Saturday, February 23 • 1:00pm - 1:55pm
Sourcing the Survey: Resituating Content Authority in the Music History Classroom

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Shared notes for this session: https://goo.gl/Yeyt2P

Undergraduate students enrolled in the music history survey often struggle with the larger questions of style and cultural significance that define their study of Western Art Music. They tend to arm themselves with an inevitably incomplete list of “concrete facts” about curricular repertoire when they should be cultivating a more dynamic sense of historical context. Professor Sarah Suhadolnik and music librarian Katie Buehner are working to immerse students in a deeper, more diverse pool of music information that can 1) better inform their study of music in its myriad cultural and historical contexts, 2) better equip them for more robust dialogue, and 3) give students practice with searching as strategic exploration, as outlined in the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy.

In the place of anthology sources passively engaged with as a required text, students work with a new Libraries' Course Guide as a gateway to seeing, interacting with, and understanding information creation as a process. Significant class time is spent examining scores, books, recordings, and online materials posted to the guide. Weekly laboratory in-class assignments involve students in the musical, cultural, and historical study of classic works in a variety of roles (e.g., researchers, music editors, film soundtrack consultants, and more). The students’ experience of the guide also functions as a pre-selected course reserve, but later in the semester, expands into a ""source selection"" model that requires students to choose from a list of options to meet their information needs. 

This skills-based introduction to course content is mirrored by guest visits from studio teachers, conductors, and coaches. These experts expand the students’ view of performance and interpretation, modeling the outcomes of their hands-on source studies as dynamic discussion of the various experiences that continue to grow our knowledge of canonic works. Seeking to cultivate greater awareness of how authority is constructed and contextual—with emphasis on the place of history in their respective field(s)—we believe continued refinement of this approach to the music history survey presents a workable solution to some of the challenges posed by the issues of diversity and (lack of) representation that plague this curriculum.

avatar for Katie Buehner

Katie Buehner

Interim Association University Librarian, University of Iowa

Sarah Suhadolnik

University of Iowa

Saturday February 23, 2019 1:00pm - 1:55pm CST
Grand Ballroom EF
  Program Session