Jeannine: Please introduce yourself to our readers. What is your music background? What drew you to the organ?
Dr. Archer: I’m Gail Archer and I am Director of Music at Barnard College at Columbia University and organist at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York.
I’ve been singing in choirs since I was 8 years old. My father sang in the church choir and being part of church music was normal in our family. I heard organs from the time I was very small. I started playing piano when I was 8 years old and as soon as my legs were long enough – at age 13 – I started playing the organ as well. I pursued music from the beginning and always sang in choirs and always played keyboard instruments. Then I got a Bachelor’s degree, two Masters Degrees and a DMA – all in music.
I’ve been teaching at one level or another since I was 21 years old. I taught elementary, junior high, high school and I’ve been here at Columbia for thirty years. Music is my life, I’m delighted to report.
Jeannine: You certainly have an amazing multi-faceted music career with your work as an international concert organist and recording artist, a choral conductor and lecturer, the director of the music program at Barnard College, director of the artist and young organ artist recital series at Central Synagogue, New York City, and the founder of Musforum, an international network for women organists. We have much to talk about!
Let’s look first at your position as the director of the music program at Barnard College and college organist at Vassar College. What would you like to share about this work?
Dr. Archer: I have been at Barnard for thirty years and I built the music program that exists here. We have music majors and Barnard sponsors all of the vocal program for the University. I direct the 80 voice concert choir and the 20 voice chamber choir, teach music history, advise students, sit on committees, curriculum. I also do the organ program at Vassar College, which I also built. It’s a lively concern with a fifteen organ students.
Excerpted from the Guest Artist Interview of the February 2018 Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter. Dr. Jeannine and David Jordan are the creative artists of Pro-Motion Music LLC. Jeannine, a concert organist, with David, a media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multimedia concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Bach and Sons.
Posts tagged ‘students’
J: Any other thoughts/ideas you’d like to share with our readers?
Dr. Spritzer: Art for art’s sake is of tremendous value, but our colleagues and our friendships that can give it all personal depth and connection and life. The ways in which we support each other are what make our community great and lasting. Do everything you can to support those around you (a high tide raises all ships!), and pay it forward, and never underestimate the value of kindness. Write thank-you notes! Take risks, and do the things you fear the most and be true to yourself and your calling. We are all so, so fortunate to live in a time when we can devote our lives to music and teaching and liturgy and scholarship, and I feel tremendous gratitude for that. It has not always been so, and is still not so in many parts of the world. Thank you to everyone who has supported me time and time again, and I will always do the same!
Excerpted from the Feature Article of the September 2017 Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter. Dr. Jeannine and David Jordan are the creative artists of Pro-Motion Music LLC. Jeannine, a concert organist, with David, a media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multimedia concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Bach and Sons.
A quiz for those of you who have read our three prior posts based on the TED-Ed presentation by Anita Collins, How Playing an Instrument Benefits our Brain.
Neuroscientists get excited about watching the brain functions of musicians because?
A Musicians use different parts of their brain to complete tasks
B Musicians use more of their brain to complete tasks
C Musicians use more parts of their brain simultaneously to complete tasks
D Musicians use their brains surprisingly when completing tasks
Learning a musical instrument engages which different areas of the brain at the same time?
A Visual, motor and cerebral cortices
B Auditory, motor and visual cortices
C Motor, cerebral and auditory cortices
D Cerebral, motor and fine motor cortices
The bridge between the two brain hemispheres is called?
A Corpum callum
B Coopco coolism
C Capum cullim
D Corpus callosum
Learning a musical instrument teaches your brain how to create, ______ and retrieve memories more effectively?
Executive function is a series of interlinked tasks that includes planning, strategizing, and attention to ________.
Executive function is a complex combination of brain functions that requires analysis of both the cognitive and emotional aspects of a problem or situation. What type of complex problems of situations could you think of that would use your executive function capabilities?
Learning a musical instrument has been found to assist in our memory abilities. How does your capacity to remember facts, ideas, things you have seen and heard, impact on your ability to learn?
“Playing music is the brain’s equivalent of a full-body workout.”
What could be some of the short and long term effects of keeping your brain in tip-top physical shape?
Excerpted from the Feature Article of the August 2017 Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter. Dr. Jeannine and David Jordan are the creative artists of Pro-Motion Music LLC. Jeannine, a concert organist, with David, a media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multimedia concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Bach and Sons.
Jeannine: Who is David Clark, and how did you find a career in music?
Dr. Clark: As a child, I was drawn to classical music and especially the organ. From as far back as I can remember, I went to see and hear pipe organs at every opportunity. I desperately wanted to play them (as I had already started piano at about age eight), but of course was never allowed to touch a pipe organ in those days, so I just looked, longed and listened. So organs and organ music have been a passion for as long as I can remember!
I graduated from Melbourne University, Victoria, Australia, in piano and organ in 1968. Then I did further organ study overseas with Dr Martin Neary at Winchester Cathedral and post graduate study in musicology and organ with Dr Warren Becker at Andrews University, Michigan, including a Summer School in Suzuki Piano at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. That was my first introduction to Suzuki piano teaching.
I was a Senior Lecturer and Chair of the Music Department (now Avondale Conservatorium) at Avondale College, NSW, for over thirty years. I taught musicology, organ, piano and French over that time. Apart from my day job I am a half-marathon runner, amateur horticulturist (we live on three acres) and love hiking with family and friends.
J: You are well-known in the music world of Australia as a proponent of the Suzuki organ teaching method: What is unique about the Suzuki philosophy?
Dr. Clark: Dr Shinichi Suzuki (1898-1998) outlines his philosophy in his book “Nurtured by Love.” (Alfred Music; Revised edition, 2013) He realised that all children learn – some well, some badly – depending on their environment. They learn to speak their nativeaa language (or more languages if they are surrounded by them) perfectly well, without any accent: something an adult can only do with great difficulty! Thinking about this natural Mother Tongue environment, he realised that babies and very young children absorb music in the same way, immersed in the language of music by repeated listening – even before birth. Then when they later show an interest in learning to play – sometimes as young as two or three – as our son did with the cello – they learn in small steps suited to their individual development. From this flows the philosophy of learning with love, the most natural and important way a young child will absorb music as a language from their environment. This is what is unique about the Suzuki philosophy –all young children can learn to play music well, as a natural part of their lives. Of course this can only be achieved by informed, involved parents and highly skilled teachers. Teacher training and professional development are at the heart of the Suzuki Triangle – parent – child – teacher. This is why many teachers from all over the world flocked to Matsumoto, Japan, where Dr Suzuki taught three year olds to play the violin. Teachers observed, listened and played, absorbing the skills needed to teach young children. Many of them graduated and went back to their countries to spread the Suzuki philosophy, which is now global.
For those who want to find out more, there is an excellent account of the Suzuki philosophy here: http://www.suzukimusic.org.au/suzuki.htm#phil
Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, and David Jordan, media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multi-media concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, Bach and Sons, and From Sea to Shining Sea. Contact Dr. Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.