Thursday, January 3, 2013

Faculty showcase skills in Music 160

Keri McCarthy crop1Students in the new WSU Online course Music 160 have a full accompaniment of instructors. Along with Professor Keri McCarthy—an internationally known oboist, master-class teacher and Fulbright scholar—they are getting front-row seats to video performances by WSU faculty, including those in the Opera Workshop, Percussion Ensemble and faculty artist series.

“I think we have recorded faculty or students from every area, and these include jazz, traditional instrumental works, percussion ensemble and opera scenes—which are quite theatrical,” McCarthy said.

Music 160, Survey of Music Literature, covers the six major style periods of Western music: Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th Century. Students will develop their listening skills, and learn how established music theory applies to contemporary music, McCarthy said.

Meets UCORE requirements.

“Anyone open to learning about the history of Western music should really enjoy the course,” McCarthy said. “And it meets UCORE requirements for arts credits.”

This is McCarthy’s first online course. “My music colleagues speak highly of the format,” she said. “Students seem to be much more comfortable expressing their views online, as opposed to opening up about their musical likes and dislikes in a face-to-face classroom.”

More...Along with faculty performances, the course will use VoiceThread, a program that combines multimedia with collaborative functions. “Students will introduce themselves using the video software,” she said, “and describe their favorite popular music.”

McCarthy earned her bachelor’s in oboe performance from Ithaca College School of Music, her master’s from Yale School of music, and her doctorate from Indiana University School of Music.

Fulbright fellowship

Since coming to WSU in 2006, she has toured Asia twice—in 2008 on a WSU New Faculty Seed Grant, and in 2011 on a Fulbright fellowship, giving nearly 30 performances in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines, and Korea. She now lives in Pullman, with her husband, Andy, and two boys, ages 3 and 9 months.

McCarthy said her love of the oboe began early. “The oboe has called my name since I first heard it in the beginning of middle school. I believe each person has a very personal musical ‘voice’ and I knew that this was my passion when I first heard it being played.”

But, she said, her musical journey will never end.

“I will never reach any final satisfaction with my playing—complete mastery is impossible and the goals just keep shifting as I work to improve my playing,” she said. “I love that about music: There will always be more repertoire, a more refined sound, or more technical passages to work toward.”

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