I am currently involved in developing a partnership between Laurier’s Faculty of Music and the University of Ghana with the hope that traditional Ghanaian drum/dance music could provide a link between our two schools and support institutional collaboration, field courses and opportunities for faculty and student exchanges.
Connolly, B. (2021, June 21-24). Embracing the Discomfort: Reflections of a White artist-educator working towards racial justice through Ewe drum-dance music [Virtual paper presentation]. International Symposium on the Sociology of Music Education, Hamar, Norway. https://youtu.be/y2f1oT4mXko
As a music educator, I strive to develop exceptional, creative, and relevant artists that take risks, think critically, and actively contribute joy and beauty to the world as global citizens. My teaching is defined by developing a sense of belonging for all students while cultivating the next generation of high-calibre percussionists. Thus, it is a priority for me to ensure a safe learning environment that first and foremost promotes the health and wellbeing of students. I see teaching, learning, and creating alongside students as a way of being of service to them and to the world. I encourage my students to discern for themselves how they see their work as artists intersecting with their sense of life purpose. One of my goals is to ensure that students develop their artistry within their own unique identity. My aim is not to reproduce another version of myself and my own artistry by simply transmitting my way of doing things to the students. Instead, we work through the discovery process together and I challenge them to exceed their own expectations by pushing them to take risks and try something new. I believe this approach is highly effective since learning to play music is an iterative and ongoing process. Students inevitably discover that the process of music creation requires a growth mindset that eventually frees them from trepidation and allows them to maximize their potential. I strive to nurture confident artists that are not derailed by small technical mistakes, but instead willing to be courageous in their artistic craft to create memorable experiences and meaningful human connection with others.
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