Session/Séance 2i: MusCan Roundtable Thursday/jeudi 25 May 2017. 2:00PM-3:30PM, EJB 225.
An Irresistible Invitation for Curricular Creativity: Reimagining Music Programs for the 21st Century
Margaret Walker, Queen’s University; Betty Anne Younker, Western University;
Patrick Schmidt, Western University; Glen Carruthers, Wilfrid Laurier University
In recent years, conversations have emerged on both sides of the Canada-US border about the relevance and sustainability of post-secondary music programs. Declining enrolments at the undergraduate level, declining job opportunities for graduate students in the academy, and increasing budgetary problems seem to threaten the very essence of the core courses and ensembles we value so much. But can these threats be reframed as opportunities? “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste” as the saying goes, so might the challenges that music programs face in the early- 21st century be embraced as irresistible invitations for curricular creativity? Can our curricular “must-haves” be reimagined for the 21st century while still preserving the artistic values of performance-based programs? Can existing post-secondary programs explore diversity without compromising high standards of both musicianship and scholarship? How can music programs be rethought and redesigned to attract a more diverse student population and better serve these students and their futures? This roundtable is the third in a series of facilitated discussions about curriculum, canon, and guidelines for university music programs. We plan not only to continue the momentum built through roundtables on curricular canon (2013) and the value of the BMus degree (2014), but also to communicate key information from the recent 2016 College Music Society’s Summit 21st Century Music School Design and place these discussions in the Canadian context. Margaret Walker will begin by summarizing key points from the Summit and putting them in dialogue not only with music programs in Canada but also with recent discussions arising in MusCan itself. Betty Anne Younker will look specifically at the discussions about curricular innovation that occurred at the Summit and are also reflected in the CMS Undergraduate Task Force Report on the Undergraduate Music Major: The Manifesto. Patrick Schmidt will then address reform in music graduate programs by outlining the design choices and curricular impact of the 2015 restructuring of the Masters of Music Education at Western. The degree aims to bring together multiple populations and is based on an open form that allows maximum flexibility from course choice to time of graduation. Glen Carruthers, Dean of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University and former Chair of the ISME Commission on the Education of the Professional Musician, will delineate a few of the challenges to which universities must respond. Building on concepts he presented at the Reflective Conservatoire conference at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (2014), and on recent contributions to Arts and Humanities in Higher Education (2016) and the Oxford Handbook of Community Music (forthcoming), Carruthers will propose possible pathways using recent developments at Laurier as a model.We anticipate a lively discussion following the presentations as audience members interact with the panel in addressing these pressing and timely topics.