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Composition & Theory

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About the Composition & Theory Department

Department chair: Michael Slayton    

The Composition/Theory program seeks to equip students with the creative, technical and critical mechanisms central to developing their artistic and intellectual lives as scholars.

Working closely with faculty, composition students at Blair enjoy a freedom of exploration in a variety of styles, working to create a diverse portfolio of compositions. Student composers have numerous opportunities to hear their music performed each year, culminating with a full-length portrait recital during the senior year.

Capitalizing on Blair's integral role in the cultural and intellectual life of one of America's premier universities, The Composition & Theory program also develops opportunities afforded by access to Vanderbilt's excellent musical and non-musical course offerings, encouraging students to understand how their own music relates to a host of other disciplines, such as art, history, literature, philosophy, and the sciences.

A guiding principle of Blair's program in Composition & Theory is that both the art and craft of composing are strengthened in developing a relationship between personal growth and the vast network of ideas and experiences available to students in the 21st century.

The Musicianship Program

Director: Marianne Ploger

Increasingly, musicians are called upon to perform in diverse styles and genres, including music of the classic western tradition, jazz, popular and world music. To satisfy these demands, we at the Blair School are committed to providing students with the practical skills they will need to effectively perform in this eclectic environment.

Our musicianship program is designed to ensure that students systematically develop technical aural skills including pitch, interval and rhythm recognition, scale and mode identification, chord identification, et cetera. Additionally, students gain insight into how to augment musical communication and expression through the implementation of these skills.

Based upon teaching methods developed by Marianne Ploger since 1976, Blair musicianship courses focus on developing fluency in all of these areas.

Learn more about the Musicianship Program and register for 2017 Musicianship Intensives


Faculty

Michael Slayton
Associate Professor of Composition and Theory; Chair of Composition & Theory Department
Email
Website
(615) 322-7673
2107 Blair
Emelyne M. Bingham
Senior Lecturer in the Teaching of Music
Email
615-322-4924
1189 Blair
Paul Deakin
Senior Lecturer in Music Theory
Email
615-322-5825
3104 Blair
Michael Kurek
Associate Professor of Composition
Email
Website
615-322-7667
2113 Blair
 Stanley B. Link
Associate Professor of the Philosophy and Analysis of Music
Email
615-322-4920
2106 Blair
Joshua McGuire
Senior Lecturer in Aural Skills
Email
Website
(615) 322-6891
2121 Blair
Marianne Ploger
Associate Professor of Music Perception and Cognition; Director of the Musicianship Program
Email
(615) 343-9065
2110 Blair
Michael Alec Rose
Associate Professor of Composition
Email
Website
(615) 322-5817
2102 Blair
Carl F. Smith Jr.
Senior Lecturer in Music Composition and Theory; Coordinator of Music as a Second Major
Email
(615) 322-4912
3114 Blair
David Binns Williams
Senior Lecturer in Musicianship and Choral Studies
Director of the Vanderbilt Concert Choir; Director of the Vanderbilt Community Chorus
Email
(615) 322-7164
3157 Blair