ECU anthropology professor teaches diversity through music

East Carolina University anthropology professor Dr. Luci Fernandes is using music to teach diversity in her undergraduate global understanding classes through a collaborative project between ECU students and students in partner countries.

Fernandes

The “Teaching Diversity through Music” project uses popular music from around the world to help students develop cultural understanding,”Fernandes said.

The students will identify, collect, analyze and share appropriate examples of popular music, then learn “the many ways in which music relates to its cultural contexts, cultural identity and individual identity,” she said.

Each student in the program selects a song to send to a partner in another country. Along with the song, participants provide details about the song’s lyrics, musical genre, memories the song may engender, dance associated with the song and the cultural roots of the music and instruments used in the piece. Students also include an explanation of why they chose the song and how it relates to them personally or how it reflects the overall culture of their country.

“Through their encounters with the musical forms of other cultures and the analysis of the lyrics, both in the original language and English translation, students learn about the cultural traditions from which the music springs and the cultural themes that it represents,” Fernandes said.

The project is funded in part through a 2011-12 mini grant of $750 from the ECU Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Relations, whose purpose is to prepare students for a multicultural society.

For additional information about the project, contact Fernandes at 252-737-1072 or fernandesl@ecu.edu.

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Interest rising in music therapy

Dr. Barbara Memory (right), ECU Director of Music Therapy, with ECU Music Therapy students in session with client class. (Contributed photo)

A Raleigh News and Observer news story highlighted rising interest in music therapy as a way to calm patients and enhance medical care, citing music therapy work that helped U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords recover from a gunshot wound to the brain.

ECU offers undergraduate and graduate options in music therapy and hosts an ECU chapter of the American Music Therapy Association.

Dr. Barbara Memory is director of ECU’s music therapy program. Memory is a board certified registered music therapist and a member of the American Association of Music Therapy. She earned her Ph.D. from Michigan State University, a master of music from Florida State University, and a bachelor of science and bachelor of music from Michigan State University.

For additional information about ECU’s music therapy program visit the program’s web site at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-cfac/music/musictherapy.cfm

Read the News and Observer article at http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/01/18/1786114/spotlight-falls-on-music-therapists.html.

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American Voices founder to speak at ECU

East Carolina University will host John Ferguson, founder and executive director of American Voices, Oct. 25 and 26 at A.J. Fletcher Music Center on campus.

Ferguson will present, “Becoming a Cultural Diplomat: Global Leadership in Music.” The goal of the presentation is to help make students aware of best practices in cultural engagement programs and international career opportunities in the performing arts. Fletcher will also present a workshop on how young American university students might design and implement such programs on their own.

Presentations on Tuesday will include “Winning Hearts and Minds,” 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.; “Why Do They Love Us So Much,” 4 – 5:30 p.m.; and a film, Camp Unity, 7:30 – 9 p.m.  On Wednesday, “Becoming a Cultural Diplomat” will be held from 10 a.m. to noon.

The event is sponsored by the BB&T Leadership Institute, the ECU School of Music and the ECU Collegiate Music Educators National Conference Chapter.

American Voices aspires to train new generations to reach areas of the world emerging from isolation or conflict through cultural engagement and diplomacy. Members of American Voices work to engage with youth through performing arts in countries emerging from conflict and isolation, including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Thailand, and Burma. One of the signature programs of American Voices is the YES (Youth Excellence on Stage) Academies in which students participate in American art forms such as orchestra, hip hop, choir, Broadway, and jazz.

The organization was named one of America’s Top Ten Cultural Diplomacy Organizations in 2010.

For more information contact Dr. Jay Juchniewicz at 252- 328-1251 or by e-mail at juchniewiczj@ecu.edu

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ECU community gets first choice at piano sale

The East Carolina University School of Music will host a piano sale from noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 6 and 7 at the A.J. Fletcher Music Center on campus.

ECU faculty, alumni, staff and students may make a private appointment for Aug. 4, 5 or 6 to view and select an instrument before the sale opens to the public. Call 252-328-6019 to make the appointment. Calls will be returned in the order received beginning Aug. 1.

The sale will include a large selection of Steinway & Sons, Boston, Essex and Taylor grands and verticals, as well as Roland digitals and used pianos.Deliveries, warranties and follow-up services will be handled by Hopper Piano & Organ.

Proceeds will benefit the School of Music.

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Billy Taylor Jazz Festival Set for April 15, 16

The East Carolina University School of Music and ECU Jazz Studies Program will present the annual Billy Taylor Jazz Festival April 15 and 16.

Featured performers include Connaitre Miller, associate professor of music and coordinator of jazz vocal studies at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and the award-winning vocal jazz ensemble she directs, Afro Blue. Also appearing is jazz master drummer Winard Harper, along with ECU jazz ensembles led by bass professor and festival artistic director Carroll V. Dashiell Jr.

ECU Jazz Combos will perform at 8 p.m. April 15 at Christinne’s in the Hilton Greenville. Miller, Afro Blue, Harper and Jazz Ensemble A will perform at 8 p.m. April 16 in Wright Auditorium.

Also on April 16, the festival invites middle and high school jazz bands to participate in the festival’s Middle and High School Performance day, which includes stage performances followed by clinics conducted by Harper and the ECU jazz studies faculty. Outstanding soloist and musicianship awards are presented at the evening concert.

This year’s festival is the first since the passing of jazz great and festival namesake Dr. Billy Taylor.

Tickets are required. For additional information, visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-cfac/music/jazz/jazz-festival/index.cfm or call 252-328-6851.

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