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Liza Sobel

Northwestern University
Doctoral Candidate in Music Composition and Faculty
How does one develop connections and foster teamwork in a class where creativity and collaboration are major goals, although none of the students ever meet in person? Last quarter I remotely taught Class Composition (for non-composition majors and for music and non-music majors) in Northwestern’s music school. Class Composition helps students discover and hone their compositional voices. Creating a community remotely that enhances student compositional development became my priority. This presentation focuses on creating meaningful virtual connections among and between teacher to students and student to student while maximizing class engagement and collaboration. I met individually with all students throughout the quarter, trying to get to know them, including learning their goals and concerns, and analyzing their compositions, incorporating my detailed feedback. Group listening breakout rooms using guided questions I prepared nurtured student engagement. Live class performances by student volunteers further enhanced teamwork and investment. I recruited talented guests to further stimulate class participation and appreciation. A class community spirit evolved.
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