Episode 138: Evolving the Musical Mind with Dr. Alan Harvey

From the very beginning of our species, musical communication has been a key component of prosocial, cooperative behaviors, acting as a counterweight to the other, newly evolved human communication system—language. It is about why music continues to be an essential part of human cognitive well-being in the twenty-first century.

From the Abstract of “Music, Evolution, and the Harmony of Souls.”

In this episode, I am excited to once again, go OUTSIDE of the music education sphere to seek some important and relevant expertise. I invited neuroscientist Dr. Alan Harvey on to give a different perspective on how music and language interact with human evolution. He is well known for a wonderful TED Talk on music and the brain, well as for writing a fascinating book on the evolution of music in the species. (Linked below.) I was fascinated listening to Dr. Harvey lay out the reasons humans may have developed music as a necessary evolutionary adaptation, from a common precursor of our spoken language as well as a way to stimulate the production of oxytocin and much more. “We needed another communication system whose primary role was to bring us together in groups. To drive altruism, cooperation, social interaction, and cooperation. That is why music and dance evolved in parallel with spoken language.”

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Born in London, UK. BA and MA from the University of Cambridge, PhD in visual neurophysiology from the Australian National University, Canberra. After time in the USA and at Flinders University in Adelaide, Alan Harvey came to UWA in 1984.  He was promoted to Professor in 2001 and in 2016 became an Emeritus Professor. He was for a number of years a member of the WA Reproductive Technology Council, a Board member of the Neurological Council of WA, and a Board Member of the Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science. He was Chair of the Perron Scientific Advisory Committee.   He has also been a Board Member of the The University Club of Western Australia, and the Perth Symphonic Chorus.

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Research interests

Continued studies on the use of gene therapy, transplantation and other bioengineering technologies in CNS repair, with increasing focus on spinal cord. Harvey has ongoing collaborations with Dr Stuart Hodgetts, Dr Jenny Rodger, Dr Dave Nisbett, Dr Vince Wallace, and Dr A Akari.

Publication by Oxford University Press in 2017 of his book: “Music, Evolution and the Harmony of Souls”, combines Harvey’s neuroscience and music interests.  Increasingly working with colleagues on neuroscience/music related topics.

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Episode 137: Literacy is Equity Live from CMEA

This presentation is the second part, or “why” sequel to Episode 135. In that episode, I lay out processes and procedures to build independent literacy skills in a beginning choir. In this presentation, I expanded into the moral and scientific case for centering literacy in our curricula, as well as support for my contention that there are neurologically correct and incorrect ways to teach the reading of ANY language.

Music is a language, just like any other in a really important sense. “Music reading is a
complex process involving at least two distinct skills: the reading skill and the mechanical skill (Wolf 1976). From a cognitive perspective, music reading requires several simultaneous processes including coding of visual information, motor responses and visual-motor integration.” -Gudmunsdottir, 2010

Fluent Music Literacy is VERY rare in education in the Western World. I believe this has two main causes. Many vocal and general music teachers don’t believe that it is a crucial part of the curriculum. Many who DO see it as crucial are not empowered with the best possible systems, processes and skills. Video Recommended! The slides are available on Patreon.

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Ep-137.mp3
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com
Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Episode 136: Remaking History with Dr. Marques L.A. Garrett

This week, welcome BACK to the show Dr. Marques Garrett, who last appeared in episode 17, “Beyond Elijah Rock,” where many of us were introduced to the concept of “non-idiomatic” music of Black composers. In this episode, part of the “Oxford Series,” Marques returns to celebrate his latest contribution to the growing canon of music by Black composers from around the world. Just last week, Oxford Press published his Anthology, “The Oxford Book of Choral Music by Black Composers.” Tune in to hear us pick up where that conversation left off by discussing the importance of a term like “non-idiomatic” in teaching people that Black musicians cannot be accurate boxed in to genres like spirituals, jazz and gospel.

In addition to discussing the genesis of this project and its contents, we also have a candid conversation LIVE in my home studio about the state of progress in incorporating music of non-white composers into the expanded canon, the danger of possible overcorrection that comes from our continued struggle with terminology that conflates concepts of race with culture, language and nationality, and the growing and profound legacy in choral music of HBCU alumni and much more. Don’t miss it. Video recommended!

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Ep-136.mp3
Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!

A Virginia native, Marques L. A. Garrett is an Assistant Professor of Music in Choral Activities at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in the Glenn Korff School of Music. His responsibilities include conducting the auditioned Chamber Singers and non-auditioned University Chorale (soprano-alto) as well as teaching graduate choral literature. Before earning his PhD in Music Education (Choral Conducting) at Florida State University, he was the Director of Choral Activities at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, he holds an MM from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BA from Hampton University.

An active conductor, Dr. Garrett is the artistic director of the Omaha Symphonic Chorus and founding conductor of the Nebraska Festival Singers. He serves as a guest conductor or clinician with school, church, community, and festival/honor choirs throughout the country. In addition to his conducting classes at UNL, he leads conducting workshops at other universities and conferences. His formal conducting studies were with Dr. André J. Thomas, Dr. Carole J. Ott, Dr. Carl G. Harris, Jr., and Mr. Royzell Dillard.

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

A versatile voice that performs both as a baritone and countertenor, Dr. Garrett has sung with several community, church, and university groups as both a chorister and soloist. He was the baritone soloist for the Germantown Concert Chorus’s performance of Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis. His premiere as a countertenor in Dan Forrest’s Jubilate Deo served as the work’s European premiere in Limerick, Ireland. Additionally, he performed the role of Lil Lud in Bernstein’s White House Cantata with the Tallahassee Community Chorus. Currently, he sings with First-Plymouth Congregational Church, Festival Singers of Florida, and the Jason Max Ferdinand Singers.

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Dr. Garrett is an avid composer of choral and solo-vocal music whose compositions have been performed to acclaim by high school all-state, collegiate, and professional choirs including Seraphic Fire and the Oakwood University Aeolians. His music is available through more than ten publishers. He has been commissioned by organizations such as Harvard University and Westminster Choir College. Among his latest commissions is his largest work to date, Dreamland: Tulsa 1921. This collaborative work with librettist Sandra Seaton for tenor-bass chorus, soloists, and chamber orchestra was commissioned by the Turtle Creek Chorale to tell the story of the Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

As a researcher, his most advantageous topic is the non-idiomatic choral music of Black composers. His lectures at state and regional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association and at other local and national venues afford him the opportunity to showcase this underrepresented area of music. He serves as co-editor of the “Out from the Shadows” Series with Gentry Publications.

Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com

Dr. Garrett holds membership in the American Choral Directors Association; American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers; National Association of Negro Musicians; National Collegiate Choral Organization; and Pi Kappa Lambda. For more information, visit http://www.mlagmusic.com.

Episode 135: The A Cappella Rehearsal Live at CMEA

Last week I had the incredible honor to headline at CMEA in Colorado Springs. I was able to introduce the A Cappella rehearsal (no piano played while singing, and without hearing the piece first.) This is the first part of my concept that I proposed for my rejected National ACDA session. So I did it here, and want to share it with you all! I had a blast giving this presentation and met an audience brimming with questions. You will see the beginning of the 9th grade year to the end, and then a fast forward to the first day of school in an advanced choir. I will take you through the concepts, the step by step process and what to watch for when implementing this type of literacy system. I hope you find it helpful, or at least thought provoking. As always, you may need to tweak these ideas to make them work for you! Don’t forget to head over to Choralosophers FB page to discuss!

The FIRST OF TWO parts! YouTube version highly recommended!

Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!
https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Ep-135.mp3
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
YouTube Recommended!
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com
www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!
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