What are elements of effective teaching in classical music? with Dr. Sharon J. Paul
Dr. Sharon J. Paul is a performer and educator who holds the Robert M. Trotter Chair of Music at the University of Oregon, where she currently serves as Interim Department Head of Music Performance and Director of Choral Activities. Her teaching includes graduate courses in choral conducting, repertoire, and pedagogy, along with conducting the internationally award-winning Chamber Choir, which has placed first or second in four international choral competitions, most recently winning first prize in the Chamber Choir category at the Grand Prix of Nations Competition in Gothenburg, Sweden in August 2019. The Chamber Choir became a resident ensemble of the Oregon Bach Festival in 2014, performing each summer under conductors such as Helmuth Rilling, Matthew Halls, John Nelson, Jane Glover, and Joann Falletta.
In March 2020, Oxford University Press published Dr. Paul’s book, Art & Science in the Choral Rehearsal, which features many of the creative and evidence-based teaching strategies she has cultivated over her career. Dr. Paul has also presented interest sessions at regional, state, division, national, and international conferences, appearing frequently as adjudicator, clinician, teacher, and honor choir director throughout the United States and abroad, with recent appearances nationally in Minnesota, California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Utah, Washington, and internationally in Singapore, Estonia, Sweden, and England. In 2019, she received Oregon ACDA’s Podium Award for “outstanding contributions to the choral arts,” and in the fall of 2014 she received the University of Oregon’s Fund for Faculty Excellence Award.
The Question of the Week is, “What are elements of effective teaching in classical music?” Dr. Paul and I discuss what the core elements of her teaching style is, teachers in her life that she found effective (and others she didn’t), her incredible book Art and Science in the Choral Rehearsal, what science has taught us about how the brain learns, and the toxic relationships that can develop between teachers and their students.