I came to Laurier as an associate professor in September 2004. I coordinate the music education and choral programs. Prior to my appointment at Laurier I was on the faculty of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto from 1998-2004. Previously I taught in the public high school system and was coordinator of music for the Scarborough Board of Education.
In February, 2017, a co-authored book entitled Engaging in Community Music, published by Routledge was released. In addition to being a contributor of chapters, papers and articles to a number of publications, I edited the Canadian Music Education/Musicien éducator au Canada for 10 years and co-edited the book, Creativity and Music Education. I am the past president and honorary life member of the Ontario Music Educators' Association.
I balance research and writing with performance as a choral conductor and have guest conducted many choirs, most recently the Budapest Central Choir in Hungary, the CISM Festival at Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, and the Saskatchewan Honour Choir. At Laurier, I conduct the Laurier Singers Chamber Choir.
I serve on a number of boards and advisory councils, including the Grand Philharmonic Choir Board of Directors.
Circle of Song Intergenerational Choir with graduate student Sasha Judelson (funded by Employment and Social Development Canada). A study of the impact of singing in a choir on people living with dementia, their caregivers and teenage volunteers.
Bridging Culture through Song and Drum Circle with PhD Social Worker student Kelly Laurila, a study of restoring broken relationships with Indigenous and settler peoples.
In addition, I’m exploring ways in which music connects to and impacts the lives of people. The focus is on more than just the music, but in addition, seeks to discover how participation in music making affects the musician’s or listener’s sense of justice and wholeness as a person. Music is a cultural practice, and our research is investigating how music is a form of social-cultural capital that can foster social innovation. We also are engaging in some early research on the ways singing can help to bridge cultures that may experience historical or tension outside of the sphere of music.
Advisor to music education majors and supervise the MA in Community Music students. I am open for directed studies proposals and, through appointments, consultation with students of any areas of study.
Both as a classroom instructor, and ensemble director, I endeavour to create a safe and positive learning environment where students feel safe to take risks, to challenge and debate ideas respectfully, and take ownership on their own learning process.
Our faculty and administration colleagues are collaborative and supportive. It is a privilege to work in a creative, artistic and academic environment where fresh ideas and multiple perspectives are respected.
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