As a child, my parents funneled me into the Suzuki method of learning to play the violin, developing and formalizing an ear-based awareness of the world around me. I remember singing at summer camp and feeling a shiver, something like an electrical current that rose up my back and seemed to evaporate in my high-pitched voicing of “How Great Thou Art.”
Teaching in applied music settings, I work to get my students to listen to what sounds they are making as a tool for sell-assessment and data gathering. In teaching Appalachian Studies I encourage students to listen carefully to what sounds give them the shivers, to draw on that inspiration in carrying out original research. I am working myself to find ways to include listening, attention to sound, and soundscapes in my Appalachian Studies research and writing.