As Chair of the Department of
Music and Director of the MSU Texas Kodály Teacher Institute, Dr. Susan Harvey continually
researches new teaching strategies, song repertoire, and folk dances to
incorporate into music education courses. In August, Harvey traveled 3,400
miles west – to Hawaii – for research that will help prepare her students for
their own music careers. She is the 2018-2019 recipient of the Bice Faculty
Support Grant, a sabbatical program that allows a faculty member to spend time
at retired physician Dr. Paul Bice’s Hawaii home.
The Bice Faculty Support Grant
was created last year as an opportunity to support faculty’s work in the arts,
humanities, and social sciences to enhance research, artistic endeavors,
performance, and teaching. Bice offers his Maui home as well as additional
funding and provisions for 10-14 days.
The foundation of the Kadály
method is teaching the significance of heritage and culture, the folk music of
a society. While in Hawaii, Harvey made videos and recordings of Hawaiians’
ukulele music and hula dancing, and even took hula lessons. She studied how
music was part of Hawaii’s cultural history and attended community workshops so
that she might bring back lessons that can be used in the classrooms. She will
teach a workshop next year in a Kodály session.
Harvey said that although
Hawaii is the 50th state in the union, aside from a popular version of Somewhere
Over the Rainbow or kitschy “Hawaiian” music, most people may not know much
about true Hawaiian folk music, and the state’s culture and history. Her
research will become part of the curriculum taught in the secondary and
elementary music method courses that help prepare students for music teaching
careers. Harvey also said that the ukulele, often associated with Hawaiian
music, is experiencing a resurgence in popularity because of its size, affordability,
simplicity, and relative ease to play.
The Bice Faculty Support Grant
began last year for faculty of the Lamar D. Fain College of Fine Arts and the
Prothro-Yeager College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Associate Professor
of Art Catherine Prose was the first recipient. The art resulting from her time
in Hawaii was shown last fall in Moffett Library.
When the program was announced
last year, MSU President Suzanne Shipley called it a “wonderful opportunity” for
renewal and research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. “We are
thankful to Dr. Bice for this inventive and generous faculty development program,”
Bice served as a community
advisor for the university’s radiologic sciences program for several years, and
he is a longtime member of the President’s Excellence Circle. “By joining the
PEC, I learned more about the opportunities at MSU,” said Bice. “I was able to
meet students and faculty, hear their stories, and learn how financial aid and
grants help them.”
Although Bice’s discipline was
rooted in the sciences, he is passionate about the development of mind through
the arts and humanities. “For the people coming to Maui, I want this to serve
as inspiration and renewal of their creativity and to be a true respite for
artists,” Bice said.
Faculty members interested in
participating in the program are required to submit a one-page description of
how the time on Maui will be used to advance them professionally, either in
their teaching, creative endeavors, or research.