Looking for Harmony: Technology and Music Instruction

Jung Mi Lee instructing a student

Any discussion of technology in the music classroom is bound to include thought-provoking commentary and intriguing anecdotes. The abundance of software programs and Web-based social media outlets available today intensifies the opportunities and challenges of incorporating technology into teaching. While some music teachers have embraced these offerings as a way to diversify their instructional methods, others have proceeded more slowly, questioning the role of technology in a process that has long been characterized by face-to-face interaction. While it appears that most classroom music teachers have come to terms with technology as a teaching tool, there is still considerable debate over its proper role in the private teaching studio.

Charlie Jennison

Recently Drew Gatto, the academy’s music librarian, interviewed two PEA adjunct music faculty members, Jung Mi Lee and Charlie Jennison, to find out how technology—specifically sound recordings, digital music files and notation software — has impacted their private teaching studios.

Please click here to read the complete interview.

LibGuides Coming Soon!

The Library staff will spend the spring and summer revitalizing its online research guides from their current static presentation to a more user-friendly and dynamic look, using LibGuides.

LibGuides is a web 2.0 content management- and library knowledge-sharing system used to create attractive multimedia content, share knowledge and information, and promote library resources to the community. More than 1,200 libraries worldwide use LibGuides.

Updated Library Research Guides

This week the Library unveiled new and improved History Research Guides for the Fall Term. Since fall classes are two weeks shorter this year, History 331 guides had to be completely reworked to match the curriculum. The guides revised for Fall term include History 331 and History 213. There is also a brand new guide for History 109 (Classical Greece). Watch for more new guides for Winter and Spring Terms.

You can find the new and revised guides here.

NoodleBib & Cite-a-Source

Those of you who use the MLA style for citations will notice that NoodleBib has changed its forms to MLA 7th edition. For Turabian/Chicago users, NoodleBib has created forms for legal sources including Court cases and Federal and State bills. The Library’s Cite-a-Source guides have also been redesigned in a new format for easier reading as well as updated to reflect NoodleBib’s changes. When and how to cite sources can be challenging; ask a Librarian for help.

Click here to see the Library’s NoodleBib and Cite-a-Source page.

Astronomy Celebrated in our New Exhibit

Stars Over Exeter posterOur new exhibit on display in Rockefeller Hall is a photo-history of astronomy here at Phillips Exeter Academy, ranging from the days prior to observatory construction to the present day. The range of studies has taken students from snow covered fields in winter, to domed observatories here and at professional facilities in Arizona.

2009 marks the anniversary of two important events: the first use of the telescope as a scientific instrument to study the skies by Galileo Galilei, and the 20th anniversary of the Grainger Observatory’s construction. To mark the former, the International Astronomical Union has declared 2009 the International Year of Astronomy and is hosting celebrations around the world to promote astronomy and astronomy education.

In October of 1989, the Academy opened the Grainger Observatory, the culmination of a dream held by the first observatory director, Dr. Chris Harper, who envisioned students making astronomical observations in a setting permanently established for the purpose. It was a huge leap from the days of bringing small telescopes out onto a snow covered roof of the then science building (now the Academy Center).

Now twenty years after the construction of the Grainger Observatory, the facility houses three domed observatories, a solar telescope, library, and digital Harkness classroom. The observatory has been keeping up with the ever present technological changes over the years: from film to electronic CCD cameras, manually operated telescope mounts to completely robotic and remotely operable observatories.

Used by the Academy’s three astronomy courses and the summer school program, the observatory is also open to the public and surrounding community on a regular basis. Local elementary and high school visits are common, as well as requests from researchers at colleges and universities around the world.

Recycling the Unrecyclable: Public Art Project Inspires “Green” Thinking

Students in Isaac Bingham’s Access Exeter cluster, Project Exeter: A Greener Earth, converged in the Library on July 17, 2009, to assemble a mosaic out of bottle caps. The project, a result of planning and cooperation between three class sections, highlights the relationship between unrecyclable materials and global warming, and offers a model for the creative use of unrecyclable objects. Students mounted bottle-cap collection jars throughout campus and spent time organizing the caps by color. Under Bingham’s direction, they presented proposals for the mosaic design; ultimately a footprint was chosen to reflect the concept of an “environmental footprint.”

Working in teams, Bingham’s students spent roughly six hours assembling the mosaic, which will be on display in Rockefeller Hall through Tuesday, July 28. The students have posted digital video relating to the project at 


Listening Room Combines Music with Multimedia

Music faculty member Eric Sinclair with a student in the Listening Room
Music faculty member Eric Sinclair with a student in the Listening Room

The PEA Music Library is pleased to announce a new resource for music students and their teachers: a multimedia listening room. Located in Room 111 in the lower left corner of the Forrestal-Bowld Music Building, the listening room includes a networked Macintosh computer with a 20-inch screen and external speakers. This equipment allows users to listen to audio recordings – either on CD or through Naxos Music Library, an online streaming music service — and view DVDs or Web content in the privacy of an enclosed, sound-proof area, removed from the traffic of the Music Library.

A special feature of the listening room computer is its ability to build and manage playlists with iTunes, the digital jukebox included on all Macintosh computers. A playlist is a collection of audio tracks stored in a single file folder and assigned a descriptive title (i.e. “Debussy Preludes”). By creating playlists, students and teachers are able to share recorded music from different sources without the need for physical CDs.

For students, the listening room is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00am to 1:00pm (when the Music Librarian is on duty) and at other times with the permission of a Music Department faculty member.