My blue epiphany

I had a kind of epiphany as I was looking over my students’ posts after our blues unit. I teach an online world music class and part of the students’ participation grade is to post weekly thoughts, questions, ideas, etc. on our discussion board. I couldn’t help but notice how many times they wrote: “the blacks’ music”; “their music”; and so on in reference to the blues. The blues is so essential to American popular music, but my students still see it as something separate, as something other.

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“Why would you study that!”

Today’s post was inspired by something I read in Andrew Weintraub’s Dangdut Stories (2010). In his introduction, Weintraub discusses numerous reactions to his decision to write a book about dangdut (a popular music genre in Indonesia). Some of the reactions were very positive, but he quoted one “academic colleague” as saying: “Why would anybody want to study that!” (14; emphasis in original). Continue reading

In Discipline: Talks from the European Side

For this week’s In Discipline, we are very happy to introduce Gertrud Maria Huber. Gertrud recently graduated from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna with her Ph.D in Ethnomusicology. Also a professional zither and harp player; Gertrude’s performance practice centers on Alpine music. We encourage you to visit her website for more on Gertrude and her music!

Gertrud Maria Huber 1

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A “To-Do List” for the Final Year of Your Undergraduate Education

1. Are you ready to apply to grad school?

Decide early if possible. If you apply to graduate programs during your senior year, you will need to take some necessary steps: powering through the GRE, drafting personal statements, soul-searching, and narrowing lists of programs. The alternative is to delay the application process so that you can instead focus on your final schoolwork and personal growth.

But Jennie, how do I know if I’m ready to apply?

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