction in preparing Bach chorale preludes from the Orgelbüchlein; some high-aptitude students progress to advanced repertory.