2020 Campfire Discussions

The goal of Campfire Discussions is to inspire open dialogue in which the attendees generate most of the discussion and knowledge sharing. Campfire Discussions begin with a 10-minute presentation of a provoking concept or idea by a presenting duo. The focus then shifts to the audience. For the remainder of the session, the presenters become co-moderators, inviting responses to comments and questions from attendees and letting the audience dictate the ultimate direction of the conversation based on the moderators’ introductory ideas. Campfire Discussions allow attendees to drive their own learning, listen to multiple perspectives on the same issue, and share experiences with individuals throughout the room. The moderators will offer a summative statement at the end of the session based on the group discussions.  

Revising Existing Degrees as New Sites for Creativity, Flexibility, and Interdisciplinarity
Friday, October 9
2:45–3:30 p.m. 

Thomas J. Kernan (Roosevelt University)
Rudy Marcozzi (Roosevelt University) 

We are two colleagues with shared interests in long-term student success, sustainable enrollments, and interdisciplinary teaching, research, and creative activity. We are a music theorist, who currently serves as dean of a performing arts college with both a music and theatre conservatory, and a musicologist, who currently serves as an associate professor and program head of an undergraduate interdisciplinary music degree. In this session, we will share a brief discussion of our approach to identifying a specific degree that was lingering on our books, and our efforts to revise, revamp, and relaunch it. We will address the challenges faced in revising it to embrace our core music curriculum and our university’s core honors curriculum, highlight strategies used to address those, and highlight how, in a matter of three years, it has become our degree with the largest percentage of enrollment growth and multiple markers of student success.

Then, in the session’s interactive discussion, we will offer up questions from our new attempts to embrace this same model across more of our existing degrees and offerings. How can we revamp what is already on our books in order to provide new opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to use their creativity, find areas of flexibility, and harness interdisciplinarity? The questions will be philosophical and applied, with topics including ways we are thinking about differential tuition rates, approaches to awarding scholarships, reconciling the skills of current personnel with program needs, and encouraging discussions between students, faculty, and alumni in multiple disciplines.


Preparing Artist Entrepreneurs for a New Arts Economy 
Sunday, October 11
2:45–3:30 p.m. 

Richard E. Goodstein (Clemson University)
Eric J. Lapin (Clemson University) 

The fact that enrollment in traditional higher education music performance degree programs has declined is undisputed. As detailed in the 2016 CMS report by the Task Force on the Undergraduate Music Major, progressive curricular changes must be made. Ultimately, it’s a simple supply and demand problem - with the steady decline of full-time performance-based arts careers, there are too many students graduating from colleges, universities, and conservatories in performance programs with a narrowly focused career path that cannot be realized in the new arts economy.

As such, this proposed campfire discussion will cover methods for music educators in higher education to better prepare students with a range of skills for the new global arts economy. Skills such as the creative process, technology, marketing, intellectual property, and arts business can no longer be supplementary electives, they are essential. This discussion will focus on progressive and innovative ways to re-imagine music curricula to include these new essential skills and others in order to prepare students to be artist entrepreneurs better equipped to navigate the contemporary arts landscape. The need for curricular change is well established. So, with the moderators’ decades of experience as administrators, faculty, and artist entrepreneurs, this session will explore strategies for implementing the core curriculum revisions necessary to prepare graduates for sustainable careers in the new arts economy.


Preparing Teaching Artists in Postsecondary Music Programs
Saturday, October 17
2:45–3:30 p.m. 

Rachel M. Glodo (Yale School of Music)
Michael Yaffe (Yale School of Music) 

Teaching artists play an increasingly important role in today’s music learning ecosystems. As performers & composers who work in school and community settings, teaching artists can serve any age group and adapt to the learning goals of their collaborators and partner institutions. While there is a wide range of teaching artist practices — including skills-based learning, arts integration, and community development — all are focused on activating musicianship and facilitating learning in and through music.

Although the field of teaching artistry has grown tremendously in recent decades, it has developed relatively independent of collegiate music programs. Professional development activities are available for practicing teaching artists after they enter the field, but few students experience robust preparation during their undergraduate or graduate studies. Indeed, the term “teaching artist” remains unfamiliar to many students, faculty, and administrators. While many postsecondary programs offer opportunities in “community engagement” or “outreach,” few have taken deliberate steps to prepare their students for effectively working in community settings, and even fewer offer curricular opportunities in teaching artistry.

This campfire discussion will examine the place of teaching artistry in postsecondary education and explore how programs might better prepare students to be effective, skilled teaching artists in diverse community settings. Attendees will be invited to brainstorm methods of addressing teaching artist preparation in their own institutions and in the field at large. Our goal is a robust discussion that increases knowledge of and commitment to preparing future generations of teaching artists.