Finding Harmony in the Midst of Chaos: A Conversation about Remote Music Instruction

Jul 29, 2020 3:00-4:30pm EDT

Watch the Webinar

Watch the Webinar (Spanish Dubbed)


This past semester saw a swift transition to remote arts instruction for many teachers. Amidst feelings of isolation and anxiety about the future, teachers and students had to adjust to a new way of learning and teaching. As humans so often do in times of crisis, our communities rose to the challenge. Teachers and students worked together to learn new technology; resources for remote teaching were shared throughout the art community; and genuine efforts were made to maintain a sense of community despite the imposed social distance. As we look towards the fall, and continued remote instruction for many schools, arts instructors still need a space to hear others’ experiences, share, and gather resources on navigating online arts instruction. With this new webinar series, a2ru hopes to provide that space.

With a specific focus on remote music instruction, this panel will explore how to maintain a personal connection with students within a virtual space, the strengths and weaknesses of technology when used to give students performance-based feedback and emotional support, and how to sustain morale and continue to develop new ideas for creativity as the novelty of remote teaching and learning wanes. Panelists will also discuss the challenges of incorporating a service-learning component into an online course, and how they have used guiding questions for listening assignments to encourage experiential learning. Panelists will use feedback from their students to address the advantages and disadvantages of online learning for specific course material, and what students hope to gain from this “new” mode of learning. Finally, the panel will close by looking at some of the ways the music community has responded to the pandemic and questioning who these responses benefit, both now and long-term. Looking towards the fall, they will discuss questions such as: What does COVID aware / future oriented pedagogy look like? What are the advantages of small, online arts / technology classes? What should be the decision structure for choosing between online, in-person, or blended teaching?


 Benjamin Knapp is the Founding Executive Director of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) and Professor of Computer Science at Virginia Tech. ICAT seeks to promote research and education at the boundaries between art, design, engineering, and science. Dr. Knapp also leads the Music, Sensors, and Emotion research group, with researchers in the UK and the US.

For more than 25 years, Dr. Knapp has been working to create meaningful links between human-computer interaction, universal design, and various forms of creativity. His research on human-computer interaction has focused on the development and design of user-interfaces and software that allow both composers and performers to augment the physical control of a musical instrument with direct sensory interaction. He holds twelve patents and is the co-inventor of the BioMuse system, which enables artists to use gesture, cognition, and emotional state to interact with audio and video media.

Dr. Knapp holds a doctorate and master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University.


 Soprano Luvada Harrison made her Carnegie Hall debut as soloist with the Manhattan Philharmonic and her Lincoln Center debut in Alice Tully Hall with the New York Choral Society as the soprano soloist in Rossini’s Stabat Mater. Harrison has performed with regional opera companies and symphony orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. As an Arts Educator, she worked for the Education Department of the New York City Opera Company, the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and the “Meet the Artist” series at Lincoln Center.

As a concert artist, she has presented recitals and master classes at several universities throughout the United States including Lawrence University in Wisconsin, Albany State University in Georgia, and Liberty University in Virginia. Harrison has also appeared as a featured soloist with the Tuscaloosa Symphony. Harrison holds a Bachelor of Science in Vocal Music Education from Towson University, a Masters of Music in Opera Performance from Binghamton University, and a Doctorate of Music in Voice/Opera Performance from Florida State University where she was the recipient of the coveted University Fellowship. Harrison previously taught at Stillman College where she was an Associate Professor of Music. During her tenure at Stillman, she received the Joseph A. Gore Faculty Merit Award, for excellence in teaching, and the President’s Golden Shovel Award for community service. Most recently, she has received an Artist Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. In the fall of 2018, Harrison joined the faculty of the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Alabama, where she is currently an Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre/Voice.


Timothy Jones is an Assistant Professor of Music in Percussion Studies and the Coordinator of History of Rock at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His book Rock ‘n’ Roll Origins and Innovators is in its 2nd edition, and he has several published articles in Percussive Notes, DrumScene, PercusScene, and Not So Modern Drummer. His TedX presentation on the marimba is published as the introduction to the keyboard chapter of Gary Cook’s Teaching Percussion enhanced 3rd edition.

In May 2009, Dr. Jones was awarded the CFA “Outstanding Teacher of the Year,” and in 2011, the “Outstanding Alumnus of the Year.” He has served as coordinator for the LVMF Percussion Institute; as faculty on ZISAMP-USA and the Vienna Percussion Symposium, TAPS Long Beach and Adelaide; and as co-director of the Australian National Drum and Percussion Camp.

Beyond solo and chamber percussion engagements Dr. Jones has a long list of performing credits including the Amadeus Orchestra, the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Mary Wilson, Andrea Bocelli, Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Peter Cetera, Natalie Merchant, the Irish Tenors, Mojo Risin’ Nick Hawkins, Carl Fontana and Nebojsa Zivkovic. Performance CD and DVD credits include Hit Man (David Foster), Under the Desert Sky (Andrea Bocelli), Songs From The Drunk Tank (Wild Celts), Leaving Las Vegas (The Killers), A Tribute to Peggy Lee (Buddy Greco), Live at the Desert Inn (Brian Evans) and four UNLV Marimba Band recordings. Dr. Jones endorses Vic Firth, Sabian, Grover Pro Percussion, Remo, and Majestic Percussion.


 Eric Lyon is a composer and computer music researcher. Lyon’s publicly available software includes FFTease and LyonPotpourri, collections of audio objects written for Max/MSP and Pd. He is the author of “Designing Audio Objects for Max/MSP and Pd” (A-R Editions, 2012), which explicates the process of designing and implementing audio DSP externals. In 2016, Lyon was guest editor of the Computer Music Journal, editing two issues (CMJ 40:4 and 41:1) dedicated to the subject of high-density loudspeaker arrays (HDLAs). Lyon also curated the 2016 Computer Music Journal Sound Anthology, which was the first binaural anthology published by the CMJ. Lyon’s creative work has been recognized with a ZKM Giga-Hertz prize, MUSLAB award, the League ISCM World Music Days competition, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition. Lyon is currently on the faculty of Virginia Tech, where he is a Fellow of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, and teaches in the School of Performing Arts.


Dr. Jean Martin-Williams is Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music and Associate Dean in the Franklin College. As Associate Dean, she is the liaison for the Willson Center and all of the arts departments.  Dr. Martin-Williams’ creative activity as a horn player includes performances in Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, and Russia. She has recorded with the New York Chamber Symphony, the New York Pops, the Georgia Woodwind Quintet and the Atlanta Symphony, including the Grammy-award winning Berlioz Requiem. She is on the Board of Advisers for the International Horn Competition of the Americas and gives an annual lecture at The Juilliard School on the role of an artist/performer on a music faculty. She was a quarter-finalist for the 2017 Grammy Foundation Music Educator of the Year and has hosted both the  Southeast Horn Workshop and the International Horn Society conference  at UGA.

Dr. Martin-Williams served as Director of UGA’s Lilly Teaching Fellows program for over a decade.  

A native of Decatur, Georgia, Dr. Martin-Williams attended the Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Lawrence University in Wisconsin, and the Manhattan School of Music, from which she was the first brass player to receive the Doctor of Musical Arts degree.


Stephanie Tingler is a sought after concert artist, an outstanding interpreter of the art song repertoire, and an avid chamber music performer. Tingler has made numerous recital tours of the Midwest and Southeast in a variety of programs featuring Russian, American, women and Ohio composers, sacred music for voice and organ, and works for soprano and double bass.

Among her competitive credits are national finalist honors in the Bel Canto Opera, Opera Columbus Annual Operatic, and American Traditions competitions.

Although best known as a performer, she has also received recognition as a teacher, scholar and author. Dr. Tingler has presented master classes in voice at various institutions, and her articles on vocal pedagogy and wellness have appeared in several journals, in addition to presentations regarding health issues crucial to musicians and professional voice users for MENC, GMEA, ASTA, and Athens Regional Medical Center. Tingler’s research on women in music has been presented at numerous national and international conferences.

Dr. Tingler holds undergraduate degrees in English and American literatures from East Carolina University and in Vocal Performance from Northern Kentucky University; the Master of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music; and the Doctor of Musical Arts from The Ohio State University. She is currently a Professor of Voice in the School of Music at the University of Georgia, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate studio voice, and vocal pedagogy.