Student Research Paper
Fine and Performing Arts
Dr. Anne Gross
My honors in the discipline project includes research, score development, and an internship in the field of music education. In Mu 495, Seminar in Musicology, I learned to master the skills of researching and writing a musicological paper. My thesis, Beethoven and Lead Poisoning, is a culmination of my research in this course. In addition to my own research, I became familiar with Amy Beach through critical reading of assigned articles, lecture, and class discussion. In this document you will find essay excerpts and my written thesis from my seminar course.
This Fall, I served as the student intern for Elizabethtown’s treble ensemble, Fenice. During this time, I led whole group warm-ups, sectionals, and large group musical experiences. Using my knowledge from senior seminar in musicology, I selected a piece from Beach’s collection that I would teach and conduct with Fenice. After many consultations with Dr. Gross, we finally settled on Beach’s Peace on Earth for SATB choir. Choosing an SATB piece added another layer to this project. I completed a score study and then arranged the piece for treble choir (SSAA). My knowledge from Mu 495 was essential during this process. For example, I knew that I should not transpose the piece, prompting me to arrange frequent voice crossing in the soprano parts. Amy Beach had synesthesia meaning that she “heard” certain keys as different colors. These associations began during childhood and remained consistent 2 throughout her lifetime. To maintain the composer’s artistic integrity, I used the original keys and exact points of modulation.
I instructed and conducted this piece, and it was performed at the winter concert. While teaching Fenice, I was observed by Dr. Spence and Dr. Gross. As ensemble directors, they both offered unique perspectives on how to improve my delivery, conducting, and overall instruction. In this document you will find a copy of my arrangement, lesson plans, my weekly reflection journal, a time-log of my experiences, and a video link to the performance.
Through this project I explored music through a historical context and in a living classroom. These experiences have prepared me for success in the field of music research and vocal music education.
Blanton, Natalie, "Explorations of Vocal Music, Score Preparation, and Musicology Research" (2022). Fine and Performing Arts: Student Scholarship & Creative Works. 4.
Honors Senior Thesis; Honors in the Discipline; MU 495 Senior Seminar in Musicology; MU 471 Senior Internship