2010 Faculty Research

Articles by College of Music faculty appeared in more than a dozen peer-reviewed journals in 2010-11 and ranged from studies of the role of meter in nineteenth-century French and German art song, aesthetics and ideology in Prokofiev, and the rhetoric of jazz history textbooks to the professional development of music teachers and the learning strategies of piano students with Asperger’s Syndrome. Chapters in books included MSU faculty research on the role of working memory in pitch processing and teaching music through band performance.

Leigh VanHandel, associate professor of music theory and area chair, has created an online music fundamentals teaching platform in partnership with MSU’s Virtual University Design and Technology group. The platform features an innovative assessment tool that measures students’ mastery of basic musical skills. Her research interests include the relationship between music and language, computer-assisted music research, music perception and cognition, and how music cognition affects music theory pedagogy. The program, currently titled Music Fundamentals Platform, is complete and was purchased by Oxford University Press, and will be released Fall 2013 for use in conjunction with OUP's music theory textbooks.

Ricardo Lorenz, associate professor of composition, was a 2010 fellow at the MacDowell Colony, the oldest and most prestigious artist residency program in the United States, where he completed a new concerto for viola and orchestra inspired by the songs of the late Chilean singer-songwriter Victor Jara. This piece had its world premiere at MSU last fall with guest artist Roberto Diaz, president and CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music and former principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Michael Largey, professor of ethnomusicology, recently published the definitive study of Haitians in Michigan with the MSU Press. This book chronicles the challenges facing Haitian immigrants and their U.S.-born children as they seek to maintain their cultural identity in the United States. Professor Largey has studied the musical traditions of Haiti for more than two decades. His previous book, Vodou Nation, was a critically acclaimed study of Haitian art music and the role it has played in shaping the politics of that island nation.