"Teaching Music Theory in the 21st Century" with Jennifer Snodgrass (Appalachian State University)

Event Date: 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 3:30pm to 4:45pm

Event Date Details: 

Event Location: 

  • Music Room 1145 (UCSB)

Event Price: 

Admission is free and the event is open to the public

Event Contact: 

Adriane Hill
Marketing and Communications Manager
UC Santa Barbara Department of Music
(805) 893-3230
Jennifer Snodgrass
Jennifer Snodgrass (Appalachian State University) will present "Teaching Music Theory in the 21st Century" on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 from 3:30-4:45 p.m. in Music Room 1145. 
With evidence from the many publications citing the College Music Society (CMS) report Transforming Music Study from its Foundations: A Manifesto for Progressive Change in the Undergraduate Preparation of Music Majors and the most recent Pedagogy into Practice conference, there seems to be a renewed interest for faculty and pedagogues to find new and challenging ways to present and disseminate the new ideals in music theory pedagogy.  The result of this interest can be narrowed down to the following question: How can we best equip our classrooms, both in terms of environment and content, to better support the 21st century music student?
This interactive session will highlight some of the emerging teaching trends found in classrooms across the country and offer insight into how instructors are seeking to make music theory and aural skills applicable and accessible to all students.  Through immediate polling, small group response, and interactive conversation, participants will be challenged to answer the questions of how and why we teach music theory and aural skills, particularly in a musical and institutional environment that is constantly evolving.
Jennifer Sterling Snodgrass is professor and coordinator of music theory in the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University, teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses in music theory, aural skills, songwriting, and pedagogy. Dr. Snodgrass received her B.M. in vocal performance from Meredith College and her M.M. in music theory from the University of Tennessee. She was the first student to graduate from the University of Tennessee with a technology focus within the music theory curriculum. In 2002, Snodgrass earned a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland where her research focused on computer-assisted instruction and pedagogy. Her dissertation resulted in the publication of the InForm musical analysis software program.
From 2006-2010, Dr. Snodgrass served as the research development officer for the Hayes School of Music, evaluating external funding in the performing arts. She has received numerous grants and awards in relation to technology and music instruction. In 2006, Snodgrass was awarded the Tablet PC Higher Education Award from the Microsoft Corporation for her integration of the Tablet PC into undergraduate theory courses. Her research in the efficacy of Tablet PCs can found in the 2009 publication of The Impact of Tablet PCs and Pen-Based Technology on Education, published by Purdue Press. The final results of this study are published in the 2012 volume of Journal of Technology in Music Learning. Other research has been published in Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy Online, Sacred Music, The TI:MEs, Music Theory Online, College Music Symposium, and the Music Educators Journal
She has also received numerous awards in relation to excellence in undergraduate education, including the National DyKnow Educator of the Month, the Plemmons Leadership Medallion, the Outstanding Professor Award from the Appalachian Student Government Association,  the Hayes School of Music Outstanding Teaching Award, and the College Music Society Innovations in Technology and Teaching Award. In 2016, Snodgrass was named Faculty of Distinction at Appalachian State and in 2017 was named an official quarter finalist for the Grammy Foundation Music Educator Award.
Jennifer Snodgrass is dedicated to research in music theory pedagogy. Along with Dr. Susan Piagentini, Snodgrass serves as the co-author of Fundamentals of Music Theory (Pearson, 2012, 2017).  Snodgrass is also interested in developing specific pedagogies for teaching students enrolled in music industry and music business programs. The result of her research in this area is the text, Contemporary Musicianship: Analysis and the Artist (Oxford University Press, 2015). Contemporary Musicianship presents traditional music theory and analysis in an innovative manner, combining music history, popular culture, ear training, and composition in order to reach a broader audience, including the amateur musician and the music business/industry student. Her latest research endeavor, funded by the Appalachian State University Research Council, focuses on a field study of pedagogical approaches in both the AP and University Classroom. The result of this research is the culmination of the text, Teaching Music Theory: New Voices and Approaches, currently under review with Oxford University Press. The ongoing blog associated with the text can be found at https://bridgingthemusictheorygap.wordpress.com/.
Snodgrass is currently the co-chair of the national Student Advisory Board for the College Music Society and continues to serve the society on both the national and regional level in several capacities. She most recently was appointed to the editorial board for the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy and is the co-chair of the newly launched Music Theory Pedagogy Online. Most recently Snodgrass served as the co-coordinator for the Pedagogy into Practice Conference and was appointed to the North Carolina Music Educators Association Technology Committee.
Based on her expertise in technology and education, Snodgrass leads workshops in technology and pedagogy on both the K-12 and university level.
Jennifer Snodgrass lives in Western North Carolina with her husband Greg and daughter Katherine.
Jennifer Snodgrass