From blues and punk to rock and roll, Arthur White has at one point in his life played in nearly every kind of band, but now he believes he has finally found “the perfect gig.” As the director of MU’s Jazz Performance Studies program and Assistant Professor in the School of Music, White now handles all things jazz at MU.
Stealey discusses the interdependence of her creative thinking and teaching.
Dr. Stealey discusses the vitality of unexpectedness and surprise to her creative process, and the benefit of indulging multiple projects at once.
Although their medium is visual, ceramics students are encouraged to articulate their experiences verbally, as well as to write about them. A fundamental part of these classes involves critique, where students present their finished products to the class, talk about their inspiration and ideas, and critically evaluate the work in terms of where it has succeeded and where it has failed. Beyond creation and evaluation, students research a topic (e.g., a culture’s ceramics or a contemporary ceramic artist) and present their findings to the class. “It’s probably my favorite part of the class,” Clarke remarks, “because they become the teachers."
Clarke describes how the creative work of making pots necessarily involves research. He has observed that visual artists have a close relationship to the raw materials with which they work. As an artist, Clarke explains that “pottery keeps me honest. Pottery is a very simple art form. It is very demanding in terms of detail, line, shape, and form. Maybe because it’s so simple and unassuming, it makes me focus on what I’m trying to communicate, rather than chasing the latest fad that’s going on.”
“There’s nothing quite like the high of hearing one of your own pieces played,” McKenney admits, “but to me the most important thing is the active, creative process itself.” While he seeks to try to write the best music he can, McKenney believes his teacher’s advice that music needs to balance emotion and intellect. If you have too much of either, “things get out of whack.” Furthermore, “there should be a communication process in all art,” McKenney adds, an interactive process between composer, performers, and the audience. If one part fails, it negatively impacts the process.