Courses (Designed)

My CV contains a detailed list of the many courses I have taught at the university level. This page highlights courses of my original design, those designed/developed in collaboration with colleagues, and those that are notable in some other way.


Sounds of the Sacred: Global Sacred Musics

Sounds of the Sacred was first designed and taught at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. as part of the new degree program in American Music in 2003. The course was initially designed to complement the world cultural music  course also offered in Georgetown’s music degree program. Over the years the course evolved to include discovery and experiential components in addition to conventional elements. It is now taught at Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo and at the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary as part of the Global Citizenship stream. This is taken from the course description:

Sacred Musics are ubiquitous in faith-traditions across the globe. This course examines global “sacred” musics within their indigenous and appropriated contexts and explores questions of philosophy (aesthetics), globalization, economics, politics, culture, religion, nationalism, identity, and cultural ethics.

Sounds of the Sacred Syllabus



Encountering Global Musics

This course was designed as a special topics course for Wilfrid Laurier University’s Faculty of Music in 2009 and was repeated at Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo. It was designed and intended for advanced students of Western classical music encountering cultural musics for the first time.

MU380z course syllabus



Music and Its Contextsimgres-4

MU100 is the gateway course for entering music degree majors at Wilfrid Laurier University. Designed around a contextual approach to the understanding of music, the course has developed significantly over the past six iterations. An online version is now in development as well. Music and Its Contexts was originally designed and taught by Drs. Kirsten Yri and Peter Hatch. I have been involved since the course was first taught in 2011. The syllabus for the the latest iteration is linked below:

Music and Its Contexts Syllabus and Schedule


Music and Meaning in Community Contexts

imgres-7.jpgMusic and Meaning in Community Contexts is the gateway course for Wilfrid Laurier University’s Masters Program in Community Music. I did not design this course, but have taught and developed it over the past five years. Community Music studies are connected to a dizzying array of fields, subfields, and sources. I developed an innovative approach in bringing together these readings using student presentations, interactive blogging, and primary sources through guest artists and scholars. Because graduate students have come from rather distant places, their attendance is often vulnerable to Canadian weather and road conditions. To accommodate this I’ve developed various methods of interactive real-time streaming and recording of class sessions utilizing Swivl robotics and other streaming technologies. As of 2016 this course was approved for online development with a proposed online release of Spring 2018. Please see the 2017 course syllabus below.

Music in Community Contexts Syllabus


Sacred Music and Healing Traditions

This course was developed for the Global Citizenship degree stream at the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. It was intended as a continuation of GC354: Sounds of the Sacred, after I sensed a keen student interest in the connection between sacred musics and healing traditions. Music has been used with healing intent in religious and faith-based contexts for centuries. Not intended as a course in music therapy, this class examines music and phenomenon associated with shamanism, environmental “healing,” mysticism, the modern charismatic movement, and more.


Sing Fires of Justice: Music for the Common Good

Designed and developed by Debbie Lou Ludolph to accompany the Sing Fires of Justice annual event in KW, this course explores the intersections of faith, social justice / activism, and music. As a community musician this is a challenging and important for me to teach. As a course in the Christian Studies and Global Citizenship stream at the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary it uses a joint class project (staging a music and social justice event) as a culminating activity. The students use experiential, discovery, and interactive learning methodologies in addition to conventional lectures and guest presentations in order to explore content. This iteration of Sing Fires of Justice explores massed singing/music movements in their relationship to South African Apartheid Protests, the history of the Estonian Independence (Song Festivals) movement, the cross-over musics used in the continuing Israel-Palestine conflicts, and the music of First Nations protest,  community building, and social reconciliation.