Missouri State University

Foundation Award for Teaching

Michael A. Murray

Dr. Michael A. Murray

College of Arts and Letters

I.  Philosophy of Teaching

As a student myself, I was an avid listener while others were avid readers. The experience of great music was and remains for me visceral. It is, therefore, a luxury to professionally inhabit the discipline of music and share my passion for music and the exploration of music from various perspectives: music performance, music history, theoretical musical analysis and pedagogy.  We live in a culture that increasingly diminishes the importance of art in daily life. Art and music have much to teach us about our own humanity and the potential we have to find the best within ourselves. My aim as a teacher is to not lose sight of these higher purposes, even in the building of early musical foundations for students. If music did not save my life, it gave me an extraordinary life, the kind of multi-dimensional life that I wish for any music student who has the curiosity, the drive and the willingness to make this magnificent art form a central part of his or her life.

II.  Example of Courses/Topics

  • Undergraduate Music History Survey: Music in Western Culture and Society I
  • Graduate Music History Period Courses:  Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th Century
  • Music Theory: Form and Analysis
  • Music Education: String Techniques and Methods
  • Applied Music: Cello
  • General Studies:  The Language of Music-Beethoven Revolution
  • University Honors College:  Creativity and Dissent:  Social Problem-Solving in the Arts
  • Missouri London Program:  Bach to Beatles

III. Future Projects

  • Performance of the Chopin Cello Sonata and various chamber works at Texas Christian University Chamber Music Festival, May 2013.
  • Summer Research Fellowship 2013:  Songs Without Words, a performance project of song transcription for cello.

IV.  Topics related to teaching and of interest to the University Community, for which you are available for presentations and/or consultations (e.g., presentation tools, special topics, technology, public affairs).

Writing to Learn:  Strategies to Lead Students to Positive Confrontations with Art Music