In addition to directing ensembles and teaching in the humanities, I also teach the following courses at UNC Asheville. Each of the websites below contains the contents of these courses. They also serve as forums and web portals for research into the respective fields; each course also represents a research area of interest. Publications can be found in the "Scholarship" section of the website.
My upper level elective, diversity and writing intensive course "Transatlantic Jazz" tracks the interaction of American, European and specifically African American jazz perspectives over a century of cultural interchange. During the semester, students create a peer-reviewed journal that publishes web articles based upon original research.
My introductory liberal arts course for freshmen entitled "Music and Environmental Consciousness" explores the relationships between sounds, environments and human activity. Using ecocritical approaches, students decode musical activities to understand varied and changing human attitudes toward environments. They are invited to consider ways humans use music to foster a more responsible relationship to their surroundings.
I teach "Harmony and Improvisation III" and "IV"—required of all BFA majors but open to any musicain demonstrating sufficient preparation. The course combines heavy doses of jazz and popular music theory with practical training with drums, keyboard and aural skills. Students demonstrate mastery of concepts in a variety of composition and recorded playing assignments
This course explores the local Asheville music scene and its connections to fundamental aspects of the industry: record deals, copyright, touring, management, and publishing. Guest speakers from the Asheville music scene help refine an understanding of what it means to be successful within an evolving marketplace. Students test their own entrepreneurial ideas in brainstorming sessions and a final sales pitch to a distinguished panel of judges.
I have directed a number of ensembles, including Big Band, X-Tet, Sax Ensemble, Thelonious Monk Ensemble, ECM Ensemble, Experiemental Music Ensemble, and the EcoMusic Ensemble. Click the link above to listen to and view some select works.
I am constantly updating my teaching material. In a recent jazz history course, I decided to abandon the traditional textbook approach and replace it with a jazz history card game I invented. This experience is described in the following article:
I teach two upper level elective, diversity intensive courses called "African American Music I: Slavery to Swing," and "African American Music II: R&B to Hip Hop." Both challenge students to step out of their own socieconomic frames of reference in order to consider questions of ownership, identity, authenticity, and community from a variety of musical perspectives.