Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tricia- Audio Essay Proposal

For my final project, I’d like to do an audio essay that teaches the audience to actively listen to music. The lesson will be structured according to constructivist teaching models, more commonly known as the “5 E’s”. Engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate are the five e-words that make up the constructivist teaching model. The idea of ‘constructivism’ is based in the belief that students given the opportunity to construct new knowledge from what they already know, as opposed to simply taking it in, will flourish in the classroom. Two of its twelve primary premises are that, “learning engages the entire physiology,” and “learning is enhanced by challenge and inhibited by threat.” By focusing on activities—that challenge and engage the listener as a whole—to teach the technique of active listening, this audio essay will result in a shift in the way you hear music.

Through the engage section we will begin to explore the most basic elements of music, focusing on recall. The engage section will begin physiological involvement with clapping and vocalizing gradually advancing to keeping beats. By the end of this section, I expect it will be nearly impossible to turn the essay off. The most significant chunk of knew knowledge will be presented in the explain section. Timbre/tone, pitch/frequency, amplitude, envelope (attack, decay, sustain, release), velocity, phase shape, and wavelength are what make up our current understanding of the (psycho)-physics of sound. When one understands these easily identifiable properties of music, they are better able to analyze music. Moving on to the elaborate section, I’ll be focusing on creating a challenge for the audience, who will be using different combinations of the aforementioned properties to ‘participate’ in music. The evaluation is up to you, Dr. Johns.

After having read about techniques and processes, I am eager to find a practical application of the knowledge. I know that it’s everywhere, and that I’ve been part of (made up of) these techniques, but I want to apply it purposefully. I have a background in video production and an incredible musician friend, so media is familiar and important to me. I eventually hope to produce children’s television, why not start small? Why not start now? Enough of the autobiography! Honestly, I am interested in these theories and want to apply them to my everyday life.

Deliverables: Audio CD, case, instruction booklet, transcript, and two (or so) pages of elaboration on the educational and musical techniques.

Thanks for your time!

1 comment:

Adam Johns said...

As I said before, I think this sounds like a lot of fun, and I fully endorse the thorough ruination that this will inevitably bring to the rest of your semester. I like what's here, but with a caveat.

What you've presented - although you're calling it an essay - isn't precisely one. You're explicitly teaching the listener/reader some things about music (terminology I'd like to better understand - so good!), but implicitly you're arguing for the value/merit of constructivist teaching.

What I'm going to ask is pretty simple, and hopefully not too painful - find ways (through an intro and conclusion? through footnotes?) to make explicit your theoretical agenda - you're making the case for a pedagogical style, so do so!

I'm looking forward to it.