Ryan Dohoney, assistant professor of musicology at the Bienen School of Music, is one of two recipients of The Alumnae of Northwestern University Award for Curriculum Development. The $12,500 award, administered by the Office of the Provost, supports the development of innovative course materials and new modes of teaching over the summer in preparation for the upcoming academic year.
Dohoney will develop a new undergraduate course, “Experimental Music in Theory and Practice,” to better understand rare, novel and experimental musical scores through performance and research in the university’s archives. He will help students discover U.S. and European experimental traditions in music as both scholars and performers, allowing them to learn from Chicago’s contemporary musical community and from archived works in Northwestern’s Deering Library.
Dohoney has noticed a shift in the current musical landscape. He hopes that his new course will help build a sustainable curriculum that supports the vision of the Bienen School’s Institute for New Music, in addition to helping build a foundation for students’ future musical ventures.
“Over the past three years, I’ve become more involved in the city’s new music scene as a performer and concertgoer,” Dohoney said. “It’s clear that something amazing is happening right now in Chicago. I want (my students) to learn both the history of experimental practice and its living presence in our city.”
Dohoney would like to help students devise career strategies and develop practical skills that will empower them to thrive in the contemporary musical climate by connecting them with historical experimental music traditions and members of Chicago’s experimental music community.
Mary Weismantel, professor of anthropology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, also received The Alumnae Award for Curriculum Development.